A central Pennsylvania veteran recently was concerned about water quality on his farm and reached out to an agency that helps those that once served our country become better farmers.
“We were able to get a technician on his property who noticed there was a stream that could be better protected,” said Mimi Thomas-Brooker of the Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Project. “Instead of going through some long process to put a buffer in, he was able to access the 10 Million Tree Partnership and has already been planting trees that will improve the streambanks significantly. As trees are going in, he is seeing results and it’s all because of the partnership with 10 Million Trees.”
Entries are being accepted through April 23 for the 2021 Protect our Watersheds art contest organized and provided through Pennsylvania American Water.
Evey Concannon, a Luzerne County fifth-grader from Fairview Elementary School last year, won the grand prize in the 2021 contest. For her efforts, she won a Barnes and Noble gift card and her original artwork has been featured on “bloomer cards” and distributed across the state. Bloomers are seed-filled cards that, when planted and tended, produce a variety of wildflowers.
Playing around with a cheap CD burner at the office recently, I burned as many of the Songs of the Susquehanna submissions onto a CD.
I wanted to get a feel of how many songs we might get on an average-sized disc – what I ended up with is an endless loop of songs that keep playing over my truck’s speakers. It’s hard to turn them off. They’re that good.
Conservationist Bobby Hughes, executive director for the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR) and executive vice president for Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, doesn’t consider himself much of an angler.
But that didn’t stop him from escaping the stressors of the pandemic via a native trout fishing expedition along a few “honey holes” of Bowman’s Creek last year.
Pennsylvania is one of the only states in the nation in which we have a constitutional right to “pure water,” along with clean air and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.
One of the leaders at the center of the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state constitution – passed 50 years ago this May – was Franklin Kury, a Sunbury native who rode a clean streams platform to the first of three terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1966.
Navigating the icy Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park is a challenge for even the most seasoned of hikers, but Marcy Stump, of Northumberland County, tackled the adventure as a way to encourage 13-year-old-son Noah with a concerted effort to spend more time outside as a family.
"Noah challenges me to do things I wouldn't choose to do on my own," she said after their trip Friday afternoon. "Thankfully, he is always there to offer assistance."
Editor's note: This report includes two stories – a mainbar on the study along with a column (on the right) challenging people to come forward if they have similar stories to tell. There is also an audio podcast interview with Dr. Kathleen Mullen.
While completing her residency at Cornell University, veterinarian Dr. Kathleen Mullen noticed an uptick in dysphagia – a difficulty in swallowing – among foals from a specific farm near Sayre, Pennsylvania.
“They came to the clinic with their mothers, because their farm manager and farm veterinarians noticed that when the foals tried to suckle from the dams, that instead of swallowing their milk normally, they would aspirate the milk – meaning the milk would go into their trachea,” she said. “It’s concerning because if too much milk goes down into the trachea and eventually the lungs, the foals can be at risk of aspirational pneumonia.”
On Saturday, Jan. 23, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) celebrates its 50th anniversary – a milestone moment and halfway marker in a 100-year compact kicked off in early 1971.
“The compact was signed by President Richard Nixon on Christmas Eve of 1970, with an effective date of 30 days later,” said SRBC Executive Director Andrew Dehoff. “The commission is a partnership between three states (Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland) and the federal government to cooperatively manage the water-based resources.”
In May of 2019, Luzerne County musician Don Shappelle received an invitation to develop a river song aboard the Hiawatha Paddleboat near Williamsport for the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Floating Classroom series.
“I went into it with a few ideas, but basically had about 45 minutes to write a song with about 40 to 50 kids and their parents,” he said. “We got a song out of it – ‘A Happy River is a Clean River’ – and it was so much fun.”
A 12-acre orange rectangle is hard to ignore when looking over Google Earth maps of Luzerne County between the towns of Plains and Swoyersville -- the bright iron-hued discharge visibly draining into the North Branch of the Susquehanna River.
The location is known as the Plainsville Borehole Discharge, and efforts to clean up the abandoned mine drainage that it produces continue to hit a variety of hurdles, according to Luzerne County Conservation District water specialist John Levitsky.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.