State Park First Day Hikes offering invigorating start to new year
To promote a healthy start to the new year, DCNR will sponsor free, guided hikes in 23 state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.
“For the fifth consecutive year, First Day Hikes offer a great cure for cabin fever and a chance to burn off those extra holiday calories, and what better way to welcome the new year than with an invigorating walk or hike in one of our beautiful state parks?” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “We again are excited to showcase the beauty of our state parks while joining in hosting these hikes as part of a national effort to get people outdoors and into parks.”
Organized by the National Association of State Park Directors, the nationwide, New Year’s Day hikes originated more than 20 years ago in Milton, Mass. Read more...
DCNR secretary, other environmental leaders addressing effects of climate change
Department of Conservation and Natural Resource Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn will join state Fish and Boat Commission, Game Commission, and other environmental agency leaders in discussing climate change impact at a National Wildlife Federation press conference at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, in the Capitol’s Main Rotunda, N. 3rd St., Harrisburg. Read more...
DCNR Watershed Education program has new website, water quality database
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn has announced that improvements are being made to its Watershed Education program that is intended to give children in grades 6-12 a knowledge base on water-related issues in the hope they will become future community leaders. Read more...
Pennsylvania steps up for urban parks
While Pennsylvania’s hills and valleys are renowned for its forests and farms, its natural assets and beauties, and its rural character and charms, 84 percent of its citizens live in urban areas. Read more...
Partnership to connect citizens with outdoor activities growing strong
More than 100 community partners and parks across Pennsylvania now participate in Get Outdoors PA. Read more...
Salvage harvest of hazardous trees planned at Bald Eagle State Park
DCNR officials announced work on 72 acres within Bald Eagle State Park’s Rustic Camping Area will include a timber salvage harvest of the tract, consisting of mixed hardwoods and many dead and dying white ash trees affected by an emerald ash borer infestation. Read more...
Also in the News
Applications now being accepted for 2016 Master Watershed Steward Program
The Penn State Extension Lehigh & Northampton County offices are now accepting applications for the 2016 Master Watershed Steward Program. The program, now in ten Pennsylvania counties, is designed to provide people who are enthusiastic about the environment with the information and skills necessary to share their experience and knowledge with others.
Master Watershed Stewards receive 40 hours of training on topics including water quality, stream health, native plants, recreational resources, and groundwater. After completing the training session, students fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service.
For more information about the Master Watershed Steward Program—including the schedule and related fees—or to request an application for the 2016 training program, contact Erin Frederick by telephone at 610-391-9840 or by email at email@example.com. Applications are due by January 8.
Lehigh Valley Greenways mini-grants available
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) has announced a call for applications for the 2016 Lehigh Valley Greenways Mini-Grant Program open December 4, 2015 to February 4, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. The Lehigh Valley Greenways mini-grants are intended to inspire collaborative approaches to implement ready-to-go projects that protect and promote the natural resources of the Lehigh Valley and advance the goals of Lehigh Valley Greenways.
For the current application cycle, $77,000 will be awarded in April 2016 for single-year projects to start and end between May 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017. Grant requests should be a minimum of $1,000 and maximum of $10,000 with total project costs at least double the grant request.
The grant awards are part of Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape program, administered by D&L and funded by a grant from DCNR, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Environmental Stewardship Fund. For more information, contact Claire Wildermuth Sadler at 610-923-3548 ext 226.
Fort Indiantown Gap earns environmental award
The Fort Indiantown Gap Training Center has received a first place award in the environmental restoration team category, and second place in the natural resources conservation team category in the 2015 Army National Guard Environmental Security Awards. Pennsylvania outperformed 53 other states and territories to win the restoration award.
The military training center won the award for their efforts in capping and remediating an old landfill at the center, and for remediating old munitions. For the conservation award, the team was recognized for their continued habitat support and research of the regal fritillary butterfly.
Straddling the Dauphin-Lebanon county line, the Fort Indiantown Gap Training Center has 3,000 acres of grassland and scrubland habitat, 2,000 acres of improved and semi-improved grounds, 112 miles of streams, 294 acres of jurisdictional wetlands, and 12,000 acres of forest. For more information on the instillation, visit here.
DCNR’s role in assisting with Hanover ‘eagle cam’ praised by Pa. Game Commission
A live stream camera, set up by the Pa. Game Commission with a hand from staff at Codorus State Park, was lauded by the PGC in a letter to the park. The Game Commission called the live stream—which featured the hatching of two bald eagles and their care inside a nest in early 2015—an “outstanding success,” and expressed its appreciation that the live stream helped connect people with wildlife.
“By assisting in the installation and maintenance of the camera and by your supporting efforts on the ground, the Game Commission and its partners were able to reach nearly 1.5 million unique viewers located in every country. Through your generosity, we were able to educate viewers from elementary classrooms to nursing homes about bald eagles in Pennsylvania.”
The camera was switched off in July, but eyewitness reports note that the eagle family is regularly spotted flying around the area and still using the nest. For an additional look at bald eagle live streams in 2015, check out this video.
Little Buffalo State Park
This park's name comes from an area where the buffalo roamed. Read more...
Brunch with the Birds at Prince Gallitzin State Park
Dec. 17 and 31. Held 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Come to the park office to learn about winter bird feeding and watching while you sample a mid-morning snack. Then join the park naturalist outside to enjoy watching the birds who visit our feeders! Some binoculars will be available, but feel free to bring your own. Meet in the lower level of the park office, which can be accessed at the rear of the building. For more information, contact the park at (814) 674-1000.