• PA Project Wild Programs for Educators, Youth Leaders

    Image by lcthulou via Flickr

    HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced a series of upcoming professional development opportunities offered as part of the agency’s Project WILD program. Classroom teachers, early childhood teachers, informal educators, homeschooler leaders and Scout and youth group leaders are welcome to participate in these workshops.

    Project WILD is an award-winning, international, hands-on conservation education program. It focuses on wildlife and the environment and how humans interrelate with both. WILD provides educators, primarily kindergarten through 12th grade, with interdisciplinary activities that help address state and national education standards and help educators comply with mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act. WILD’s materials are scientifically sound and use educational practices proven to be effective.
    WILD’s mission is to provide wildlife-based conservation education that fosters responsible action. WILD’s goal is to develop the awareness, skills, knowledge and commitment that are necessary for people to make informed decisions and act constructively and responsibly toward wildlife and the environment.
    Theresa Alberici coordinates the program in Pennsylvania through the Game Commission’s Bureau of Information and Education. She works closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education as well as prominent conservation and environmental education organizations throughout the state and the country. Her dedication to wildlife and environmental awareness, along with her talents in creating curricula and ability to work with educators have earned her recognition from the state Department of Education and Pennsylvania’s conservation education community.
    “Educators leave Project WILD workshops with a renewed appreciation of wildlife and are excited about how they’re going to share what they’ve learned with their students,” Alberici said. “This year, wildlife agencies nationwide celebrated one million educators ‘Gone WILD.’ More than one million educators have been trained in the program since Project WILD originated in 1983.
    “Project WILD isn’t about teaching kids what to think about wildlife; it’s about teaching kids how to think about wildlife and giving them the skills they need to become responsibly active citizens who recognize the importance of wildlife and the environment. The milestone of training one million educators means that, through Project WILD, more than 53 million people worldwide have experience in thinking responsibly about natural resources. Last year alone, state wildlife agencies ordered more than 65,000 guides for distribution to educators across the country, reaching 1.8 million students with information on wildlife conservation.”
    Following is a listing of one-day educator trainings scheduled for the coming months:
    WILD about Peregrines!: Join the Game Commission, Department of Environmental Protection and ZOOAmerica for a free workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 25, at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in downtown Harrisburg, Dauphin County. 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 5.0 Act 48 credit hours. Lunch will be brown bag, or participants can visit a concession in the building. Deadline to apply is March 18. Contact: DEP Environmental Education and Information Center, 717-772-1644 (phone) or adevine@state.pa.us.

    WILD about Endangered Species: Join educators from the Game Commission and ZOOAmerica from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on April 8, at HersheyPark ZOOAmerica, Hershey, Dauphin County. Workshop participants will examine the concepts and issues surrounding threatened and endangered species; investigate how and why species become threatened or endangered; examine laws affecting these species; and explore methods biologists are using in species reintroduction. The fee is $25, and will include lunch, a snack and all materials. Deadline to apply is April 1. Contact: Elaine Gruin, ZOOAmerica, 717-534-3831 (phone) or egruin@hersheypa.com.

    Growing UP WILD! Join the Game Commission and the Monroe County Environmental Education Center on from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on April 15, at Monroe County EE Center in WHERE, for the newest Project WILD program, which is focused on those pre-Kindergarten youth ages three to seven. The cost is $40 and includes materials and a snack. Workshop attendees will participate in this hands-on, environmental professional development opportunity that correlates to Pennsylvania State Education Standards, Head Start Domains and NAEYC Standards. Participants also are eligible for Act 48 hours. Contact: Monroe County EE Center at 570-629-3061 (phone), monroecd@ptd.net or visit their website at www.mcconservation.org.

