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Pennsylvania's Hiking Week to showcase state's trails, walkways
Hiking Week 2011 will step off on Saturday, May 28, offering participants more than 100 organized hikes statewide.

“A wealth of healthy hiking activities is again being offered to all ages and abilities thanks to the cooperative efforts of the co-sponsoring Keystone Trails Association and our bureaus of state parks and forestry,” said acting Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan.

“This is the 10th year of this increasingly popular event, which has grown by reaching out to the uninitiated and offering a wide variety of highly organized hikes,” said Allan. Read more...

Three scenic byway projects selected for federal funds
The Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA, has awarded grants totaling nearly $5 million to three scenic byway projects in Pennsylvania as part of a national program to enhance the livability of communities. Read more...

Gypsy moth numbers expected to remain low this spring
It’s that time of year again.

Floating wetlands installed at Mt. Pisgah State Park
Visitors to Mt. Pisgah State Park with a keen eye for lake scenery may have noticed a subtle change in lakeside topography—two mini-land masses sprouting virtually, and literally, overnight. Read more...

AmeriCorps team restores CCC cabins at Raccoon Creek State Park
Visitors to Raccoon Creek State Park in southern Beaver County may notice renovations to the park’s cabins this summer. Read more...

DCNR salutes employees’ award-winning efforts
For many it was their first face-to-face meeting, but already they had been drawn together in the shared bond of pride—pride in what they do; what they have accomplished; and what they oversee. Read more...

Also in the News

Riverfront Plaza Opens in Pittsburgh
The new Convention Center Riverfront Plaza in Pittsburgh is now open for bikers, walkers and anyone looking for a little time along the river in the city. With the completion of the plaza, there is now a continuous pedestrian and bicycle riverfront trail from Point State Park to the Strip District.

“Pittsburgh is leading the way among our cities in the commonwealth that recognize that our rivers, green spaces and trails are among our most important assets when it comes to revitalizing our economy,” DCNR Deputy Secretary Cindy Dunn said. “The department is happy to have provided $1.25 million in grants for this project to help realize the vision of a regional trail system, and connecting citizens and visitors to their rivers and the outdoors.”

The project spans 1,300 feet of riverfront and includes a 3,000 sq. ft. public event plaza and an elevated walkway. There are 10 tie-ups for commercial boats and 27 tie-ups for recreational boats.

Durable materials were used in the design that can withstand flooding and the cleanup afterwards, without deteriorating. Also because of periodic flooding, the plants that were used are native to stream or river locations in southwestern Pennsylvania were used.

The project cost of $9.5m was funded by federal, state and foundation grants.

DCNR announces ‘Trail Rug’ release in Tuscarora State Forest
The first “Trail Rug” of the PA Quilt Trail and National Quilt Trail will be unveiled July 8, 2011 at the Tuscarora State Forest District Office in Perry County.

The design for the “Trail Rug” comes from a rug made by Magdalena Briner Eby, who once lived on the property that is now the Tuscarora State Forest. Eby was born in Perry County in 1832 where she designed and hooked rugs from about 1850 to the early 1900s. The unveiling of the “Trail Rug” will not only commemorate her talent, but also the strong Pennsylvanian connection to the folk art of rug hooking.

The “Trail Rug” is unique because it is the first hooked rug design to be included in a national project which primarily focuses on quilting. The PA Quilt Trail is a series of painted squares that are mounted on structures, such as barns, throughout Pennsylvania. These squares mimic the pattern and color of a particular quilt. The PA Quilt Trail is one of many National Quilt Trail projects. Quilting and rug hooking are similar textile skills. However, many consider rug hooking to be a distinctively American folk art. Rug hooking often involved pulling hand-cut strips of old clothing through feed sack foundations. These hooked rugs were created to be used as mats, however today many people collect the rugs and display them as wall hangings.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources welcomes visitors of the “Trail Rug” to the Tuscarora State Forest. For more information contact: Gene Odato, Tuscarora State Forest District Forester at 717-536-3191. Tuscarora’s office is located at 4455 Big Spring Road (Route 274), in Blain.

Agency Spotlight

Elk State Forest
The wapiti were here. (And now they're back.)

Upcoming Events

Guided Kayak Program at Beltzville State Park
A Get Outdoors PA eventMay 26. Held 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Bring your kayak or canoe OR borrow one from Beltzville State Park & join guest naturalist Stephanie for a guided paddle on Beltzville Lake, one of the most popular flatwater kayaking locations in the Pocono Mountains! Please bring plenty of water and wear clothing and shoes that can get wet. The usage fee is $10 per person to borrow the park's kayaks, $5 per person for those with their own equipment. Registration IS required for this event. Please call Stephanie at (215) 453-5015 to register.

