Pike-Wayne Earth Day Festival: Free family-friendly fun!

Earth Day_Ben Every year around Earth Day, Pike and Wayne County based conservation organizations get together with the same goal in mind: Celebrate Earth Day with the community. For several months prior to the event, the planning committee meets to determine what new activities will be offered to the public. All of the planning ends with one big celebration. This year’s event is almost here!

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On Saturday, April 20, the PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and packed full of hands-on activities, craft projects, games and much more. We’re highlighting the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act that has saved many species like red wolves and bald eagles with a species celebration. Visitors are encouraged to come wearing a mask or

costume that represents their favorite native or endangered flora and fauna. We’ll have a “Costume Cave” set-up that day for crafting simple representations of a variety of species. Whether you come prepared or transform while you’re here, visit the “Costume Cave” to find facts about your species or add to your costume.  Think eco-friendly by using recycled or natural materials… and have fun!

Do some spring cleaning before you come and bring your old t-shirts and tennis shoes! Cub Scout Pack #229 will help your memories live on by transforming your  favorite shirts into reusable bags. Tennis shoes can be recycled with Girl Scout Troop #50151. They’ll show you the process of how Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program works and collect your old tennis shoes to be recycled.

Other activities include:

  • Bird walks
  • Puppet shows
  • Face painting
  • Food and maple products for sale
  • Help build an eagle’s nest
  • Seedling giveaways and take-home wildflower plantings
  • Stream and lake water study using microscopes
  • Energy bicycle

For more information and directions, visit www.pikewayneearthday.wordpress.com or call (570) 253-7001.

Better yet, come out on Saturday, April 20 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to see what all the buzz is about!

Bluebirds in a Winter Wonderland

DSCN1363We woke up to a winter wonderland yesterday and the first thing I did when I got to the Environmental Learning Center was grab the camera and head outside. We only got a dusting of snow overnight but it looked beautiful covering all of the trees around the lake. As I hiked around the preserve I noticed the birds were out and singing in full force. The snow had covered up food on the ground and they were looking for their seeds elsewhere, for the most part at our Project Feeder Watch set up just outside the learning center.

BluebirdAs I made my way down to the lake to photograph the snow covered shore, I noticed what I had been waiting for all winter, bluebirds amongst a snow covered staghorn sumac. They had found their breakfast, and there was plenty of it. During one of the first snows of the season sometime in November I spent a good amount of time standing in the frigid cold just trying to get at least one shot of a bluebird picking at red berries in a bush in front of the learning center. With my hands frozen, I unfortunately came away with photographs of just the pretty red berries covered in snow, and no birds. It has been a goal of mine since that day to get a shot of those bluebirds in the snow.

DSCN1370So as I tried to conceal my excitement to keep still and quiet while bringing up the camera for a shot at these bluebirds, I began to notice just how many there were. I took a few good shots, but of course I had to get closer. Here’s where the snow became my enemy because the crunch of it under my feet started to scare them away.

RSCN1398At that point I went from photographer back to naturalist and started to count. There had actually been at least 25 bluebirds in this stand of staghorn sumac. I know we have a good population of bluebirds here because I usually see 3 or 4 everyday, even in the winter. Now I know their favorite spot and I will certainly be checking back for more! They have plenty of places to stay due to our conservation efforts in providing a large number of bluebird boxes at the preserve, most of which were built by a student at Lackawanna College and then decorated by children at our annual Pike-Wayne Earth Day festival.

RSCN1399We are gearing up for the Paupack Plunge on Saturday and the winter wonderland had us wondering what we were thinking when we signed up to be freezin’ for a reason! You should join us in the fun and help support a great cause!

 

-Sarah Hall, PPL Lake Wallenpaupack

Volunteers Celebrate Earth Day at PPL Martins Creek

63 volunteers including boy scouts, girl scouts, township supervisors, members of the Martins Jacoby Watershed Association and community members joined together in late April to create wildlife habitat and build new trails at the Lower Mount Bethel Welcome Center adjacent to PPL Martins Creek Preserve and Power Plants. John Mauser, township supervisor,  planned this event and PPL provided lunch as well as assistance with organizing volunteers.

The new section of trail will create a link between the trails at the Welcome Center and PPL’s Tekening Trail system. The butterfly garden and Earth Loom  is already starting to bloom and provide additional habitat for butterflies and birds.

Next time you’re in the area, stop by the welcome center to see the wonderful new enhancements!