Three Musketeers Walking our Trails

If you’re out on our trails early on a weekday morning, most likely you’ll happen upon an energetic trio enjoying the sights and sounds of our 340 acre forest.  Dr. Evamarie Malsch, Dr. Louise Lisi and Gail Harp are our neighbors from Cathedral Village, the continuing care community around the corner.  As frequent visitors, they have come to know our trails intimately.  “We’re really lucky to have the Schuylkill Center so closeby,” Evamarie comments, “and we’ve been going there at least twice a week to hike since the start of the pandemic.”

Three “masked” Musketeers walking our trails.

Evamarie took up hiking soon after she retired and was fortunate to meet Gail and Louise, avid hikers who also reside at Cathedral Village; together they are affectionately referred to as the Three Musketeers in their community.  Evamarie is delighted to explore the far reaches of the Schuylkill Center because every time she goes out, she finds something new in bloom.  “We have been having such fun learning about animals and ephemerals.”   

One creature that recently caught their attention was a red eft, a stage in the left cycle of the Eastern newt salamander.  The hikers disagreed about whether the bright red coloring was poisonous, but they eventually confirmed that, indeed, this was the most toxic stage of the eastern newt and a clear warning to predators.   

Red eft salamander

Louise muses, “because the Schuylkill Center landscape changes so rapidly, our hikes never feel the same.”  Her favorite spot on the property is Smith Run. “I feel like I’m in some far away country when I’m listening to the stream while enjoying the trees and foliage.”  Now that restrictions have somewhat eased, she has extended her love of the Schuylkill Center to her grandchildren and even made up a scavenger hunt for their introductory trip.  Gail remembers the pear trees in bloom.  “You see these beautiful flowering trees and yet they’re only flowering for a short time.” 

Evamarie has been a loyal member of the Schuylkill Center for five years and shares why she supports it.

“I get so much pleasure from going there so I choose to give to a place that aligns with my values of educating people about nature.” 

She also appreciates the fact even though it’s “in the city limits, it feels like I’m in the wild.  Here, everything is natural which is calming and peaceful.”  

We invite you to explore our trails this summer.  We’re open dawn to dusk every day and studies show that being in nature helps relieve anxiety and stress.  Who knows? Perhaps you may run into our Cathedral Village friends.  Ask them a question, they may very well know the answer given their time spent at the Schuylkill Center.

If you’re enjoying our trails, please consider helping us to maintain them by becoming a member for as little as $50/year.

By Amy Krauss, Director of Communications/Digital Strategy