Friday, April 30, 2021

PA Master Naturalists Celebrate Arbor Day In Spring Field Notes Newsletter; May 11 - Bringing Nature Home

Pennsylvania Master Naturalists celebrated Arbor Day in their most recent Field Notes newsletter by quoting J. Sterling Morton, an American journalist in the 19th century who is noted for founding Arbor Day-- "Other holidays repose on the past, Arbor Day proposes for the future." 

Pennsylvania Master Naturalist volunteers have planted countless trees since 2010 for restoring land, beautifying their communities, and providing wildlife habitat.

Here are a few success stories highlighted in their newsletter.

Armstrong County

Five Master Naturalist volunteers in Armstrong County celebrated Arbor Day and Earth Day last week by planting 50 trees in 1 hour and 10 minutes! ​Their efforts were part of a larger project at Crooked Creek Lake

Want to join them? PA Master Naturalist is partnering with Armstrong Center for Community Learning for a Fall 2021 Training Course. Apply today! 

Potter County

Brent Bacon, Middle Susquehanna Master Naturalist volunteer, is working with Headwaters Resource Conservation & Development Council and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to restore riparian areas on his farm in Potter County

Check out an intro video for the project featuring Brent and other landowners who are doing their part to be more watershed friendly. 

Centre/Huntingdon Counties

Master Naturalist volunteers from Centre and Huntingdon Counties  cleaned up Jo Hays Vista as part of PA Master Naturalist partner  ClearWater Conservancy's Watershed Clean Up Day. 

They made this beautiful view even more beautiful!

These volunteers also recently built bluebird boxes and donated them to Greenwood Furnace State Park. The park will use them to replace older boxes and to make new nesting sites for the bluebirds. 

Berks County

Congratulations to Debbie Naha-Koretzky who recently published her book Foraging Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Debbie is a nutritionist who trained as a Master Naturalist volunteer in Berks County in 2015. 

Known as the Wild Edibles Lady, Debbie maintains a website Wild Edibles - Foraging ( where she offers safety information for consuming wild plants, learning foraging best practices from an expert, seasonal foraging information, and even a recipe for making dandelion fritters featured on NPR. Kudos, 

May 11 - Bringing Nature Home

On May 11, PA Master Naturalist and the Uwchlan Township Environmental Advisory Council are co-sponsoring a replay of author Doug Tallamy's recent presentation to Texas Master Naturalist volunteers. 

Registration is not required and a Zoom link will be posted to the UTEAC website closer to the date. The program starts at 7:00 p.m.

Click Here to read the entire PA Master Naturalist newsletter.

Fall Training Spots Open!

A Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is an individual with a passion for the natural world who participates in an intensive training program and uses his or her knowledge by giving back to the community through volunteer service.

Fall 2021 course applications are open for Armstrong, Centre, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Westmoreland counties. 

The final deadline is June 1st. Space is limited. Apply today! 

Click Here to apply.

To learn more, visit the PA Master Naturalist website. Follow them on Facebook.   Click Here to sign up for their email list.

[Posted: April 30, 2021] PA Environment Digest

PA Association For Sustainable Agriculture Invites Proposals For 2022 Conference

PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture is inviting presentation proposals for its 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Conference to be held in a virtual format in late January - early February and in-person on February 10-12 in Lancaster.

The conference-- entering its 31st year-- draws a diverse audience of rural and urban farmers, industry professionals, entrepreneurs, educators, advocates, homesteaders, and others for intensive learning on sustainable agriculture and food system topics.

PASA welcomes you to submit one or several proposals for next year's event.

The overarching goals for the conference are to--

-- Provide training and education that promote the environmental, economic, and social wellbeing of farms, food systems, communities, and the environment

-- Serve as an outlet for sharing cutting-edge research and science-based solutions, while preserving and passing on traditional farming knowledge and heritage

-- Be a venue where people, businesses, and organizations from across the sustainable agriculture movement make meaningful connections

-- Embrace an inclusive definition of sustainability, which accepts a diversity of methods and philosophies of production.

