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KU Faculty, Students Complete Kutztown Park Educational Project

Sept. 1, 2017

L to R – Michael Tripoli; junior, Kutztown University; Dr. Todd Underwood, professor, KU Department of Biology; Dr. Christopher Sacchi, chair, KU Department of Biology.KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Kutztown University students and faculty recently completed an environmental education and restoration project at North Park on Krumsville Road in Kutztown. Dr. Todd Underwood and Dr. Christopher Sacchi, both on the faculty of the Department of Biology, undertook the project with funding provided by a $3,000 grant from the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection.

As a part of the project, students helped develop six webpages on specific topics that can be used by park visitors to learn about plants, animals, ecology and park history. The webpages are linked to QR code signs installed along the trails in the park so park visitors can access the information by scanning the signs with their cell phones. In the spring, students from three environmental biology classes spent several hours each, removing invasive species such as honeysuckle, autumn olive and bush honeysuckle. They then planted native shrubs such as arrowwood viburnum, elderberry, witch hazel and trees such as American beech.

Drs. Underwood and Sacchi developed two large informational signs about rain gardens and riparian buffers for the park that incorporated text, photographs and original artwork.  Michael Tripoli, a junior from Perkasie, Bucks County, Pa., majoring in biology and communication design, created the artwork for the signs which were installed by Borough of Kutztown employees this week.

The site of the former borough swimming pool, North Park, is an expansive passive recreation area suitable for hiking. Funded in part by a $200,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, North Park also has a pavilion, gazebo and restrooms to accommodate small gatherings. North Park will remain largely undeveloped to keep the emphasis on preserving wildlife and the natural environment.