Thursday, November 16, 2017

Officials Dedicate American Chestnut Tree Plantings At Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area In Northumberland County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday joined officials of the Northumberland County Conservation District and Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area in a dedication of American chestnut tree plantings in the AOAA’s conservation area.
A tour and dedication of the newly named Carbaugh Conservation Area, as a tribute to the work of Dr. Blair T. Carbaugh a longtime member of the Northumberland District Board and a volunteer with the PA Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation, provided Dunn and others an update on accomplishments of project.
Two acres of chestnut trees have been planted in three locations in the conservation area in a move that has inspired many other related AOAA projects.
“DCNR encourages grant applicants to incorporate green and sustainable elements into their park, trail, and waterway projects and this AOAA project truly shows what works best for all,” Dunn told dedication attendees on the AOAA grounds. “The AOAA has a large variety of local, state, and national partners and other groups who have participated in this conservation and recreation effort. I congratulate all those who are gathered here today.”
Noting DCNR’s “investment in a great deal of time and resources in the planning, development and staffing of this AOAA park,” Dunn said. “DCNR also has a long history of conservation, and this event highlights a wonderful success story of a conservation effort on project land.”
The event, honoring Dr. Carbaugh in a surprise dedication, was sponsored by the Northumberland County Conservation District and Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area and drew a strong turnout of state, county and local officials, as well as off-road riding enthusiasts.
“Today the Northumberland County Conservation District and the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area salute and recognize the conservation partnerships generated and implemented on 6,500 acres of county-owned abandoned coal lands,” said David Crowl, an AOAA Authority member and the Northumberland County Conservation District’s public director. “This synergy was kick-started by current DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn back in 2011 by one question: ‘Have you ever heard of The American Chestnut Foundation?’
“Today's commemoration recognizes the dedication of the Carbaugh Conservation Area.  Since 2011, conservation projects have been ongoing to include both public-private partnerships and volunteers to improve or eliminate illegal landfills; plant American Chestnut trees; combat AMD, and provide educational opportunities for both motorized and nonmotorized communities.”
There are 100 acres in the AOAA’s conservation area, and the chestnut tree plantings were undertaken through The American Chestnut Foundation with funding support that included the Department of Environmental Protection; Northumberland County Conservation District; and approximately $40,000 in private donations to pay for seed through the foundation.  
There are approximately 500 trees planted at the site.
In 2014, the Department of Environmental Protection reclaimed the 86 acres of abandoned mine land as well as fenced and planted many of the trees on this site.
A longtime college educator active in conservation programs, Dr. Carbaugh organized teacher workshops at PPL Montour Preserve, enabling special needs children to experience nature.
Recent efforts have included planting of American chestnuts on reclaimed mine lands using seed and seedlings from the Pennsylvania Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation.
He also breeds blight-resistant American chestnut trees on his home property just outside Danville in Northumberland County.
Located at 4100 State Route 125, Coal Township, the AOAA offers an extensive off-road trail system in eastern Pennsylvania.
Named one of the top 10 destinations in the country for ATVs, full-size vehicles and dirt bikes, the area offers hundreds of miles of diverse trails on 6,500 acres. For details, visit the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area website.
For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
(Photo: Dr. Carbaugh cuts the ribbon.)
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