Click Here for proposal guidelines and to submit proposals.  Proposals are due June 14.

For more information on programs, initiatives, research, educational opportunities and how you can get involved, visit the PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture website for follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates.  Click Here to become a member.

PASA works to build a more economically-just, environmentally-regenerative, and community-focused food system through education and research that directly supports farmers.

[Posted: April 30, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

DEP Posts 63 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In May 1 PA Bulletin

The Department of Environmental Protection published 63 pages of public notices related to proposed and final permit and approval/ disapproval actions in the May 1 PA Bulletin -
pages 2385 to 2440.
Sign Up For DEP’s eNotice: Did you know DEP can send you email notices of permit applications submitted in your community?  Notice of new technical guidance documents and regulations?  All through its eNotice system.  Click Here to sign up.
For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter, sign up for DEP Connects events, sign up for DEP’s eNotice, visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.
Related Article:
[Posted: April 30, 2021] PA Environment Digest

Good Samaritan Proposal To Plug Orphan Oil & Gas Well In Allegheny County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the May 1 PA Bulletin it has received a proposal under the Environmental Good Samaritan Act to plug an abandoned oil and gas well in South Fayette Township, Allegheny County from Keystone 76 Development, LLC.
(PA Bulletin page 2416)

Read the PA Bulletin notice on how to submit comments on this proposal.

DEP receives proposals under the state Environmental Good Samaritan Act Program for both mine reclamation and oil and gas well plugging.

The Good Samaritan Program is for landowners, citizens, watershed associations, environmental organizations and governmental entities who do not have a legal responsibility to reclaim abandoned lands, abate water pollution or plug abandoned wells, but are interested in addressing these problems.

Click Here to use DEP’s interactive GIS map to show Good Samaritan oil and gas well projects (orange squares).

There are an estimated 250,000 abandoned and orphan oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania.

Click Here for a map of mine reclamation projects. Click Here for a list of projects.

For more information on this program, visit DEP’s Environmental Good Samaritan Program webpage.

Visit DEP’s Abandoned & Orphan Well Program webpage for more information on abandoned wells in Pennsylvania. 

Related Articles - Good Samaritan:

-- Good Samaritan Proposal To Plug Orphan Oil & Gas Well In Bradford County


-- DEP Receives Good Samaritan Act Proposals To Plug 2 Abandoned Wells In Wyoming, Venango Counties [2020]

-- DEP Received Good Samaritan Abandoned Oil & Gas Well Plugging Proposal In Tioga County [2019]

-- DEP Receives 2 Proposed Good Samaritan Gas Well Plugging Project Requests In Bradford, Tioga Counties [2019]

-- DEP Receives 2 Proposed Good Samaritan Gas Well Plugging Project Requests In Warren, Westmoreland Counties [2019] 

Related Article - Federal Good Samaritan Proposal:

-- -- U.S. House Hearing On Reauthorizing Federal Abandoned Mine Lands Program: We Don’t Deserve To Wait Any Longer For Clean Streams, Diversified Economies

[Posted: April 30, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Lancaster Clean Water Partners: Lancaster Water Week June 4-12; MS4orum On Stormwater June 7

Get ready for the fifth
Lancaster Water Week on June 4-12 by the Lancaster Conservancy and many partners. 

This year, there are over 20 events, virtual and in-person options, that celebrate Lancaster’s unique waterways and educate communities to take action. 

There’s no shortage of fun with streamside work days, educational lectures, creek stomps and paddles, and municipal tours. 

Click Here for all the details.

MS4orum June 7

As part of Water Week, the MS4orum is back, outside, and in-person on June 7. 

Attendees will rotate as small groups between four locations to learn about rain gardens, stormwater basins, rainwater reuse, riparian buffers, maintenance, and grant applications from the municipal staff that made the projects happen! 

Registration is open. Sign up today!   

For more information on programs, initiatives, funding, technical support, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Lancaster Clean Water Partners website.  Click Here to sign up for regular email updates.  Follow them on Facebook.