    PA Biodiversity! Join the Game Commission and Dauphin County Wildwood Park from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on April 21, to explore the vast array of wild plants, animals and ecosystems at the Olewine Nature Center in Wildwood Park, Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County. Through the use of resource materials and hands-on activities, session participants will investigate the concepts of biodiversity, explore Pennsylvania’s biodiversity and examine local and global issues relating to biodiversity in a format designed for teachers of middle and high school level. However, background information is valuable for teachers of all grade levels. Participating teachers will receive the “Pennsylvania Supplement to Windows on the Wild” and “Windows on the Wild by World Wildlife Fund.” The session will feature both indoor and outdoor activities and includes a field exploration. The activities used in this session are correlated with the Environment and Ecology Standards, and may be used to fulfill Act 48 hours. The cost to attend is $10. The deadline to apply is April 15. Contact: Olewine Nature Center at 717-221-0292.

    School Yard Habitats/ Forest Ecology: Join the Game Commission and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 7, at the Jacobsburg EE Center in Wind Gap, north of Allentown, to gain a better understanding of the ecological roles that native plants and forested systems play in the habitat needs of wildlife populations. In addition to a hands-on interactive study of an established native plant garden, participants also will visit a series of evolving forests ranging from early successional to old growth. The free workshop will provide educators with books and materials addressing society’s growing disconnect from nature, as well as other materials that promote insightful understanding of current environmental issues. Participants will need to bring their own lunch. Deadline to apply is April 30. Contact: Bill Sweeney at Jacobsburg EE Center, 610-746-2808 or wisweeney@state.pa.us

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  • Maysville Ohio Archery in the Schools State Champs

    My Bro, the Archer
    Image by Hamed Saber via Flickr

    COLUMBUS, OH – The winner of the 2010 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) state tournament was Maysville (6-12) High School for the fourth consecutive year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

    The state tournament was held March 5 in Columbus in conjunction with the Arnold Sports Festival, the ongoing fitness tournament developed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger addressed the archery participants and their fans during the awards ceremony.

    “This year’s state tournament was quite a success in many regards,” said Kevin Dixon, shooting sports coordinator for the Division of Wildlife, which coordinates NASP for Ohio. “The state tournament drew more than 1,000 student archers with 34 of the 45 Ohio teams qualifying for the NASP national tournament in May.”

    Tyler Finley (Maysville MS) was the top overall male archer. Both Tyler and Kelsey received full, two-year scholarships to Hocking College in Nelsonville. The top male and female archers were determined by a shoot-off between the top three boys and top three girls from each of three divisions—elementary, middle and high school.

    This year’s Spirit Award, which usually is given in recognition of a team’s enthusiasm and support of fellow archers in the tournament, was to Kelsey Taylor of Morgan High School. Kelsey was involved in a serious automobile accident just weeks prior to the tournament. Her determination and dedication led to an overall female archer award for the second year in a row.

    A total of 1,034 student archers from 45 teams from across the state competed. Each competitor could score a maximum of 300 points by shooting arrows as close to the center of a target as possible.

    Awards were given for both teams and individuals who competed well in the elementary, middle, and high school divisions. Thirty-four Ohio teams received qualifying scores, making them eligible to participate in the NASP National Invitational Tournament scheduled for May 7-8 in Kentucky.

    The NASP is used to teach target archery right in the school gym. The curriculum covers archery, safety, equipment, technique, concentration skills and self-improvement. For more information on the program, visit www.ohionasp.com.
    The Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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  • Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp Now Available

    COLUMBUS, OH – Governor Ted Strickland today was presented with an inaugural Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp during an event at his Statehouse office. The stamp, a new initiative of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife, is a meaningful way for Ohioans and others to help conserve, enhance and restore native wildlife and its habitat.

    “Innovative funding opportunities, like the proceeds from this stamp, can continue our critical efforts to conserve Ohio’s wildlife and their habitats,” said Strickland. “The stamp is a great way to shine a spotlight on Ohio’s diverse wildlife, and protect their populations.”

    Joining Strickland was ODNR Director Sean Logan, ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief David M. Graham and Lima resident Russell Reynolds, who snapped the winning photograph featured on the 2010 legacy stamp.

    The stamp features a brilliantly colored Baltimore oriole, a well-recognized neotropical bird that nests in Ohio and migrates to South America during the winter months. The $15 collectible stamp is available for purchase online, by mail order and at all five Division of Wildlife district offices. Additional details about the stamp can be found at wildohiostamp.com

    “The Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp is another way to share the message about wildlife diversity and conservation,” said ODNR Director Sean Logan. “Proceeds from the sale of this stamp will support habitat restoration, land acquisition, development of educational materials for Ohio students, and much more.”

