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Join North Branch Land Trust for Nature Photography Day image
June 13, 2024
Join North Branch Land Trust for Nature Photography Day
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DiscoverNEPA is partnering with North Branch Land Trust, a nonprofit that conserves the natural, working and scenic landscapes of NEPA. They’ll provide conservation tips and give us a look at their protected lands. Learn how you can join NBLT and do your part to protect NEPA’s natural resources.

Hike and Photograph Luzerne County’s Acidic Ridgetop Barrens on Saturday, June 15

Celebrate with North Branch Land Trust on the Butler Preserve Barrens Trail in Hazle Township for a Guided Photography Hike. The hike leaves the Greater Hazleton Rail Trail parking lot at 10:30 am and lasts approximately 1.5 hr.


Image courtesy of North Branch Land Trust.


Barren might not mean what you think it does—at least in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

That’s a LOT of color is always a first thought visiting the barrens portion of North Branch Land Trust’s Butler Preserve in Hazle Township. Spring and summer boast the pinks and greens of blooming laurels, and even the dead of winter is speckled green with pines.


Photo courtesy of North Branch Land Trust.


“We are about a week out from full bloom for the sheep and mountain laurels, so timing couldn’t be better.” Emma Thompson, Conservation and Stewardship Coordinator at North Branch Land Trust, spent Thursday morning preparing the trail for the event. “This is such a unique ecosystem, and we are really looking forward to finding out what visitors see! Not only is the flora on full display, but we also anticipate plenty of chances to see stunning butterflies and pollinators. And, for the more keen-eyed, a variety of bird species call this habitat home.”


Photo courtesy of North Branch Land Trust.


Thomspon, along with Marketing and Development Director Karley Stasko, will be leading the June 15 hike. Staff are excited to lead this hike in conjunction with an ongoing research partnership. Thanks to a PPL Cares Grant, North Branch Land Trust has been able to work with the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program and WeConservePA to identify the full extent of this unique habitat. Hike participants can support their project by submitting their photos for species identification.


Photo courtesy of North Branch Land Trust.


Stasko said, “Barrens feels like a misnomer, because the life out here is truly mind-blowing. Along this hike you will have chances to see carnivorous plants, pink moths, and trees that love fire! It feels like pure fiction sometimes. Even if you’re not into taking pictures and just want to take it all in, we hope that you’ll join us in this truly special ecosystem.”


Photo courtesy of North Branch Land Trust.


The Butler Preserve Nature Photography Day Hike is free and open to all ages. Participants will meet in the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails Parking lot on East Broad Street and begin the approximately 1-mile hike promptly at 10:30am. Staff stresses that, while no photography experience is necessary, participants should be aware that this hike leaves the paved trail into some elevation and rocky areas.

Participants who pre-register at will receive a conservation gift.


Photo courtesy of North Branch Land Trust.


North Branch Land Trust is a non-profit organization committed to conserving Northeastern Pennsylvania. To register for this event, learn more about their mission, or become a member, visit


Featured image (top) courtesy of North Branch Land Trust.