Penns Valley

On Centre | Penns Valley: Conservation association activities aim to educate, enlighten

You can take a walk on the wild side Saturday afternoon with Penn State scientist Eric Burkhart and members of the Penns Valley Conservation Association.

The PVCA hosts “Second Saturday” events, free and open to the public, that give guests an interactive way to learn about the community they live in.

From 2 to 4 p.m., those interested can meet the gang at the environmental center across from Penns Valley Area High School on Route 45, and learn how to identify trees and plants.

“We try to come up with different educational events,” said Jim Flanagan, environmental education coordinator at PVCA. “This time they can ID the trees and plants during the winter when the trees don’t have leaves, and learn about their economic and medicinal uses.”

Flanagan said the Second Saturday events began last year as a way to get people outdoors and educate the public about the local environment.

“They’re pretty popular,” Flanagan said. “We’ve had some big events that attract up to 50 people or more, and see unique individuals almost every time.”

Other Second Saturday events have been held at Muddy Paws Marsh in Spring Mills, and Mountainside Homestead in Woodward, and included topics on birds, spiders, soil, the watershed and more.

Event topics are picked month-by-month, but Flanagan said a New Year’s goal is to have activities planned months ahead of time.

The PVCA also partnered with the Penns Valley Area School District to offer activities that fit in with class curriculum.