Studying the Natural World in Bucks County, PA
Hansell Park is located in Buckingham Township, Bucks County Pennsylvania1. Transformed from farm fields to a park in 2000, the design for this 40 acre park was created by Baldev Lamba (Lamba Associates Inc.). The park design won an Honorable Mention Award for Excellence in Design by the Central Bucks County Chamber of Commerce and Bucks County Association of Architects. Hansell Park includes remnant forest where a host of birds and large and small mammals can be seen. It also includes paved and unpaved walking trails, micro soccer fields, a baseball field, pond and amphitheater. The amphitheater is very popular in the summer as the concert series draws people from all over the region to free music and fun2.
Prior to the parks formation the area was best known for being haunted. Several people reported seeing strange lights moving and bobbing through the trees and along the then dirt road. Some speculated that these were ghosts of teenagers killed by the local farmer. The area was recently investigated by the authors of Weird Pennsylvania in the chapter titled “Mystery Lights of Hansell Road” who concluded that there may have been something in the woods but that the local development has caused the apparitions to move on.3
The park has three distinctive ecosystems: wooded deciduous forest, freshwater pond/marsh, and open/mowed grassland. These small ecosystems host a large number of organisms and I will examine some of the more obvious ones through the posts here.