ClearWater Conservancy launches Centred Outdoors program

Guided outings at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center will take place July 30 and Aug. 2.
Guided outings at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center will take place July 30 and Aug. 2. Photo provided

It’s summer, and that means it’s time to go on some adventures.

Nine to be specific.

ClearWater Conservancy and its partner organizations are launching Centred Outdoors, a program meant to help engage people in the natural world through guided outings at nine Centre County destinations.

The outings will take place from 2-5 p.m. on Sundays (starting June 18) and 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays (ending Aug. 16).

Deb Nardone, ClearWater’s executive director, said they chose destinations all around the county so no matter where people live, there’s something in their own neck of the woods.

Most destinations are accessible for all fitness and mobility levels, she said.

“It’s a great opportunity to visit places that people might know of but never have ventured into,” Nardone said.

Each destination will be guided by people who steward the area, for example the walks through Black Moshannon will be led by state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources park guides, said Andrea Murrell, ClearWater’s strategic communications coordinator.

“Each one will be like a fingerprint,” she said. “Each one will be a little bit different highlighting the unique features of each site with the people who play a role in keeping those sites healthy.”

The county has a variety of habitats and ecosystems, Murrell said. A major benefit of this program is to highlight those differences and have people understand why all of these ecosystems are important to the health of the local environment.

ClearWater was awarded a $100,000 Centre Inspires grant for Centred Outdoors in November by Centre Foundation, which Nardone said helped them build the momentum and concept.

The three main pillars of the Centred Outdoors program are: getting people outside for health and overall wellness, promoting conservation and benefiting nonprofits, Nardone said.

Participants can log their activity and photos on the Centred Outdoors website and earn e-trophies to win prizes at the end of the summer.

As part of the program, Nardone said, employees in the Mount Nittany Health system will be writing prescriptions (Prescription PARx) for people to spend time outside, either on a guided outing or on their own.

It’s a unique situation to have a medical system that thinks being outside recreating is an important component to overall wellness, Nardone said.

ClearWater has partnered with community organizations to develop and implement the program, including Mount Nittany Health, Centre Moves, Penns Valley Conservation Association, Penn State Sustainable Communities Collaborative, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, Get Outdoors PA, Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Mount Nittany Conservancy.

ClearWater and SCCTU will host a kickoff event for Centred Outdoors on June 11.

The family fishing picnic is free and will feature fishing and food, children’s activities, fly tying and fly casting stations, kayaking and more.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

If you go

What: Get Outdoors Family Fishing Picnic

When: June 11, noon-4 p.m.

Where: Tussey Mountain Pond, 301 Bear Meadows Road, Boalsburg

Info: 237-0400; info@centredoutdoors.org

Centred Outdoors guided outings

June 18 and 21: Black Moshannon State Park

June 25 and 28: The Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor

July 2 and 5: Bald Eagle State Park

July 9 and 12: Talleyrand Park

July 16 and 19: Spring Creek Canyon

July 23 and 26: Poe Paddy Tunnel

July 30 and Aug. 2: Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

Aug. 6 and 9: The Arboretum at Penn State

Aug. 13 and 16: Mount Nittany

For more information, visit www.centredoutdoors.org.