Trip Report: Preston Park: Aug. 10, 2013

Purple Loosestrife

Twelve attendees were treated to a private tour of the Preston Park  grounds by Buffalo Township Employee and volunteer docent, Marcie Love. She was in for a big surprise.  Never having hosted a nature group, she was unaware that we travel at “the speed of botany”. She gave us some excellent historic information, but we were always lagging behind looking at the plants.

The park hosts seven of the tallest trees in Pennsylvania, and they have been registered at  These champions are marked with pink ribbons, but will eventually get permanent markers.  See the field notes for the trip here.

preston1preston3Joann Schreiber and feathrfleece The skinny bridge Judy shoots a deer! Weeping Siberian Pine preston6 Ponderosa Pine Pacific  silver Fir  docent Marcie Love, Donna, Judy, Bob, Dick, Melissashrubby st johns wort Preston's lab/house The Big Grass Prairie

Outing – Preston Park, August 10


Saturday, August 10, 2013, 10:00 a.m.

Preston Park, Butler Township, Butler County

Leader: Dave Heltzell of Volunteers of Preston Park.

A joint outing of the Botanical Society of Western PA and Wissahickon Nature Club.

Preston Park is an 88-acre English garden donated to Butler Township by Dr. Frank Preston, founder of Preston Laboratories, and Mrs. Jane Preston. Dr. Preston, a glass scientist, ornithologist, and ecologist, created and designed an English garden as a place to live, work and enjoy nature.  Dr. Preston apparently walked the entire property daily at dawn, in accordance with his origins in England where a deep interest in nature is a great pastime.

Park Volunteer Dave Heltzell will introduce us to the park’s significant historical and cultural resources, including Dr. Preston’s glass research laboratory. Preston Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now maintained by Butler Township. For more information, visit Butler Township’s Preston Park website

Directions: Travel I-79 north to Exit 83 – PA 528 toward Evans City. Travel PA 528 north for 2.6 miles to a T. Turn right at the T and continue east on PA 68 for 9 miles to Whitestown Rd (the first traffic light after the Butler Farm Show on the right).Turn right onto Whitestown Rd and continue 1 mile to turn right onto South Eberhart Road. Park entrance will be on the left.  The GPS address is 415 South Eberhart Road, Butler, PA  16

Outings are free and open to the public.