Northampton Township, in Bucks County Pennsylvania, is a growing suburban community north of Philadelphia and is home to 40,000 people and many species of animals and plants. After 30 years of SEPTA rail inactivity, the Newtown-Fox Chase rail bed has evolved into a crucial wildlife corridor and habitat for many species. This corridor is a key component to reducing the negative ecological impact of development in our township. Natural space is becoming a rare commodity, and the corridor provides a much needed connector of fragmented sources of food, water and open space for wildlife to use without disrupting traffic and posing a risk to motorists. Although Northampton Township and many surrounding communities have used taxpayer dollars to preserve such spaces, this wildlife corridor remains free of cost.
These old train tracks act as travel corridors for whitetail deer which rely upon the few remaining green areas left in order to survive. Deer utilize the tracks to get from wood lot to wood lot, and to cross over busy roads as in the case of the train bridge which goes over Buck Rd. But there's more than just deer who call these old train tracks home. Beautiful red fox need the solitude and connecting features that the overgrown tracks offer. Countless species of birds like blue jays, robins, red wing black birds, blue birds, and even great Herons and owls require the brushy habitat, and nesting privacy the tracks now offer. Ground hogs burrow in the hill sides along the tracks, and grey squirrels thrive amidst the tall trees that have grown up. Even wild turkey are calling the tracks home. Red tailed hawks hunt for mice and other prey. And raccoons flourish amidst the rotten logs and fallen trees.
Humans like to devour every last bit of nature to suit our own selfish needs. We bulldoze farms for developments, pave fields for parking lots, and clear wood lots for soccer fields. Our manicured lawns and pristine golf courses offer little for our wild friends. We like to pretend we're co-existing with the wildlife, but the truth is we often evict them out of their own homes. Once people are inundating the trail on their bicycles, or on foot, the deer and other furry friends lose that access and they lose that browse vegetation they so desperately need. They lose the thick bedding cover in which they birth their young. And they lose the nut bearing trees which feed them through the harsh winter months. Even our children understand; it's like the movie "the Lorax". When is enough destruction enough? Who's gonna speak for the trees?? Who fights for the animals?! After all..they WERE here long before us.