Springing from the Ground

Spring woodland wildflowers seem to spring up overnight coaxed by a little rain, sunshine and warming temperatures. Shenk’s Ferry Wildflower Preserve at Holtwood is alive with spring wildflowers. Virginia bluebells give the forest a bluish haze. Spots of yellow, white and purple show where yellow, white, Canada and common violets are blooming. The odd-looking blossoms of Dutchman’s breeches and squirrel corn add an interesting touch to the mix. You might even catch wake-robin or purple trillium still blooming.

DutchmansBreeches

Dutchman’s Breeches

If you visit the wildflower preserve, don’t forget to look up. Right now woodland warblers are moving in and through the area. Listen for their high-pitches and buzzy songs along with those of returning resident birds.

For more information on Shenk’s Ferry Wildflower Preserve follow this link: http://www.pplpreserves.com/preserves/holtwood/pints-of-interest/#shenks

Calling all bird lovers

Osprey and chick at the PPL Lake Wallenpaupack Preserve.

Osprey and chick at the PPL Lake Wallenpaupack Preserve.

Did you know that PPL’s environmental preserves have been directly involved in efforts to raise awareness of birds and their habitat, and to restore peregrine falcons, bald eagles, ospreys and other bird species to Pennsylvania? Through a “Bird Town” alliance with the Audubon Society, PPL works to raise awareness of birds and their habitats through education, awareness and training activities.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Here is a chance for all bird lovers to become engaged.  The National Audubon Society is seeking participants for The Great Backyard Bird Count,   an annual four-day event from Feb. 15-18 that engages bird watchers in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

Anyone interested in volunteering to take part in this event can grab their binoculars and sign up here: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/howto.html.  Volunteers provide important information on the status and trends of our bird populations.

To learn more about PPL’s commitment to birds of prey throughout Pennsylvania, we invite you to read and follow our blog.

Partial Closure of Pequea Boat Launch

lake-walle_fishing-silhouette1The Pequea boat launch will be closed Monday through Friday starting the week of Jan. 14 for an expansion and enhancement project. The boat launch will be open to boaters on Saturdays and Sundays only.

This phase of the expansion and enhancement project will run from Jan. 14 through May 15. Improvements will include expanding the facility with an additional boat launch, which will extend 100 feet out into the Susquehanna River; creation of an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant fishing platform located directly on the river; installation of a parking area for 16 trailers and five cars, including two ADA-compliant spaces; and installation of a parking area adjacent to the existing facility, which will add 12 additional trailer parking spaces.

Parking improvements will bring the total trailer parking spaces to 64 and regular parking spaces to 26.

Previous enhancements to the Pequea boat launch included new abutments for the courtesy dock; installation of an additional concrete boat ramp in the Pequea Creek; complete replacement and extension of the existing concrete boat ramp; addition of two new boat docks; and complete dredging of the Pequea Creek.

“The improvements and enhancements at Pequea are part of PPL’s commitment to provide and improve public recreation at this popular area for boating on the Susquehanna River,” said John M. Levitski, PPL’s regional community relations director for the Lancaster area.

For further information: John M. Levitski, 717-560-2533

Hunting Restrictions at Holtwood

PPL to Continue Hunting Restrictions at Holtwood Preserve

Hunting restrictions around the Holtwood hydroelectric plant will continue, due to ongoing construction work.

The restriction will be in place for the duration of the 2012-13 hunting season.

“For public safety reasons, we have decided to restrict hunting around our Holtwood facility,” said John M. Levitski, PPL’s regional community relations director for the Lancaster area. “We apologize for any inconvenience to our neighbors and visitors. We would also like to thank the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the hunters in our community for their support and understanding.”

Cold Weather Life Jacket Regulation Change

Starting November 1, 2012, boaters will be required to wear a life jacket on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak during the cold weather months from November 1 to April 30. Boat Smart…wear your life jacket year-round! For more information on this regulation or life jackets, visit www.wearitpennsylvania.com.

Here are some cold water survival safety tips:

  • Always wear a life jacket, even when not required. Many models also offer insulation from cold air.
  • Never boat alone.
  • Leave a float plan and know the waters you plan to boat.
  • Bring a fully-charged cell phone with you in case of emergency.
  • Wear clothing that still insulates when wet such as fleece, polypropylene or other synthetics.
  • If you are about to fall into cold water, cover your mouth and nose with your hands.  This will reduce the likelihood of inhaling water.
  • If possible, stay with the boat. Get back into or climb on top of the boat.
  • While in the water, do not remove your clothing in cold water.
  • Once out of the water, get out of the wet clothes and warmed up as soon as possible.

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