The Gloucester County Nature Club will meet Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Holy Nativity Lutheran Church at the corner of Woodbury-Glassboro Road and Mantua Avenue, Wenonah.
The January program will be ‘Rediscovering America’s First Artificial River,’ presented by Scott Barnes.
Explore the enduring changes in landscape and society sparked by the Erie Canal, as observed on a 400-mile group bike trip along the Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany.
Travelers going across upstate New York in the early 19th Century faced many natural barriers, including thick forests, swamps, and rivers. These primitive conditions stood in contrast to the rapid improvements occurring in water transportation.
As early as 1724, farsighted individuals had pointed out the benefits of an all-water route from the Hudson along the Mohawk River extending west to the Great Lakes. But at that point, nobody in the world knew how to construct such a long canal route through a heavily forested wilderness.
Through a combination of political courage, hard work, and a number of technical innovations, the Erie Canal came into being between 1817 and 1825.
This presentation will show how the proponents and builders of the canal overcame the numerous challenges in their path, how the historic canal corridor has evolved over the past 200 years and just how much of the canal and the human history it touched can be seen today from a bicycle seat.
Meetings are scheduled for the second Thursday of the month, September through June, and are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.gcnatureclub.org.
The club is also announcing its January field trip: Birding Along the Delaware River in Gloucester County.
The trip is on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 8 a.m. to noon at Red Bank Battlefield, 100 Hessian Ave, National Park. Visitors should meet in the lower parking lot.
Check out three reliable Gloucester County birding sites with Lloyd Shaw in search of winter ducks, bald eagles, raptors and anything else to be found along the way.
Sites covered will include Red bank Battlefield, RiverWinds, and Floodgates. The area along the river will be cold in January, so dress in layers for comfort. Snow or heavy rain will cancel the trip.
The trip will be a joint trip with Rancocas Nature Center. The trip is free but donations are encouraged.
Up to date field trip information can be found on the Meetup website: www.meetup.com/Gloucester-County-Nature-Club.