Related Article:

-- NRCS-PA Awards Lancaster Clean Water Partners $7.4 Million To Restore Streams On Agricultural Lands In Lancaster County 

[Posted: April 30, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

PUC: Damage Prevention Committee Imposes $44,750 In Penalties For PA One Call Violations

A total of 103 disciplinary actions, including $44,750 in administrative penalties, have been taken against 48 underground facility owners, excavators and project owners in the latest enforcement actions by the Public Utility Commission’s
Damage Prevention Committee (DPC).  

These actions were taken during the DPC’s April 2021 meeting.

The DPC is tasked with enforcing the state’s Underground Utility Line Protection Act – also known as the “PA One Call Law.” Penalties are payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Commission will offset the costs of administering this program through the penalties collected.

Digging Safety – PA One Call

While underground lines are often “out of sight and out of mind,” every hit poses a risk to the contractors and homeowners who are doing the digging; to utility workers and emergency responders who are mobilized when lines are struck; and to bystanders who live, work or travel near the locations of the incidents. 

State law requires contractors and residents to contact PA One Call at least three business days prior to excavation – triggering alerts to all utilities within an intended digging area and prompting utilities to mark where their facilities are located. 

Pennsylvanians can dial 8-1-1 to connect with the One Call system, while out-of-state residents or businesses can call 1-800-242-1776.

When the PUC first took on the role of enforcing the state’s One Call Law, underground lines across the state were struck more than 6,000 times per year – but the situation continues to steadily improve, thanks to education, public awareness and enforcement.

About the DPC

The DPC is a peer-based group of 13 representatives, nominated by their industry or affiliated organization and appointed by the PUC. 

The DPC meets regularly to review alleged violations of Act 50 and make informal determinations as to the appropriate response including, but not limited to, the issuance of warning letters, mandatory training programs and/or administrative penalties. 

Summaries and actions taken at monthly DPC meetings are available on the PUC’s website.  

Creation of the committee was authorized by Act 50 of 2017, which enhances Pennsylvania’s Underground Utility Line Protection Act – also known as the “One Call Law.” 

Visit the PUC’s Damage Prevention Committee webpage for more information.

(Photo: What happens when a backhoe hits an underground natural gas gathering line.)

[Posted: April 30, 2021] PA Environment Digest

April 30 Take Five Fridays With Pam, PA Parks & Forests Foundation; New Environmental Rights Amendment Challenge

April 30 Take Five Fridays With Pam is now available from the PA Parks and Forests Foundation featuring articles on--

-- Enter the latest Environmental Rights Amendment Challenge: What does preservation of the scenic value mean to you? Photo Challenge and/or Write a Song. Click Here for more.

-- May 18 Viewing, Panel Discussion On Environmental Rights Amendment Documentary 

-- Interns/Help Wanted: PA Parks & Forests Foundation - 2 Bilingual Interns; Public Engagement Coordinator 

Click Here to read the entire Take Five.

For more information on programs, initiatives, special events and how you can get involved, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation,  Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter or tune in to their YouTube ChannelClick Here to become a member of the Foundation.

The Foundation and their 46 chapters mobilize 65,000 volunteers annually to steward YOUR state parks and forests.

(Photo: Camping Along Pine Creek, by Dustin Riehl)

Related Articles:

-- StateImpactPA, PA Parks & Forests Foundation Set May 18 Viewing, Panel Discussion On WITF PA’s Environmental Rights Amendment Documentary

-- Lunch & Learn: Statewide Outdoor Recreation For All Plan: PA Parks & Forests Foundation

-- DCNR To Begin Spraying Forests In Gypsy Moth Suppression Effort

-- DCNR Blog: A Periodical Wonder - Cicadas - Opportunity For Citizen Science 

-- DCNR Seeking Proposals For Skiing, Four-Season Concessionaire At Denton Hill State Park, Potter County

-- South Mountain Partnership Spring Partnership Meeting May 14

-- Brodhead Watershed Assn.: Get Your Family Outdoors Again At Woodland Trail, Monroe County

-- Interns/Help Wanted: PA Parks & Forests Foundation - 2 Bilingual Interns; Public Engagement Coordinator 

[Posted: April 30, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

Girl Scouts Kick-Off 5 Million Trees Campaign, Fun Patch Unveiled At Tree Planting In Dauphin County

Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA student leader Lauren Braught guided fellow Girl Scouts of all ages through an historic tree-planting on a day full of celebrations, April 24.

