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April 19, 2014
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After a few milder than normal winters, this winter has been an eye opener for many people; it has been cold with very few breaks and the wood pile that was slightly more than half used through last winter is now down to the last few logs of the last row. Spring officially arrived on March 20 this year, but as I write this column, it is 24 degrees and the wind is gusting up to 40 mph.

Ski Big Bear expands operations

LACKAWAXEN, PA — Recreation Management Corp. (d.b.a. Ski Big Bear) and Masthope Mountain Community are in the final stage of their multiyear $3 million expansion plan. The 2011/2012 ski season will see a continued expansion of the snowmaking plant with more low-energy snow guns. In the rental area, a new tuning machine has been purchased to help tune and repair skis and snowboards. There will be a live streaming video camera at www.ski-bigbear.com/webcam/, an e-commerce website at www.ski-bigbear.com/store/, and a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Visit www.ski-bigbear.com.

It’s eagle-viewing season

UPPER DELAWARE RIVER VALLEY — Bald eagles have begun their annual southward migration to the Upper Delaware region and the Eagle Institute is once again offering a variety of opportunities for safe, unobtrusive viewing, including guided habitat excursions and assistance with self-guided eagle watching at public viewing areas.  Read more

Garden design seminar

FERNDALE, NY — Learn how to incorporate the plants you love into the space you have at Sullivan Renaissance’s seminar entitled “Elements of Design” on Wednesday, January 4 at 7 p.m. at the CVI Center. Presented by gardening expert Mary Lewis, this seminar will help individuals and groups begin garden projects by exploring the elements of garden design. Topics will include site assessment, design and color theory, plant choice and arrangement, and Sullivan Renaissance garden design requirements.  Read more

Be a Master Gardener

LIBERTY, NY — A Master Gardener program will return to Ferndale-Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County. The 15-week training program will run every Tuesday from February 7 through May 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Snow dates are the Thursdays following the snow days. Up to 20 individuals will be accepted into the program after an application and interview program.
Begun in 1975 in New York State, the Master Gardener’s Program combines a set curriculum, learning experiences and tutoring.  Read more

‘Annie’s Project’ offered at extension

LIBERTY, NY — Cornell Cooperative Extensions (CCE) Lewis, Oneida, Schoharie-Otsego, and Sullivan counties are pleased to offer Annie’s Project for a second year in New York State. Annie’s Project, an agricultural risk management education program aimed at empowering women in agriculture to become savvy business leaders and partners in today’s farming industry, will be offered at CCE starting on January 12 and running for six consecutive Thursdays. Each session will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including a one-hour lunch period to network with colleagues.  Read more

Free snowshoe loaner program

GREENTOWN, PA — Are you getting cabin fever? Want to get a good workout in without using the treadmill? Come to the Promised Land State Park Office to borrow the park’s snowshoes. The office is located at 100 Lower Lake Road.

Throughout the winter a limited number of MSR-Denali snowshoes are available for use.  Read more

Gardens sought for summer tour

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — SullivanArc and Sullivan Renaissance are looking for homeowners to be part of the fourth annual Sullivan County Garden Tour on Saturday, June 23, 2012. Private gardens will be exhibited next summer to a limited number of individuals as a benefit for the SullivanArc Horticulture Program.

Next year’s tour will feature approximately eight flower gardens in Sullivan County. The event provides a fun, inspirational and educational experience for garden admirers and enthusiasts, while benefiting a good cause. Volunteers can assist at each garden if needed.  Read more

Audubon Christmas Bird Count

REGION — The Northeast PA Audubon Society is looking for volunteers to join in the Christmas Bird Count, which counts birds within a 7.5-mile radius of White Mills (about 25 min. from Promised Land State Park). Part of an international effort, the event will take place on Saturday, December 17, from dawn till count is finished.  Read more

Become a Master Gardener

FERNDALE – Volunteer to become a Master Gardener through Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Sullivan County. An intensive 15-week training program for Sullivan County residents will begin in February 2012 at the Gerald J. Skoda Extension Center in Liberty. Up to 20 individuals will be accepted into the program after an application process.  Read more

Decorating with greens

HONESDALE, PA — “Deck the Halls” of your home with help from the Penn State Master Gardeners of Wayne County. A workshop will be held at the Wayne County Park Street Complex on Monday, December 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. Bring your favorite container to fill or make a swag for your door or table. A variety of fresh greens, bows, pine cones and decorations and tools will be provided. Samples and instruction by trained Master Gardeners will help give you decorating and design ideas. Admission costs $5 for one arrangement, $3 per additional arrangement. Call 570-253-5970, ext. 4110.

