We’re Expanding Classrooms and Young Minds

We’re  helping redefine the classroom experience for hundreds of local students, who are taking to the outdoors and participating in fossil digs, creating sun root roofs, investigating wetlands and creating a living wall to grow plants.

EE grants_WB2012

Careers in science and math will play an integral role in helping our company and country remain successful in the future and we want to create opportunites to develop hands-on projects that will allow students to explore these subjects as part of their school curriculum.

A team of PPL employees, environmental professionals and educators chose the winning projects from 22 submitted applications. Grant recipients include:

Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem, Pa.: $2,000 will help fund the construction of a living wall, designed and built by students, in the main lobby of Freedom High School. The wall will have a vertical lush garden with carefully selected plants that will improve indoor air quality. The project will give students a lesson in engineering, design and construction as well as environmental science, and will be displayed at the Freedom High School art show.

Blue Mountain School District, Orwigsburg, Pa.: $1,400 will be provided to help 150 fourth-grade students at Blue Mountain Elementary East participate in a classroom outreach project provided by the Da Vinci Science Center of Allentown, Pa. The center’s Classroom Outreach Education programs bring the visiting science experience into smaller school settings. Students will discover the electrifying principles of electrical engineering by creating series and parallel circuits, measuring their voltages, and drawing circuit diagrams.

East Stroudsburg Area School District, Bushkill, Pa.: $2,000 will help fund a coal-age fossil dig for a nature trail and outdoor classroom on the district’s North Campus located in Bushkill, Pa. These additions will help students better understand energy and how it impacts their daily lives, both environmentally and economically. The related display will provide students with a hands-on investigation of the fossils that created coal, the methods used to excavate fossils, geologic time and the processes that gave Pennsylvania its large volume of coal beds. 

Hazleton Area School District, Hazleton, Pa.: $2,000 will be given to provide alternative energy lessons in the classroom. The project will incorporate equipment into the existing pre-engineering curriculum to allow students to explore alternative energy sources and their application to our society’s current power needs. A PV solar system, as well as a student-designed tracking system, will be installed at the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences as part of a class project. The completed system will provide power to a prominent display to showcase alternative energy to students and visitors, and will be incorporated into classroom activities.

Manheim Central School District, Manheim, Pa.: $2,000 will be given to help design and build a living roof on the livestock stable and horticulture work area used by Manheim Central High School. Additionally, a solar panel will be installed to create an alternative energy source for the stable. The agricultural mechanics class will build the roof structure, the environmental stewardship class will install the solar panel and the agricultural science class will plant the roof. More than 300 students will study science, math and alternative energy as part of this project.

Northeastern School District, York Haven, Pa.: $460 will be used to help 75 third-grade students at York Haven Elementary School study the water cycle and wetland environments at PPL’s Brunner Island Environmental Preserve, and learn how to take care of the environment.  After researching various water habitats, the students will create written and oral reports about a given water habitat and share them with the entire third grade.

Scranton School District, Scranton, Pa.: $2,000 will be used to divert rainwater from the roof of Scranton High School into rain barrels, where it will be stored to water the garden and landscaping. A rain garden, consisting of plants native to Pennsylvania, will be placed strategically near a storm drain to reduce flow to the Lackawanna River. Sixty students will plan, plant and maintain the garden and rain barrels. A presentation will be given at the annual Community Connections to the Watershed Forum in May.

 For more information, visit www.pplweb.com and select Environment and Community, then Our Education Programs or contact me, Alana Roberts, at 570-542-2886 &  aroberts@pplweb.com


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.”

Connecting Students to the Environment

Recently, Joe Scopelliti- Community Relations Manger for PPL Susquehanna and I ventured across the river to PPL’s Council Cup Overlook to meet a group of high school students participating in the Community Connections to the Watershed Program.  About forty students, representing high schools from across Luzerne County, had just left PA American Water’s Ceasetown Dam and were meeting us at Council Cup to learn how PPL Susquehanna uses water in electrical energy generation. Their goal for the day was to learn about the various uses for water including how our drinking water is made safe for human consumption and how water is needed to produce some forms of energy.

Facilitated by Diane Madl, Environmental Education Supervisor from Nescopeck State Park and Angela Lambert, Environmental Education Specialist from Lackawanna State Park, the students asked many questions about our operations at PPL Susquehanna as well as recreational opportunities at the Susquehanna Riverlands Environmental Preserve.

After our Q and A session, we relaxed for a bit, enjoying a beautiful view from the overlook and searching for migrating raptors that frequently utilize this flyway in the fall.

~Alana Roberts, PPL Community Affairs Specialist

Joe Scopelliti discusses river water intake with the students

The view from PPL’s Council Cup Overlook is beautiful, even on a foggy day.

Hurricane Sandy Prep

Customers urged to stay safe, report outages during potentially serious storm

(Oct. 25, 2012) – PPL Electric Utilities is preparing for potentially significant damage and power outages from Hurricane Sandy, poised to affect the region starting Sunday.

“According to current forecasts, this could be the most severe storm to date this year,” said David Bonenberger, vice president of Distribution Operations. “We’re continuously monitoring weather reports, and we’ll have the necessary crews and resources in place to respond to whatever comes our way.”

Crews from PPL Electric Utilities’ sister utilities in Kentucky will be in the area as early as Sunday night. In addition, contractors who normally assist PPL Electric Utilities with storm restoration have been notified to remain local so they can be called on if necessary.

The utility placed its emergency response organization on high alert and canceled time off for its operations personnel next week. Between today and Monday, utility personnel will be reviewing available staffing, preparing for additional supplies, and arranging for housing and feeding of personnel visiting from outside the area.

 Since the busy storm season of 2011, PPL Electric Utilities made numerous storm response improvements, including increasing phone lines for customer service and expanding emergency call capacity to better handle high volumes of customer calls during major storms. The company also has initiated an alert system and enhanced outage information for customers.

Customers experiencing outages are asked to report them at 1-800-342-5775 (1-800-DIAL PPL) or through the online Outage Center at www.pplelectric.com/outagecenter. When prompted, customers reporting by phone should press 1 for “Power Problem.” The Outage Center also is available on smart phones or other mobile devices.

Nor’easter storms can leave significant damage with downed trees, power lines and possibly localized flooding. “Reporting outages is important because the more information we get, the better we can assess damage and prioritize repairs,” Bonenberger said.

Customers also can sign up for PPL Alerts at the Outage Center site and receive updates on outages affecting them. Participants can choose to get the alerts by phone, text or email, or all three.

Staying safe is paramount in severe weather. PPL Electric Utilities advises the public to:

  • Stay clear of downed power lines.
  • Do not use gas ovens or ranges to heat your home.
  • Avoid candles and use flashlights instead. Candles can cause a fire if tipped by animals or people, or if they come in contact with a combustible item.
  • Never run a generator in your home, basement, or other indoor space where exhaust fumes may accumulate.

Other steps to take in an outage also are available at the utility’s online Outage Center at https://www.pplelectric.com/my-account/outage-center.aspx.

Fall Buoy Removal

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