    Ohio’s current conservation efforts are funded largely by hunters, anglers and trappers through the required purchase of licenses and permits, but competition for those dollars is increasing. The legacy stamp will provide additional funding toward those efforts, especially for wildlife watchers, photographers, campers, hikers and others who support wildlife causes.

    The oriole image was selected during a 2009 photo contest. Another contest will be held this summer to determine the image for the 2011 stamp, which will feature a dragonfly or damselfly.

    “Wildlife is an important part of all of our lives. Conserving, restoring and managing that resource is at the heart of the Division of Wildlife’s efforts, but we can’t do it alone,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Graham. “I encourage everyone who is interested in ensuring the future of Ohio’s wildlife to buy this stamp.”

    The Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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  • Open House at Linesville Hatchery

    Geese on Spillway
    Image by lcthulou via Flickr

    Meadville, PA – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold their annual Open House at the Linesville State Fish Hatchery on Saturday, April 3, 2010 from 11am – 3:30 p.m.

    What to do and see:

    • Visitors can watch the entire walleye spawning process including the sorting of fish from trap nets and taking and fertilizing eggs.
    • Look at native fish species in the 10,000 gallon viewing tank.Watch demonstrations on how to tell the age of a fish, how to rig a fishing rod, and how to fillet and cook your fish.
    • Buy a $3 t-shirt and put a fish print on it.
    • Learn about fly tying and casting. Practice your casting skills in the Kids Casting Area.
    • Buy your PA fishing license, posters, patches, and books.
    • Visit the boating safety tent to stay current on boating regulations.
    • Talk to staff from the PFBC and other partner agencies at their booths.
    • Shuttle service from the parking areas to the Visitor Center will be provided.

    There’s something for everyone, so follow the crowd to the hatchery.

    Directions: Turn off of State Route 6 at the only light in downtown Linesville and go ½ mile to the entrance. The address is:

    13300 Hartstown Road, Linesville, PA 16424.

    For more information, contact:
    Chad Foster

    The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s
    aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and
    boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.

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  • New And Improved Steel Valley Outdoors

    PHP and MySQL for Dummies
    Image by Lasse Havelund via Flickr

    If you’ve been following along, you might have noticed a lot of changes recently, including:

    • A Cleaner, More Modern Look
    • Animated, Nested Menus
    • A Faster, More Responsive Site

    Behind the scenes I’ve upgraded to WordPress 2.9, which meant I had to upgrade to MySQL 5 and import the old database and repair it- Which I didn’t know when I started the process. I took the opportunity to use what I learned to upgrade my host to PHP 5 also- giving me access to a new generation of plugins.

    In the next couple of days, I hope to really begin to work on creating a community site: I’ve started some forums up again, but this time hope they’ll be better integrated into the main site. Take a minute to look around- I’ll be adding to them as time permits this weekend and hope to have groups for all the major components.

    Also, if you check out the sidebar, you’ll see a neat text box over there on the right at the bottom. This will allow you to post your own stories right to Steel Valley Outdoors. Yeah, I know. I’m asking for it. But I just don’t have time to do it all myself. If you have an event or activity you want to promote, you can add it directly. I’ll have to moderate it, but when it posts you’ll reach upwards of 100 locally active readers instantly, with about another 100 each day it’s on the front page, plus it’ll be indexed by Google in a page rank 3 site. Sweet, huh? And all for free.

    How Can I Do it for free? Well, Although this is obviously a hobby and labor of love, I Do make a Little bit from ads and affiliates. However, I’ve never been able to drive traffic to the store. I’m looking at upgrading to a more professional format and should be rolling it out soon.

    What Does this mean to regular visitors? Not Much. I Do want to hear from you. All too often it feels like whistling into the wind.  Let me know what you like, What you don’t like and what you need from this site. I’m Youngstown Tough. I can handle it.

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