The Cumberland Valley High School senior organized the project to replace trees at Camp Small Valley, near Halifax, Dauphin County. The camp had been her home away from home during summers growing up.

The planting of 100 trees was also the kick-off of the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s portion of a nationwide campaign to plant five million trees in the next five years. 

It was also the day a new tree-focused fun patch was unveiled and available for all Girl Scouts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The day also happened to be the third anniversary of the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, coordinated by CBF. The partnership provided the trees and supplies for the planting.

“In 2018, a bunch of trees had to be cut down because they were in poor health and were a safety concern for campers,” Brought said. “One thing that makes this camp so beautiful is the nature that surrounds it, so the idea of having a tree planting came up.” 

Braught’s event success Saturday was rooted from tree-planting experience gained as a CBF student leader.

The Girl Scouts’ USA Tree Promise is a nationwide, five-year initiative for Girl Scouts to plant five million trees. 

“That roughly equates to two trees per Girl Scout,” said Lutricia Eberly, Director of Outdoor and Program Experiences for GSHPA. At another event on May 16 in Lancaster County, Girl Scouts will plant 50 more trees.

“That five million trees is going to have a significant impact on our environment,” added Janet R. Donovan, President and CEO of GSHPA. “Girls are soaring in the outdoors. The outdoors is in, thanks to COVID. Outdoor programs increase outdoor interest, competence, confidence, and they increase environmental stewardship as Lauren is showing us today.”

Also attending Braught’s planting was Moriah Hathaway, Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.

The GSHPA and the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership are collaborating on Tree Promise efforts in Pennsylvania, as well as on the new “Clean Water Grows on Trees” fun patch for the Girl Scouts.

“Girl Scouts can get the patch after taking part in any numbers of activities, including tree planting, or ‘Learn Outside, Learn at Home” series,’ said Partnership Manager Brenda Sieglitz. “They can also take advantage of the 2021 Tree Challenge at the NASA Globe Observer application available on smartphones to measure tree height and diameter in the neighborhood.”

Girl Scouts in the GSHPA and in other Chesapeake Bay watershed chapters can get the free fun patches at the CBF online store and pay shipping.

The Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership is a collaboration of about 180 national, regional, state, and local agencies, conservation organizations, watershed groups, conservancies, outdoors enthusiasts, businesses, and individuals.

“We are incredibly proud of the supportive relationships we have with our partners and in three short years they have rallied around this ambitious goal and planted over 2.8 million trees,” Brenda Sieglitz said.

Next year, the partnership anticipates it will plant 500,000 trees and is currently looking for landowners who would like to add the value of trees to their properties.

For her years spent coordinating and then executing a successful tree planting on an historic day, Lauren Braught earned the Gold Award, awarded to fewer than six percent of Girl Scouts annually.

For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.

Also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to learn how you can help clean water grow on trees.

CBF has over 275,000 members in Bay Watershed.

How Clean Is Your Stream?

DEP’s Interactive Report Viewer  allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.

(Photo: CBF Student Leader Lauren Braught shows the fun patch available to Girl Scouts; Lauren Braught helps Charlotte Frye, 9, of Harrisburg, before placing a tree into its planting hole.)

Related Articles:

-- Carmichaels H.S. Envirothon Team Partners With Izaak Walton League To Plant Trees For Earth Day; Wins Greene County Envirothon

-- Norwin High School Wins 2021 Westmoreland County Envirothon

-- Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition Intern Gets His Feet Wet In Data Logger Project 

-- Interns Wanted: Pennsylvania Sea Grant Summer Student Intern Positions 

-- Interns/Help Wanted: PA Parks & Forests Foundation - 2 Bilingual Interns; Public Engagement Coordinator

[Posted: April 30, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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