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Ephraim Malickson once owned this land; nearly 200 acres nestled withinin the Schuylkill Highlands region of Berks County. These Highlands are rich in both cultural and natural heritage valued by local residents and environmental organizations alike, and the Ephraim Malickson Wildlife Sanctuary is no exception. But perhaps no one valued this property more than Mr. Malickson himself.

To Ephraim, the land was called “Tekene 2”, the indigenous Lenape word meaning woods or uninhabited place, embodying Ephraim’s vision for the land as a sanctuary: “A place for the birds and deer to go and be safe.”

“A place for the birds and deer to go and be safe”

Berks Nature first met Ephraim over 15 years ago to discuss his wishes for this property.  Ephraim was an eclectic man: he grew jack pine trees and sold them at Christmas time for just $5, loved collectible cars and flying his Luscombe, two-seater airplane, and would do anything for his beloved dogs.

Ephraim was also passionate about nature and wildlife, and had a vision for these special woodlands. Berks Nature worked closely with Ephraim and his team of estate planning professionals to ensure Tekene 2 would never cede to development, even when he was no longer around to steward the land himself.

In 2011, at age 88, Ephraim passed away doing what he loved to do: walking the woods of Tekene 2.

Upon Ephraim’s passing, a conservation easement was placed on the property, permanently restricting the future use of the land, thereby protecting the flora and fauna thriving there.

At that time, Berks Nature became the stewards of “The Ephraim Malickson Wildlife Sanctuary (Tekene 2)”.

Eleven years later, in 2022, Berks Nature gained full ownership of the Ephraim Malickson Wildlife Sanctuary and has since been making preparations to re-open the preserve for public use. New trails have been blazed to create a continuous loop and new interpretive signage has also been installed.

On March 10, 2023, Berks Nature celebrated the re-opening and dedication of the Ephraim Malickson Wildlife Sanctuary (Tekene 2) with an intimate group of guests and friends of Ephraim.

This wildlife sanctuary is home to the headwater streams and springs of the Indian Corn Creek that is an important tributary to the Schuylkill River.  The forest of Tekene 2 protects this creek and its watershed.

“I think it is safe to say that Mr. Malickson’s dream came true,” reflected Kim Murphy, while sharing a few celebratory remarks at the Sanctuary’s re-opening ceremony, “This Sanctuary is a place for all wildlife – the birds and deer – to go and be safe. Thanks to Ephraim’s vision and trust in Berks Nature, this forest will be protecting the water and much more, in perpetuity.”

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