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Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor

The Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor (B2BE) stretches from the Bald Eagle Ridge on the north to Scotia Barrens to the south. Locate yourself on the corridor. Imagine you are at the top of the ridge. Visualize yourself gliding like a hawk downward toward Halfmoon Creek, then rising upward across the paved road moving over the grassland meadow up to the slight rise and then back down again over the emerging shrubs and trees to the thick green forest. This 104-acre swath of land was preserved in 2010 to create safe passage for wildlife species between two ecologically significant forest blocks - Bad Eagle Mountain and the Scotia Barrens. You may have heard people speak of the barrens habitat or the shortened growing season in the barrens. Here the ridges trap cool air and help form "frost pockets" leading to stunted vegetation in a scrubby habitat. The soils tend to be sandy, well drained and low in organic material so forest growth is slow and a distinctive pitch pine and scrub oak ecosystem results. In the barrens, rainfall and surface water drain in a different direction from groundwater. Surface water flows southwest into Halfmoon Creek, then Spruce Creek and to the Juniata River. Groundwater flows northeast through underground conduits to its discharge at the Big Spring and into Spring Creek in Bellefonte 15 miles away.

ClearWater Conservancy restored what was once a farm field into a habitat hot spot. Vernal pools allow for breeding amphibians. Our young forest supports the Golden-winged warbler, American woodcock and Ruffed grouse. Our wildflower meadow provides pollinator habitat for bees, moths, insects and birds while controlling invasive species. ClearWater owns and maintains the 39-acres you're exploring right now. It is protected with a permanent conservation easement held by Halfmoon Township. Additionally, another 69-acre parcel across the street, owned by Barbara Spencer and Dan Dreibelbis is also protected and enrolled in the Halfmoon Township Open Space Protection Program.

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