Protection and Management Plan for the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

Ecological Setting

Millbrook Marsh Nature Center is comprised of more than 20 ha (50 ac) of wetland that includes palustrine scrub-shrub and emergent wetland, calcareous fen, upland borders composed of early successional brush and forest, and about 5 ha (12 ac) of pasture and farmland with interspersed hedgerows for a total of 30 ha (62 ac)(Photo 3A and 3B). The wetlands are supported by sources of both surface water and groundwater. Two important streams in the Spring Creek Watershed merge in Millbrook Marsh, giving the site a distinct shape when viewed from the air (Map 2, Photo 2). The smaller of the two, Thompson Run flows from Thompson Spring located above the Duck Pond at the intersection of East College Avenue and University Drive near the University Wastewater Treatment Plant. Slab Cabin Run, the larger stream, drains a much larger area of the watershed beginning on the forested slopes of Tussey Mountain above Pine Grove Mills. Slab Cabin Run flows through agricultural lands in Ferguson and Harris Townships before winding its way through College Township passing under South Atherton Street near its intersection with University Drive and Branch Road.

Numerous springs deliver a plentiful supply of groundwater to Millbrook Marsh. The majority of these springs discharge either along the forested southern edge of the site or along Thompson Run. Two major springs discharge in the Bathgate area on the northwestern corner, flowing under Puddintown Road, and then into the Marsh (Map 4).

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On to Hydrology