The Department of Environmental Protection Monday invited teachers, non-formal educators, homeschoolers and youth group and scout leaders to attend a free Peregrine Falcon Educator’s Workshop, WILD in the City, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. April 5 in the second floor auditorium of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg.
The workshop is sponsored by DEP and the Game Commission in cooperation with ZOOAMERICA North American Wildlife Park and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Since 1997, peregrine falcons have made a nest on a ledge off the 15th Floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building their home.
Three high definition cameras chronicle the famous Harrisburg falcons through the live Falcon Cam for viewers around the world.
In Pennsylvania, peregrine falcons, a Pennsylvania endangered species, were absent from the state in the early 1960s as a result of use of the pesticide DDT.
While peregrine falcons were extremely rare for many years, through reintroduction programs, they have adapted to life in cities like Harrisburg, Reading, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Williamsport.
The Rachel Carson nest site has been very productive with 58 young peregrine falcons produced since 2000.
“What better way to engage young people and create future environmental stewards than through this living laboratory,” DEP Secretary John Quigley said. “We encourage educators to take advantage of this unique learning opportunity that their students will really connect with.”
Workshop participants will explore the successes of peregrine falcon reintroduction in Pennsylvania, examine falcon specifics and endangered species concepts, and observe falcons in Harrisburg. Participating teachers are eligible for 5.5 Act 48 credit hours.
The workshop will feature a number of peregrine falcon experts, including Dr. Art McMorris, PGC’s Peregrine Falcon Coordinator and ZOOAMERICA Naturalist Patrick Miller.
To register for the Peregrine Falcon workshop, educators should contact DEP’s Environmental Education and Information Center at 717-772-1644 or send email to: Ann Devine at: firstname.lastname@example.org by March 29. Space is limited, so registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-service basis.To watch the Rachel Carson Building falcons live, visit DEP’s Falcon Cam webpage, sign up for Falcon Wire email alerts (bottom of the page) or follow them on Twitter.