MOUNT BETHEL FENS

The Mount Bethel Fens are a new typology for geological interpretation, ecological preservation, and public space. What was once a sand and gravel pit, used for the production of Portland Cement, is now a vacant parcel owned by Upper Mount Bethel Township. The 130 acre site includes 30 acres of protected fens, owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy.

The park is treated as four distinct landscape typologies: recently excavated quarry; [once quarried] Red Maple Black Ash Palustrine Forest; [protected] Poison Sumac Red Cedar Bayberry Fen; and [once quarried] Fen. What was once rich farm land evolved into a surficial quarry for sand and gravel, and when the water table was exposed, became spring-fed calcareous fens. By exagerating the excavation process on one half of the site, visitors will be able to witness the ecological evolution of the site from perceivably "industrial" to "natural" landscape over the course of 20 years.

The most remarkable and imperceiviable aspect of the site is its geology. It's limestone bedrock is what fed nutrients to successful crops, but its glacial till is what left 30'-120' of sand across the site and became a vital resource for the cement industry. Today, this landscape typology of high pH wetland is rare in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and contains many rare species of moss, plants, and animals. My design is to contain an interpretive center for the Nature Conservancy, engaging the public in stewardship, management, and monitoring of the fens for its lifetime.

The Mount Bethel Fens were chosen as a case study for the geotourism framework due to its proximity to National Parks, regional trails, multiple geological industries, and a walkable downtown.

Skills: ArcGIS, Rhino 3D, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

LARP 601: Green Stimuli: Slate Lands with Ellen Neises + Molly Bourne | Fall 2015