A hummingbird flies next to a purple flower.
Hummingbird A Ruby-throated hummingbird flies next to a flower. © Shutterstock

Places We Protect

Florence Shelly Preserve


A curiosity about science and dedication to conserving nature led to the establishment of our Florence Shelly Preserve.

The Florence Shelly Preserve boasts fields, woodlands, a stream and a glacial pond surrounded by a floating bog. The former owner of the property, Florence Shelly, spearheaded its protection by assembling a team of citizen naturalists and volunteer professors from SUNY Binghamton to take an inventory. They found a lot of biological diversity, including a rare red alga, and insectivorous sundew and pitcher plants. The Shelly family donated the land to The Nature Conservancy in the 1980s. Later, the purchase of nearby Plew's Swamp completed the preserve.


Route 171 in Susquehanna County, one mile north of Thompson Borough


Over browsing by deer Pathogens such as hemlock wooly adelgid and emerald ash borer. Invasion by non-native invasive plants.

What’s at Stake

In addition to the rare red alga, Florence Shelly and local volunteers identified other species at the preserve, including insectivorous sundew and pitcher plants, black bears, otters, hummingbirds and great-horned owls.


The Shelley family donated the property to TNC in the early 1980s. TNC’s acquisition of nearby Plew's Swamp in the late 1990s completed the preserve.

Guide sheets for the trail are available at the trailhead just off Stack Road. An easy access boardwalk begins near the parking lot on Little Ireland Road and meanders through the hemlock forest to a look-out over the marsh.

Visitors are also invited to join the preserve's regular walks, held May through October, organized and led by stewardship committee members. Or, contact the preserve to inquire about a guided tour.

Support Pennsylvania Nature

Help TNC and partners sustain a vibrant future for the communities and wildlife that share Pennsylvania’s diverse landscape.