NYSDEC: hunters should be safety conscious

NEW YORK STATE — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued an advisory to hunters to use safety precautions this hunting season.
Studies show that people wearing hunter orange clothing are seven times less likely to be injured than hunters who do not wear the bright fluorescent color. Over the past 10 years, 15 New York state big game hunters have been mistaken for deer or bear and killed; none wore hunter orange.  Read more

‘Maintenance Madness’ for gardeners

FERNDALE, NY — Learn how to work smarter in the garden next year at Sullivan Renaissance’s seminar entitled “Maintenance Madness” on Wednesday, December 7 at 7 p.m. at the CVI Center in Ferndale. Presented by gardening expert Mary Lewis, the seminar will focus on how to manage one’s garden “maintenance madness” through a seven-step process to keep the garden beautiful and one’s sanity intact.  Read more

White nose bat disease caused by fungus

MADISON, WI — According to a study that has been published in the journal Nature, the fungus Geomyces destructans is responsible for the disease known as white-nose syndrome that is wiping out bats in North America. White-nose syndrome is a skin infection that often begins around the muzzle.  Read more

December events at PEEC

DINGMANS FERRY, PA — The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) will hold a series of courses and hikes in December. On Saturday, December 3, from 9 to 11 a.m., there will be an introduction to snow-shoeing, costing $10 per adult and $5 per child. On the same day, there will be a Winter Survival Hike led by Mike Dennis of Traditional Earth Skills, from 1 to 4 p.m., costing $10. Build a shelter, try your hand at fire making and learn other useful outdoor skills.  Read more

Ski and Swap sale

LACKAWAXEN, PA — Masthope Mountain Community Ski Committee, in conjunction with Guenther’s Ski Haus, will sponsor their annual ski swap on Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20 at the Lower Commons of Masthope Lodge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. There will be good buys on new and almost-new skis, boards, bindings, boots and clothing. Ten percent of the proceeds of all sales will be deducted and donated to the Lackawaxen Township Volunteer Ambulance.  Read more

EcoZone opens at PEEC

DINGMANS FERRY, PA — Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) will open a new bat cave on Sunday, November 20 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Visitors to the bat cave will crawl through the serpentine tunnel and enter a room decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, and rimstone, where they can learn about cave ecology and troglobites (cave dwelling animals). The bat cave is one part of PEEC’s new EcoZone, offering a variety of interactive, hands-on exhibits. Visit www.peec.org or call 570/828-2319.

Promised Land seeks taxidermy mounts

GREENTOWN, PA — The museum at Promised Land State Park is seeking donations of taxidermy mounts for its natural history section. Specifically sought are a rattlesnake skin, a bluebird, a fisher, birds of prey (hawks and owls) and a river otter. Among other animals sought are black bear, ring-necked pheasant, beaver, snowshoe hare, smallmouth bass and blue jay.  Read more

Garden club names Outstanding Volunteer

WESTFALL, PA — The Milford Garden Club has selected Alice-Jane Loewrigkeit (center left, holding plaque) as its Outstanding Volunteer Service Award recipient for 2011. The award was presented by Milford Garden Club President Sally Gifft (center right). Over the years, Loewrigkeit has served as recording secretary, vice president and president twice, and she has chaired numerous committees.  Read more

Workshop on high tunnels

RILEYVILLE, PA — The Penn State Master Gardeners of Wayne County will offer a workshop on fall gardening in high tunnels on Saturday, November 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the garden of Master Gardener Judy Trudgen.  Read more

Financial planning for forestland

HAWLEY, PA — A Financial Planning for Your Forestland workshop will be held on Tuesday, November 15 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Pike County Conservation District Office at 556 Route 402. A few simple steps of financial planning can go a long way toward making responsible forest management profitable and keeping forestland in the family for generations. Join Lloyd Casey of Casey’s Forestry Concepts at this evening workshop about timber tax minimization, forest finance and estate planning for private woodland owners.  Read more