Plasma cutting steel staircase Tung oil applied on trim woodwwork Floors milled from site grown trees Septic field restoration Reflecting afternoon sun Birth of a barn on Bragg Hill Radiant floors Solar panel installation Capping off the chimney Proud shape emerges on the hilltop Pumping concrete into the three gables Forming 12x12 Gables Delivering concrete from the sky Parallam beam positioning Flying flitch beam ICF window framing Precision concrete placement Lower level ICF fabrication Newly excavated driveway Finishing garage deck concrete Pouring concrete footers Rebar safety caps Surveying the construction site Checking out the excavation equipment Rapid soil stabilization Testing the soils for drainage Taking Solar Pathfinder measurements Milling downed trees onsite View to the Southeast over the Benzel Family Trust Future meadow to be cultivated Taking a stroll on Bragg Hill Road

Forest Stewardship Plan Initialized

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Part of our commitment to the sustainability of the land is the care and preservation of our woodlands.  Most of us don’t give much thought to the health of our forests.  The general thinking is that they will take care of themselves if you leave them alone.  For the most part, this is true.  Forests are complex ecosystems, and in our case most of the 10 wooded acres have been poorly cared for since the 1930’s.  The site has been harvested for its prime lumber in the past, leaving many surviving trees damaged and protective overhead canopies compromised.  The unchecked explosion of invasive vines, weeds and other unwanted species has put the delicate ecosystem at risk.

A Forest Stewardship Plan is a formal blueprint that provides a detailed overview of the natural resources of the property including vegetation , hydrology, soils, and wildlife habitat.  It also provides a long-term care and management plan (10 to 25 years) of the woodlands to ensure the health and beauty of the forest for future generations.

Working in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we were determined to find the right plan writer, one who was not only familiar with our region of the state, but a qualified professional with an advanced degree in forestry and natural resource management.  We found such a individual and an organization in David Steckel, Senior Stewardship Planner of Natural Lands Trust.  David (pictured above taking observations on our site) and his team of professionals at NLT will use historical data, baseline mapping, field inventories and other stewardship best practices to draft our plan.