Welcome to Strawberry Hill
“Absent Friends” – Column
Thursday, February 27, 2014
By T.W. Burger For the Gettysburg Times
Frances Morton Froelicher has been dead for 20 years, but her presence is still very much felt at the Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve on Mount Hope Road in Hamiltonban Township.
The more than 600-acre nature preserve started out as a weekend retreat for Frances and her husband. The couple married in 1962, after the death of his first wife.
Today, Strawberry Hill is an educational and natural resource, with education programs, hiking trailes things to see and do in all directions, with thousands of people coming to see and do them every year.
In the beginning, Strawberry Hill was a jumble of separate tracts of land. The Froelichers began efforts to clean-up and protect the Swamp Creek Watershed in their acreage. After Hans’ death in 1976 and after another 10 years seeking a new owner with the will and wherewithal committed to environmental preservation and education, Frances created the Strawberry Hill Foundation, which operates the center today.
“Today, we get 5000 school kids coming to the center to learn more about nature,” said Chuck Reid, Strawberry Hill Director. “We get thousands of county residents who come here to hike and meditate and enjoy the place in many other ways. Frances was a woman with a really great vision.”
Marge Cooke, now 91, was one of the early board members of that foundation. She describes Frances as determined and charming at the same time.
“The… Continue reading
Annual maple sugaring tour a sweet process
MOUNT HOPE MAPLE MADNESS – Laurie Stover, second from left, naturalist at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, watches as several children pour the maple sap they collected on Saturday into a large kettle where it will be cooked down to make maple syrup. The 90-minute tour showed people how sap is collected from trees and the excess water is evaporated to make sweet maple syrup. (Darryl Wheeler/Gettysburg Times)
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 12:10 am | Updated: 8:52 am, Mon Feb 24, 2014.
Believed to have been started by the Iroquois Indians, maple sugaring began when an axe was thrown into a tree to store it overnight and a sugary liquid appeared known as maple sap.
Today, maple syrup has come a long way from the Iroquois days with Canada ranking number one in the world for mass maple syrup production. Pennsylvania rates number eight in the United States for maple syrup production.
Strawberry Hill in Fairfield is offering tours of the maple sugaring process at Camp Eder as part of Mount Hope Maple Madness. Maple syrup enthusiasts learn the origins of the syrup before going hands on by tapping a maple tree and learning the entire process.
Red maple trees are most common in Pennsylvania and more than five dozen are on site at Camp Eder. Maple sap contains up to 98 percent water, which draws out the time it takes… Continue reading
The fishing year never really ends. It just blends from last year to this on the 1st of January, when a new fishing license must be purchased. When the snow begins to fly most of us head inside away from the icy blast of those Nor’easters we hear so much about. Lake effect snow and drifts up to your knees is no place for a fly anger, right? Ha, ha, keep thinking that. Fly anglers fish when it’s cold. If we aren’t out at a creek wearing long johns under our waders, then we are buying battery operated socks to keep our feet from going numb in the 38 degree water. When I was a younger man, if I could get 5 casts through my line guides without them freezing up, it was plenty warm enough to hit the creek. Now, I don’t fish unless the air temp is 40 degrees or warmer. Most of the streams in Franklin, Adams, and York counties are what’s referred to as Freestoners. That means the rocks move freely around on the bottom and the water is heavily influenced by the weather. When it is cold, they freeze, in some places solid. When there is a lot of rain or snow melt, they rise, when there isn’t they fall. Other streams are called Spring Creeks. That means that they have a consistent flow and… Continue reading