Jeff Wagner (Director, PA Natural Heritage Program at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy)
Wil Taylor (Manager, Jennings Environmental Education Center)
Mike DiRinaldo (Resource Management and Field Services Specialist, PA State Parks)
Art Gover (Wildland Weed Specialist, Penn State University))
Depart: 8:00 a.m.
Return: 4:00 p.m.
Difficulty: Easy. Walking in terrain that is mostly flat: prairie remnant and forest.
Destination: Jennings Environmental Education Center and McConnells Mill State Park
Conference themes: Special Species/Natural Communities
Explore the legacy of glaciation in Pennsylvania by visiting the states only blazing star prairie remnant and the site of an early conservation success story. At Jennings Environmental Education Center staff will share successes and challenges of adaptive prairie preservation in the face of development pressure and ecological succession. Learn about surprising community ecology impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer infestation, invasive species control, and citizen science, and discuss research and management efforts to protect threatened Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake. Then take in the scenery and discuss the private-public conservation history of McConnells Mill State Park, a 2,546-acre National Natural Landmark in the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, a geologic feature formed by the drainage of ancient glacial lakes. The park includes a 19th century gristmill and covered bridge open to public tours, and preserves a section of Class II-IV rapids enjoyed by whitewater enthusiasts.
Transportation: Bus from Conference Venue
Join the people who protect and manage our natural areas.