The Youghiogheny River Gorge scour complex is by far the most significant ecosystem in Pennsylvania in terms of plant biodiversity. Incorporating biking and hiking, this Field Workshop will cover scour processes, adaptation of plants to scour conditions, globally and regionally at-risk scour specialist species, protection history of the Youghiogheny Gorge, and threats to and management of scour systems.
Attendees will paddle their way to an island that has transformed from a knotweed-infested, abandoned marina to a rare, forested floodplain with the help of a detailed management plan, 10 years of planning, spraying and planting, and the dedication of a local land trust.
Experience a guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's famous architectural achievement, Fallingwater, and learn about the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's efforts to convert planted conifer stands back to native forest in the nature reserve that surrounds it.
This Field Workshop will highlight projects and programs that recognize the inherent benefits and issues that surround city wild lands. The group, which will be guided by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy staff, will make stops relevant to integrated pest management, watershed, forest and meadow restoration, green stormwater infrastructure, engaging young people, trail building, and workforce development.
Participants will learn about the management strategies and challenges related to the Jennings Environmental Education Center Blazing Star Prairie and the effort underway to expand the footprint of this unique natural community and increase available habitat for the federally threatened Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake and a variety of other rare plants and animals.
Explore this exceptional landscape by foot, bike and raft! The Youghiogheny (Yaw-ki-GAY-nee) Gorge is a valley formed by the Yough River as it cuts through Laurel Ridge. It is the deepest water gap in Pennsylvania. The forested gorge boasts unparalleled natural beauty, unique plant assemblages and natural communities, interesting geology and a rich cultural history.
Float the wild and scenic Allegheny River past riverscour grassland prairies and through aquatic habitat for freshwater mussels, fish, and eastern hellbenders while learning about the conservation efforts to protect these critical ecosystems.
Join the people who protect and manage our natural areas