This upcoming week will give the region it’s very first taste of real spring weather with temperatures in the sixties towards the middle of the week. It won’t be too long before the wild leeks appear and we will hear the spring peeps. Already, many of the sugar shacks are boiling sap.
Thoughts are turning from snow shovels to garden plants, shrubs and trees many of which can all be purchased from local garden centers, nurseries and neighborhood farms. Support our local agriculture. Many times these locally grown plants are healthier than those raised in the south and then shipped to large discount stores in the north.
With the approach of spring, it is also a good idea to monitor the weather for violent storms. The region is not immune from deadly and destructive tornadoes. Some weather predictions claim it will be a violent spring, more so than usual.
Clocks will jump forward at 2 a.m. on Sunday March 11, the beginning of 2012 Daylight Savings Time. The idea was first proposed by Ben Franklin back in 1784. Franklin believed people would save money by using less lamp oil and candles if we adjusted the the times.
The clock change is also a good time to check smoke detectors and make sure they are working properly.
Crawford County Conservation District
The Crawford County Conservation District held it’s annual award s banquet on Thursday February 16 at the Days Inn in Meadville. I was honored to be awarded the Conservation Media Award and proud to be among other leaders in the region who are concerned about our environment. Also receiving awards were Guy Dunkle, the Conservation Forestry Award; Stephanie Feineigle, the Bookamer Family Farm was awarded the Conservation Farm Award, Ernst Seeds received the Conservation Innovator Award. Kathy Uglow was also surprised and honored with her special award for her dedication and work at the Woodcock Creek Nature Center.
Several township were also awarded the Conservation Award for Dirt and Gravel Roads. Those townships were: Athens, Richmond, Summit, Wayne and Woodcock. For more information on the awards dinner, click Awards.
Woodcock Creek Nature Center (Conservation District)
The workshops are free of charge ad open to the public. However, participants must register by calling the center at 814- 763-5269.
• “Tree ID NOW?…But There are No Leaves,” Tuesday, March 13, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Mark Lewis, PA Bureau of Forestry, will lead a Tree Identification walk. Dress for the weather.
• “Show us Your Muscles!” Tuesday, March 20, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Darran Crabtree, The Nature Conservancy, will introduce the basic biology and conservation concerns of native freshwater mussels.
Pools, Puddles and Polliwogs
Enjoy a short movie on the importance of Vernal Pools and then explore some of the pools near the Environmental Classroom and search for frogs and salamanders. The event will be held on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Environmental Classroom located at the Jamestown Marina within Pymatuning State Park. For more information call 724-932-3142 or visit http://www.state.pa.us/
For a lot of family fun join the Maple Taste and Tour weekend. Sixteen sugarhouses of the region will host this event for people to witness how the sap is made; free samples will be available as well as maple products for sale. The event is scheduled for Saturday March 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit the Northwest Maple Syrup Association at http://pamaple.org/
The quarterly meeting of the Pomona Grange was held March 3 at the Atlantic Grange Hall. The group heard a variety of reports and voted on several business items, among which were the approval for donations to the 4H and FFA programs.
It was also announced the annual Family Festival will be held this year on July 19 -22 at the Centre County Grange Fairgrounds. Reservations need to be made by June 15. The Pomona Grange is planning on an excursion on the Titusville-Oil Creek Train in the fall, anyone interested should call Susan Tau. Final details will be announced on June 2 at the next Pomona Grange meeting which will be held at the Cochranton Grange Hall.