PPL improving local education in Pennsylvania

Northampton Envirothon 2012.


PPL Corporation is honored to have donated $2.1 million to support education in the state of Pennsylvania last year.

“PPL continues to be tremendously committed to our communities,” said Don Bernhard, director, Community Affairs.  “We feel that one of the most effective things we can do as a leader in the community is to help properly educate and support our youth, especially during the crucial early years of their lives.”

Last year, PPL gave more than $1.3 million to dozens of education organizations under the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Education Improvement Tax Credit program. The program gives companies an opportunity to support quality agencies working to educate children.

PPL also funded 72 educational institutions, including colleges and universities, through grants that exceeded $880,000.

Through the EITC program, the state encourages businesses to contribute toward pre-kindergarten programs, scholarships and educational improvement organizations to expand educational opportunities for students. Since the program began in 2001, PPL has contributed more than $10 million toward education in the state. The recipients must be qualified by the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Among the recipients were: Community Services for Children (Allentown), United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, The Hillside School, Danville School, Pocono Services for Families and Children, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, United Way of Lancaster County, and United Way of Wyoming Valley.

PPL also supports education programs in other states where it does business.

PPL makes generous donation to child care center


From left to right, Diana Dixon, Danville Child Development Center executive
director, and preschooler Safiyya Akmal
handle “money” from the “cash register” with Teri MacBride, PPL regional
community relations director.

PPL Corporation recently demonstrated its commitment to corporate citizenship with a $30,000 donation to the Danville Child Development Center in Montour County near Danville, Pa.

PPL’s donation, made through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, will go toward the center’s prekindergarten scholarship fund.

“These scholarships help provide high quality child care to those who normally can’t afford it, and in an area that does not have many high quality, affordable child care programs available,” said Teri MacBride, regional community relations director.

The center has been an Educational Improvement Tax Credit pre-K scholarship organization since 2010. The center is accredited by the National Association of Young Children and is a Keystone Stars program participant. It serves between 400 and 500 children each year.

“We’ve had a close relationship with the Danville Child Development Center for four years now,” MacBride said. “The center provides excellent child care to the local community, and is exactly the kind of organization that PPL wants to support.”

12.12.12 Geocaching Events at PPL Preserves

12.12.12 Souvenir

12.12.12 Souvenir

Did you earn your unique 12.12.12 Geocaching.com souvenir last week? Many people did by logging an “attended” at two of our geocaching events at PPL Preserves! It was the last time the calendar will align in our lifetime, so it was a great day to get out and celebrate the date! Enthusiastic geocachers of all ages came out for the event at the Susquehanna Energy Information Center. Most of the cachers were experienced and had found anywhere between 400-1000 caches. A few of the newbies were able to pair up with some of the experienced to learn about geocaching, which is what these events are all about! Most of the participants had attended one or more other events that day and a group from New York logged over 400 miles to attend 5 events. A Montour plant retiree and his wife along with the parents of a PPLer that I work with frequently, one of which is a retired PPL troubleman, enjoyed telling stories of their geocaching adventures.

Several of the participants then made their way from the SEIC to Lake Wallenpaupack to log their next event. While you only need to

Geocaching.com's 0;)Angel team at PPL Lake Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center

Geocaching.com’s 0;)Angel team at PPL Lake Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center

log one event to get the unique souvenir, many cachers take advantage of these special geocaching event days to log as many as they can. The group from NY made a quick stop here at the lake before heading back north and an environmental club from Wallenpaupack High School stopped by to learn more about geocaching and completed the PPL Preserves Hidden Hydro cache while they were at the Environmental Learning Center. It was a great turnout at both preserves and all of the geocachers really seemed to enjoy themselves. We certainly enjoyed talking with them and learning more about all of their geocaching experiences! Thanks to geocaching.com for supporting these events and providing a special souvenir for participants!

-Alana Roberts, PPL SEIC and Sarah Hall, PPL Lake Wallenpaupack

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.

Project FeederWatch

FeederWatch count site outside the library of the PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center.

We know it becomes a little more difficult to get outside and enjoy nature when the temperature starts to drop around this time of year. So this winter you can enjoy nature in the warmth of the PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center! Right outside our library windows we have set up a Project FeederWatch count site where we will periodically count the birds we see from November through early April. We will then send our counts to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for Project FeederWatch.

Black-capped Chickadee


The data collected helps scientists track broad scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance (Project FeederWatch). Citizen science is a great way for people to learn about nature, conservation, science, and in this case birds, by participating in real scientific studies. Anyone who has an interest in birds can participate, as this study is conducted by people of all skill levels and backgrounds, from children in a classroom to individuals and retirees at home. PPL senior naturalist Jon Beam has been a FeederWatch counter at Montour Preserve for about 12 years. You can learn more about setting up your own FeederWatch count site here.


White-breasted Nuthatch on a nearby tree waiting for me to finish filling the feeders!

It was rather easy to attract a nice variety of birds to our new feeders right from the start. The feeders are in a great wooded location, but I’m sure if you give them seed, they will come! I didn’t even get a chance to finish filling them all up before I had a black-capped chickadee at one feeder and a white-breasted nuthatch surveying the area from a nearby tree. It didn’t take long for it to call in its friends either, because within ten minutes there were three nuthatches swooping in and out from the trees. In the first 3 days I have also recorded 6 dark-eyed juncos, 3 blue birds, 5 tufted titmice, a female cardinal, and a red-bellied woodpecker. I’m looking forward to a great count season!

For directions to the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center, click here.

-Sarah Hall, PPL Wallenpaupack

Tufted Titmouse.

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