Florence Shelly Preserve

Florence Shelly Preserve boasts fields, woodlands, a stream, and a glacial pond with a floating bog.

Just one mile north of tiny Thompson Borough on Route 171 in rural Susquehanna County, the 357-acre Florence Shelly Preserve boasts fields, woodlands, a stream, and a glacial pond surrounded by a floating bog.

The protection of this diverse natural area was spearheaded by Florence Shelly, who organized a committee of citizen naturalists and volunteer professors from SUNY Binghamton to characterize and inventory the property. They found a rare red alga (batrachorsermum vagum) at the outlet of Wier's Pond and an abundance of biologically diverse habitat. Other species discovered at the preserve include insectivorous sundew and pitcher plants, black bears, otters, hummingbirds, and great- horned owls. The Shelly family donated the land to The Nature Conservancy in the 1980s; the purchase of nearby Plew's Swamp completed the preserve.

Help Protect the Florence Shelly Wetlands

Join the Florence Shelly Stewardship Committee, a dedicated group of volunteers who take care of the preserve. We maintain the trails, sponsor monthly themed walks (trees, herbs, birds) during the summer months, and occasionally do special projects. Currently we’re working with TNC to adapt our self-guided nature trail so it can be downloaded as an App on your smart phone.

We meet once a month to discuss what we’ve seen and heard on the preserve and make plans for the weeks ahead. No special skills are necessary, and you can devote as much or as little time as you’d like.

If you’re interested, call Trebbe Johnson at (570) 727-4272 or email


You are invited to join the preserve's regular walks, held May through October, organized and led by stewardship committee members. Check our Events page for the walk schedule, or come walk the trails any time of day, week, and year.

Give us a call first and we may even guide you to the far reaches of the preserve to see what special secrets nature chooses to reveal: (570) 727-3362 or (570) 879-4244!


Guide sheets for the trail are available at the enclosed 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.


Call us for directions (570) 727-3362.


Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

comments powered by Disqus

Read our guidelines on posting comments


Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.