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Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Pennsylvania State Park
Natural Monument (IUCN III)
A gravel trail in Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Northampton
Township Bushkill
Location [1]
 - coordinates 40°47′15″N 75°18′06″W / 40.7875°N 75.30167°W / 40.7875; -75.30167Coordinates: 40°47′15″N 75°18′06″W / 40.7875°N 75.30167°W / 40.7875; -75.30167
 - elevation 489 ft (149 m) [1]
Area 1,168 acres (473 ha)
Founded 1959
Managed by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Nearest city Easton, Pennsylvania
Locator Red.svg
Location of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center in Pennsylvania
Location of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center in Pennsylvania
Website : Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center

Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is a 1,168-acre (473 ha) Pennsylvania state park near Wind Gap, in Bushkill Township, Northampton County in Pennsylvania, in the United States. The Jacobsburg National Historic District is almost entirely surrounded by the park. Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is just off the Belfast exit of Pennsylvania Route 33.

Contents

Environmental Education

The main purpose of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is to provide environmental education for the citizens of Pennsylvania and specifically the students of the nearby elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. Jacobsburg stays busy offering hands on opportunities to these students and their teachers with a "discovery and problem solving" approach.[2]

Jacobsburg National Historic District

The Jacobsburg National Historic District is the location of the Henry Homestead, where the famous Henry rifle was manufactured. Along with the staff of the Jacobsburg Historical Society the center provides a heritage education program, with classes in gunmaking and blacksmithing. Rendezvous and period military encampments are included in the center's Living History program. The Pennsylvania Longrifle Heritage Museum is located in the Henry Homestead.[2]

The production of the Henry Rifle was vitally important to the outcome of the French and Indian War, American Revolution, the War of 1812, westward expansion of the American Frontier, and the American Civil War. William Henry opened his first gun factory in Lancaster in 1750. During the French and Indian war he was an armorer for the Braddock Campaign of 1755 and the Forbes Expedition of 1758. His son William Henry II established a small gunmaking shop in Christian Springs in 1778. He moved his operation to Jacobsburg in 1792. Soon he built an iron forge to provide the needed iron to manufacture the Henry Rifle at Jacobsburg. The War of 1812 lead to a greater need for the rifle and Henry II built a second and larger factory in Boulton. The Henry family continued for three generations in manufacturing the Henry Rifle for use in the Civil War and John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company.[2]

An old barn at Jacobsburg Enivornmental Education Center

Ecology

Jacobsburg Enivronmental Education Center is home to the only remaining old-growth forest in the Lehigh Valley. The Henry's Woods section of the park is a largely virgin forest. Ecologists note the lack of large Eastern White Pines in what is otherwise a stand of old growth deciduous trees and Eastern Hemlock. The trees are up to 130 feet in height.[3]

Recreation

Recreational opportunities include hiking on 18.5 miles (29.8 km), fishing, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, hunting, and picnicking. The walking bridge adjacent to the main parking lot was destroyed several years ago during a flood and is being rebuilt (as of July 2008). The center provides an environmental education program, with classes in natural history. The center is known for its diversity of wildflowers that are especially striking during springtime. There is a heritage education program at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. This program displays and demonstrates early gunmaking practices. A living history program includes a mid 1840s rendezvous and military re-enactments. Blacksmith and gunsmith classes are offered and the historic buildings are open for tours.[2]

Hunting is permitted on about 937 acres (379 ha) of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. The most common game species are squirrels, pheasants, rabbits and white-tailed deer. The hunting of groundhogs is prohibited. Hunters are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.[2]

Bushkill Creek is stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.[2]

Nearby state parks

Jacobsburg EEC Atmospheric.jpg

The following state parks are within 30 miles (48 km) of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center:[4][5]

References

External links

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