Interest groups, public encouraged to help build next Statewide Preservation Plan
June 8 and 9. Trail and conservation organizations as well as the general public are encouraged to participate in an upcoming public forum, the feedback from which will help shape the new Statewide Historic Preservation Plan. The regional public forums will present the results of last year’s value survey and moderate a discussion to identify how to best preserve those values through the Commonwealth’s historic preservation-related programs.

The primary goal of the planning process is for the public to inform the Pennsylvania’s State Historic Preservation Office of what they value in their community in order to determine the preservation priorities of people who live and work in Pennsylvania. This plan will help the state identify, prioritize and address historic preservation needs over the course of the next five years. For more information, visit here, or contact Hannah Charlton at (717) 783-2698.

The remaining public forums:

  • June 8, 2011, 1-4 p.m. – Philadelphia. Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, 190 N. Independence Mall West, 8th Floor, Philadelphia
  • June 9, 2011, 12:30-3:30 p.m. – Ambler. Ambler Theater 108 E. Butler Ave, Ambler, PA 19002

Back-to-back weekend events at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
June 11, 18-19. Pine Grove Furnace State Park and the Appalachian Trail Museum, in conjunction with many of its partners, are preparing for two straight weekends of outdoor events and family programming; National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 11 and the First Appalachian Trail Festival June 18 and 19.

The South Mountain Partnership, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy are sponsoring National Get Outdoors Day to provide outdoor and education opportunities for the entire family. Events for the day begin at 8:00 a.m. with a half marathon and 5K run to support the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace. Other morning events include trail hikes to local scenic vistas and historical sites, a wildflower walk, a historical scavenger hunt and kayaking for beginners. Registration is required for all events, but—with the exception of the half marathon and 5K run—all are free.

The Appalachian Trail Museum will hold its first festival on June 18-19 at the park. The festival will feature a hiking program, music, storytelling, crafts, competitions and history programs. There also will be a variety of activities for children on both days. Additional information on the Appalachian Trail Museum and the festival weekend events can be found at

Sustainable Landscapes Bus Tour Returns to the Lehigh Valley
June 15. Township officials, landscape architects, planners, educators, park managers, and others—come see eight great examples of ways to plan and manage land in a healthier, more environmentally friendly way while saving money! The tour kicks off at 8 a.m. at Emmaus Community Park. Two busses will then depart for sustainable sites around Lehigh County including: Wildlands Conservancy Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, Jordan Creek Greenway, Ironton Rail Trail, Lehigh Gap Nature Center, Trexler Nature Preserve, Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery and Penn’s Meadow. These sites highlight native plantings, natural stormwater management, energy efficiencies and more.

For just $35 you will receive breakfast, lunch, a spot on the bus and handouts. Registration materials and information are available here. Only 100 seats will be available, so register early. For more information about the event, or to inquire about sponsorships, call Cammy at (610) 391-9583 ext. 22.

2011 Sustainable Landscapes Bus Tour to motor through Lancaster County
Note: this event was erroneously listed in a previous issue as taking place in May. The editor regrets the error.

June 23. Township officials, landscape architects, planners, educators, park managers, and others—come see six great examples of ways to plan and manage land in a healthier, more environmentally friendly way while saving money! The tour kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at the Farm and Home Center in Lancaster with a continental breakfast and keynote presentations. Two busses will then depart for sustainable sites around Lancaster County including: Schaeffer Elementary School, Warwick Township Building, Mummau Park, Santo Domingo development, Ethel Swan Park and Raymark (a former industrial site), and Brubaker Farm. These sites highlight native plantings, natural stormwater management, energy efficiencies, and more.

The bargain price of the bus tour is $25 which includes breakfast, lunch, a spot on the bus and handouts. Registration materials are available here. Only 100 seats will be available, so register early. For more information about the event, call Jessica at (717) 214-7511.

River Towns workshop offered
June 28. The workshop is held 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at PPL Montour Preserve Environmental Education Center Auditorium in Danville, Montour County. The SEDA-COG Community Resource Center and the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership are presenting a workshop series geared towards river towns as part of the River Towns – Phase II: Discovering Middle Susquehanna Valley River Towns project. The workshops are designed to provide information for river towns to decide each one’s unique course as it prepares for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The registration form can be downloaded here. Multiple spaces are available if more than one person from your organization should choose to attend. The cost of each individual workshop is $15. Follow the RSVP schedule below in order to allow us to accommodate for lunch. Contact Becky Digan at (570) 524-4491.

May 25, 2011

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