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April 16, 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.

Air pollution harming PA wildlife

STATE COLLEGE, PA — A new report from National Wildlife Federation (NWF) finds that a number of wildlife species important to hunters and anglers in Pennsylvania are harmed by toxic air pollution and climate change. The report comes at the same time the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing long-awaited proposed rules to limit mercury, sulfur dioxide and other toxic emissions from power plants.

Mercury is one of the most common and toxic power plant emissions in Pennsylvania and causes a variety of health disorders for fish, mammals, birds and other species.  Read more

Talk on perennials

MILFORD, PA — The Milford Garden Club will meet on Tuesday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, located on the corners of Broad and Ann streets. The guest speaker is Brian Oleksak, who has worked as an agricultural program associate for Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension since 1999. He holds a B.S. in agronomy and an M.S. in ornamental horticulture. The topic is “Perennials as a Problem Solver.” Guests and new members are always welcome. Call 570/686-1043.

4-H workshops for young gardners

LIBERTY, NY — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County will host a day of 4-H’s spring workshops on April 9 in honor of Earth Day. Horticulture is the theme for this year’s annual event.  Read more

Knotweed brochure and seminars

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Spread the Word… Not the Weed! Battle the Invasion of Japanese Knotweed on our Native Plants, Riverbanks and Views” is the message of a new brochure produced through a partnership grant project coordinated by the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB).

The brochure provides information on the plant’s characteristics, shows photos to identify it throughout its seasonal stages, describes its ability to quickly overwhelm native vegetation and offers helpful tips on management practices.  Read more

Children's fishing derby

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Commissioners will hold their 15th annual fishing derby for children under 16 years of age on Saturday, April 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, at Lily Pond in Pike County Park (off Rt. 6 on Schocopee Road). There is no fee for the event, and registration will be held the day of the event. Prizes will be awarded by age group.  Read more

Plant trees for Earth Day

GREENTOWN, PA — Promised Land State Park will hold its annual Earth Day Park Cleanup on Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. There will be a planting of trees donated through the Odwalla Plant a Tree Campaign®. Limited supplies are available, but plan on wearing sturdy shoes, bring water and an extra shovel if you have one. Basic work gloves will be provided (through PennDot’s Keep PA Beautiful Campaign).
Registration is requested for small groups, and required for groups of 10 or more. Email PromisedLandEnvEdSP@state.pa.us or call 570/676.0567.

Hobgood, Ruffalo deliver first cast

ROSCOE, NY — Laurence Hobgood and Mark Ruffalo will join to deliver the first cast at Junction Pool on Saturday, April 2. Hobgood is a celebrated musician whom Dave Brubeck has described as “one of the most incredible pianists I have ever heard.” Oscar-nominated actor Ruffalo had earlier thought he would have to cancel his first-cast appearance, but is now back on the agenda.  Read more

Financial benefits of land conservation

WHITE LAKE, NY — Melinda Ketcham, land protection coordinator for the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, will present the “The Financial Benefits of Land Conservation” on Thursday, March 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Dr. Duggan Community Center located at 3460 Route 55.  Read more

Bethel farming community featured on town website

BETHEL, NY — The newly formed Town of Bethel Agricultural Implementation Committee is seeking participants for inclusion on a new web page dedicated to promoting Bethel’s farming community on the town website. Whether you are retail, wholesale or a manufacturer, this will be a place for potential customers as well as other local farmers to be made aware of what you have to offer. Email yjennife@localnet.com or call 845/583-4531.

Earth Hour 2011

PLANET EARTH — Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday, March 26 starting at 8:30 p.m. Earth Hour is a worldwide event that will take place in 128 countries and hundreds of cities. To participate, just turn off your electric lights for one hour. The idea is to bring attention and awareness to our dependence on electricity.
This is the third Earth Hour, and it is organized by the World Wildlife Fund. Visit earthhour.org.

Mushroom society welcomes new members

HONESDALE, PA — There will be a meeting of the Delaware Highlands Mushroom Society (DHMS) on Monday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Honesdale Wellness Center at 602 Church Street. The society was started last year as an organization bringing together fungi enthusiasts and those interested in learning about mushrooms. It hosted several walks last year in search of mushrooms, tapping into local knowledge and informing those beginning to learn.  Read more

Conservation district to show ‘DIRT! the Movie’

BLOOMING GROVE, PA — The Pike County Conservation District will present “Dirt! the Movie” at the district office in Blooming Grove at 7 p.m. on March 23. The film takes a humorous and substantial look into the history and current state of the living organic matter that we come from and will later return to.  Read more

Backyard birding

The rewards of backyard bird feeding are many. While I frequently see chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, juncos, goldfinches and nuthatches just outside my kitchen door, a new visitor showed up sporadically this winter to take advantage of the black oil sunflower seeds offered there.
The female red-bellied woodpecker depicted here found the swampy hemlock grove next to my home to her liking. While more common to the south, this medium-sized round-headed bird has been increasing its breeding range northward over the past several decades.  Read more

Conservancy holds volunteer brunch

HAWLEY, PA — The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is inviting all past, present or interested volunteers to a brunch. The brunch and open house will be held from 10 a.m. To 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 26 at the Delaware Highlands Conservancy Office on River Street.  Read more

College internships available at Grey Towers

MILFORD, PA — Applications currently are being accepted for a number of different internships at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford. Students can earn from $75 per week subsistence allowance to $2,500 for the 12-week season, depending on which internship they qualify for. Internships vary in start and end dates and range from May through November.  Read more

Live birds of prey

LAKE WALLENPAUPACK, PA — Bill Streeter, director of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center will present a program on live birds of prey at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 12 at PPL’s Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center.  Read more

Audubon announces $4,000 scholarship

The Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society announces a $4000 college scholarship to students who wish to pursue a career in an environmental field such as forestry, natural resources, environmental planning, environmental engineering, fish, game, or wildlife management, ecology and/or environmental science. Applicants must be from Pike, Wayne, Lackawanna or Susquehanna County and must enroll full-time in an accredited two- or four-year college or university program. The winning applicant will receive $1,000 per year for up to four years.  Read more

Comments sought on eagle management

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Game Commission is seeking public input on a draft bald eagle management plan, which can be reviewed at www.portal.state.pa.us (click on “Game Commissoin” and “Draft Eagle management Plan.”) Public comments on the agency's eagle management plan will be accepted until March 3 via the website, or by mail to Eagle Management Plan, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.  Read more