In May of 2016, WVWA received a generous donation from Merck & Co., Inc. in the form of the picturesque, 9.4-acre Dodsworth Run Preserve.
This forever-protected parcel of open space was named for the Dodsworth Run watershed, which flows into the Wissahickon Creek just beyond the Preserve’s western edge, and is characterized by meadow and wetland habitat, interspersed by growing young trees and bordered by woodland edge.
A majority of the preserve has been planted with native meadow species; by the summer months, many pollinators will take advantage of this beneficial habitat, from butterflies and bees, to hummingbirds and bats – a butterfly garden will also be installed in 2016, to provide a special place for these important insects.
A highlight of the preserve is its small, vernal pond. This ephemeral body of water provides habitat for many wildlife populations that depend on such environments – particularly amphibians – and serves as stopover habitat for migrating shorebirds in the spring and fall. Birders have observed several species feeding along the muddy shores of the pond, including solitary, least, and spotted sandpipers, and greater and lesser yellowlegs. These species travel great distances, and rely on natural sites like the Dodsworth Run Preserve to rest and refuel on their long journey.
Soon, a platform will be installed overlooking the area, so that visitors can enjoy an excellent view of the pool, as well as a “Hawk’s Nest” observation deck, where onlookers can watch for migrating and resident hawks soaring overhead.
The Dodsworth Run Preserve is located at 512 Dickerson Road, in Upper Gwynedd.
Access: There is a paved trail that follows along the front of the Preserve along Dickerson Road. Access is at multiple points.
Parking: There is a parking lot located on Dickerson Road, closer to Wissahickon Avenue
Habitat: Vernal pond; Meadow; Pollinator gardens.
Trails: With a combined 2,275 feet of trail, boardwalk, and sidewalk, the Dodsworth Run Preserve makes for a great place to take a peaceful stroll and enjoy the beauty of the natural world.
Dogs must be kept on leashes.