The Long-term Ecological Reflections Project (LTERP) is, according to conceiver Ian Marshall, a “study in place.” It seeks to record what happens at eight locations in and around Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center over the course of a full century — through the lens of authors and artists from a variety of disciplines.
These eight specific locations have been picked for their variety of habitat and diversity of experience for the observer, and to inspire writing, music, artwork, and other creative forms of reflection. Over the 100-year life of the project, Shaver’s Creek will work to weave these reflections together to tell the story of this place.
Each LTERP site has its own space on this website where we will begin to collect reflections — whether they are words, paintings, photographs, songs, or videos. The contributing authors and artists use their own styles. Some are scientists, poets, or outdoor enthusiasts, and still others study English, sociology, etc. It is our hope that their writings and artwork illustrate the history of these eight locations, no matter what style they use.
We invite you to explore the eight locations through these pages, and then visit the sites that inspired them!
A Snapshot of Shaver’s Creek
The Long-term Ecological Reflections Project at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center began in 2006 as the center celebrated 25 years as Penn State’s Nature Center.
At that time, Penn State’s Archaeological Field School was conducting a dig on the former Daniel Massey property near Shaver’s Creek, where they unearthed artifacts from the late 1800s, or about 150 years before this project began. The archaeologists had to speculate about what happened at these locations and what the artifacts meant.
Through the LTERP, we intend to record a piece of the next century’s history in some fashion so that future generations can better learn the story of this place.
Ecological Reflection Sites
All of the LTERP sites are within Penn State’s 7,000-acre Stone Valley Forest (originally named the Penn State Experimental Forest) — many in close proximity to Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center:
Site 1: Twin Bridges — On the west side of Shaver’s Creek along the Twin Bridges trail, among the grove of Eastern hemlocks by the “Reading the Shaver’s Creek Forest” sign
Site 2: Rudy Sawmill — The old mill site on the east side of Shaver’s Creek, along the Sawmill trail between Twin Bridges and Scare Pond Road
Site 3: Chestnut Plantation — At the corner of Scare Pond and Hammond Roads, about one-half mile up the hill above Stone Valley Recreation Area’s main lodge
Site 4: Dark Cliffy Spot — Below the Lake Perez dam, along the Woods Route, a few hundred feet upstream along an unnamed tributary of Shaver’s Creek, among a grove of Eastern hemlocks, near a tall section of exposed bedrock along the stream
Site 5: Bluebird Meadow — The height of land above the cleared meadows along the Bluebird Trail
Site 6: Lake Perez — Whether on foot through a drained lakebed (2007–2014), on a boat in the water, or on skates and skis in the winter
Site 7: Raptor Center — In the amphitheater behind Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center
Site 8: The Lake Trail — A three-mile circumambulation of Lake Perez
Please visit each site’s page to view a history of the writings, artwork, music, and other reflections created there.
For more information on the Long-term Ecological Reflections Project, or to learn how to contribute material, please contact Doug Wentzel.