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Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center




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Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
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General Information

Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Copyright: - Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Description - The original land for the center was purchased by the Department of Forests and Waters from the City of Easton in 1959. In 1969, additional land was purchased making this northern edge of the Lehigh Valley an ideal setting for the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. Situated at the foothills of the Pocono Plateau, a variety of habitats can be found ranging from fields to mature hardwood forests. Jacobsburg's natural resources not only provide an excellent outdoor laboratory for environmental education and interpretation, it is also important to many visitors from the surrounding area for healthy outdoor exercise and recreation. A network of 18.5 miles of trails are used by hikers, all-terrain bicyclists, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. An amphitheater by Belfast Road provides a site for environmental education programs while a picnic area accommodates school groups and the general public.

Attractions - The original land for the center was purchased by the Department of Forests and Waters from the City of Easton in 1959. In 1969, additional land was purchased using funds from Project 70. This brought the total land area of the center to its present size of 1,168 acres.

Situated on the northern edge of the Lehigh Valley, the rolling terrain of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is near the foothills of the Pocono Plateau. A variety of habitats can be found ranging from fields in various stages of successional growth to mature hardwood forests dominated by oak trees. Approximately 2.5 miles of the beautiful Bushkill Creek and its tributary Sobers Run comprise the waterways of the center.

Jacobsburg's natural resources not only provide an excellent outdoor laboratory for environmental education and interpretation, it is also important to many visitors from the surrounding area for healthy outdoor exercise and recreation. The natural open spaces provided by this public resource are becoming increasingly important in a continually expanding urban setting.

Recreation - A network of 18.5 miles of trails makes the center's fields, woodlands and streams accessible to both students and the casual visitor. These facilities are for use by hikers, all-terrain bicyclists, horseback riders and cross-country skiers.

The center's amphitheater by Belfast Road provides a site for both environmental education programs and a variety of community programs.

A small picnic area along Belfast Road is available for use by school groups and the general public. Fishing in the nearby Bushkill Creek is popular especially since the creek is regularly stocked.

Jacobsburg was dedicated as an environmental education center in October 1985, and is one of four environmental education centers operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of State Parks. Through its environmental education programming at centers and state parks, the Department aims to help develop a citizenry that is aware of and concerned about the environment and its problems, and also has the knowledge, attitude, motivation, commitment and skills to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.

The Jacobsburg environmental education program consists of a variety of quality programs including: student field learning experiences, Youth Environmental Learning Series, Environmental Forums for high school students, Conservation Leadership Schools, Water Quality Monitoring Program, school site and curriculum development and numerous in-service and pre-service teacher workshops focusing on problem-solving for a variety of environmental issues, natural history and watershed education. The center's program staff also offers community programs and supports ecological research, in addition to assisting in developing regional and statewide programs that serve educators and other Bureau and Department program and staff needs.

Educators and school groups wishing to participate in a learning experience at Jacobsburg should contact the center office for program scheduling and reservation information.

Approximately 937 acres of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, pheasant, rabbit and squirrel. Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day to March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Jacobsburg area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 72 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 23 Celsius).

Location - Located at the foot of the Blue Mountain in Northampton County, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is accessible from PA Route 33 at the Belfast Exit, near Nazareth, PA.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Jacobsburg is a nice place to "get back to nature" for we folks who live here in the rolling farmlands around Nazareth, Pa. There are some nice walking trails, and it does offer the opportunity to see some wildlife (but not guarenteed by any means...). There are some especially beatuiful spots in the park during the fall foliage change. The land was origianlly owned by W. Penn, and eventually was owned by the Henry family, and the Henry Gun Works was on the property (see the Bolton house, and Pennsylvania Museum of the Long Rifle (both within the park)). Also a nice place to see within the park is the Hummingbird Garden (near the bird blind). OK, so here are some of the not so good things about Jacobsberg: 1) Because it is the most developed "wild" area close by, it is HEAVILY used in the nice weather (especially on weekends). You cannot "get away" by walking the commonly used trails because you are constantly dodging people, bicycles, horses and dogs. Again, on the commonly used trails, you will find kids yelling, wrecking the trails, and generally being disruptive. It is true that there are less used areas of the park, but they are proportionately harder to access. 2) Two winters ago, I went to the bird blind hoping to get some photographs, but found a note from the Jacobsburg ranger saying that do to budgetary constraints, the Bird Blind was closed for the winter. Hand written on that note I saw the comment "Couldn't you have budgeted $500 for some bird food?". 3) The bridge from the main parking lot to the trail head (and restrooms) was destroyed by the remnants of a hurricane over a year ago, and still has not been fixed, so instead of a short 200 foot walk to the trail head and restrooms it is an unmarked 1/4 mile walk up and around, partially on a road (no walkway).


More Information

Contact Information:
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, 835 Jacobsburg Road , Wind Gap, PA, , Phone: 610-746-2801
, jacobsburg@dcnr.state.pa.us

Additional Information:
Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests - Pennsylvania is known for producing some of the most valuable hardwood timber in the world. The 2.1 million acres of state forest land are protected from fire, destructive insects and diseases while offering a beautiful recreation environment for the visitor. Pennsylvania's State Park system offers visitors year-round recreational enjoyment as well. Amenities include: camping, picnicking, hiking, an assortment of winter sports and the viewing of the natural biological diversity and ecosystems found within the Commonwealth.
Philadelphia, Country-Side, Lehigh Valley Area - The Philadelphia area is historically rich and diverse in natural resources. This beautiful area beacons as a vacation destination.

Links:
Pennsylvania State Parks - Official agency website

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