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Nature programs and hikes this March in Central PA


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Get ready for spring with these outdoors events and educational programs at local Pennsylvania State Parks and nature centers.

Introduction to Orienteering with DVOA
Saturday, March 3 from 10 a.m. – noon
Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center
2910 New Holland Road, Reading, PA 19607-9448
Introduction to orienteering program provided by the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association. Indoor overview followed by outdoor beginner course.  Great event for adults, families, scouts, and homeschoolers.  For more information go to www.dvoa.org. Registration is not required but if you are bringing a group please contact the park to let us know 610-796-3699 or Noldeforestsp@pa.gov

Fun and Fascination … with Rocks and Fossils!
Wednesday, March 7 from 10-11 a.m.
Lancaster County Environmental Center
1 Nature’s Way, Lancaster, PA 17602
Children have an innate curiosity about rocks and fossils. Naturalist Mary Ann Schlegel taps into this as Fun and Fascination delves into the world of geology. Starting off with dinosaurs and fossils and working into minerals and rocks, children will explore and learn through hands-on activities and games. Note that we interrupt the geology series for a visit to our sugar shack (Pavilion #11) during maple sugaring season. Younger children with parents are welcome to attend if accompanying older siblings. Register online or call (717) 295- 2055 to register and prepay by noon on the Tuesday before each program. $3.00 per child and $1.00 per accompanying adult. Ages 6 – 10.

Froggy Fridays
Friday, March 9 and March 16 from 7-9 p.m.
Richard M. Nixon County Park
5922 Nixon Drive, York, PA 17403
Explore the wetlands in spring, searching for egg masses and listen to calling frogs and find salamanders. Naturalist will guide a beginner exploration of the parks wetlands. Learn what to expect from the wetlands now and throughout the year as many different animals use this habitat. Dress warmly with rain boots for exploring shallow water. Bring a flashlight. For ages 8 through adult. No fee, register at 717-428-1961.

Let’s Talk Bones
Sunday, March 11 from 1-2 p.m.
Lancaster County Environmental Center
1 Nature’s Way, Lancaster, PA 17602
Join Naturalist Rachel Albright as she guides participants through examination of animal skulls and interpretation of the clues they give about animal behavior. Put detective skills to work to determine if an animal skull belonged to a predator or prey, and discover what kind of diet the animal had! Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Friday, March 9. $3.00 per person. Ages 10 and up.

Munchkin Science – Wind Energy
Tuesday, March 13 from 1-2 p.m.
Lancaster County Environmental Center
1 Nature’s Way, Lancaster, PA 17602
Bring your Munchkin and their curiosity for some science fun with Naturalist Ann Strauss! Young people have very active minds that need to be challenged and stretched. For this first class of the spring series, kids will discover the power of wind through hands-on exploration. Where does wind come from? How do we measure it? The young scientists will have the opportunity to make a wind sock and try other wind measurement tools. Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Monday, March 12. $3.00 per child age 3 and up and $1.00 per adult. Ages 3-5.

Searching for the Green Hike
Saturday, March 17 at 1 -2:30 p.m.
Kings Gap Environmental Education Center
500 Kings Gap Rd., Carlisle, PA 17015-9306
Join us as we search for signs of Spring, and the green that can be seen all year long. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll also be looking for clovers. Plan on a 1-2 mile hike on hills and uneven terrain.
For more information, contact the center: (717) 486-3799.

Do it Yourself: Poo-Poo Spray and Air Freshener
Saturday, March 17 from 2-3 p.m.
Lancaster County Environmental Center
1 Nature’s Way, Lancaster, PA 17602
Spritz the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know! Here’s why this spray is different than air freshener: you spray it in the bowl before you go! The spray will create a barrier over the top of the water trapping all of the odor below the barrier! Join Program Manager Tammy Agesen to make a 4-oz. bottle of Sweet Lavender Heaven Poo-Poo Spray (average price of $14.95 to buy in a store) and an 8-oz. bottle of all-natural air freshener with essential oils (average price of $9.99 to buy in a store) for less than a third of the price of the name-brand products. Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Friday, March 16. $7.00 per person. Ages 9 and up.

Fun and Fascination … with Rocks and Fossils!
Wednesday, March 21  from 10-11 a.m.
Lancaster County Environmental Center
1 Nature’s Way, Lancaster, PA 17602
Children have an innate curiosity about rocks and fossils. Naturalist Mary Ann Schlegel taps into this as Fun and Fascination delves into the world of geology. Starting off with dinosaurs and fossils and working into minerals and rocks, children will explore and learn through hands-on activities and games. Note that we interrupt the geology series for a visit to our sugar shack (Pavilion #11) during maple sugaring season. Younger children with parents are welcome to attend if accompanying older siblings. Register online or call (717) 295- 2055 to register and prepay by noon on the Tuesday before each program. $3.00 per child and $1.00 per accompanying adult. Ages 6 – 10.

Build a Bluebird Box
Wednesday, March 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Lancaster County Environmental Center
1 Nature’s Way, Lancaster, PA 17602
Wildlife sometimes needs help to find a home and to raise young. Join Naturalist Lisa J. Sanchez to build bird houses to attract wildlife to your own backyard. Participants will also learn about the possible cavity nesting birds that will want to live in your box. Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Tuesday, March 20. $2.00 per person and $10.00 per box. All ages.

Preschool Storytime: Spring at Wildwood!
Wednesday, March 21 from 10-10:45 a.m.
Olewine Nature Center
100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Join a Dauphin County Library System Librarian and Wildwood Environmental Educator for a fun story session for children ages 2-5. Stories, songs, rhymes, play, and a take-home craft will introduce Wildwood critters and the joy of books and language to youngsters. Space is limited. Register online here. Free.

March Winds Bring… Kites!
Saturday, March 24 from 10-11:30 a.m.
Lancaster County Environmental Center
1 Nature’s Way, Lancaster, PA 17602
Celebrate both the winds of March and the arrival of spring! Naturalist Mary Ann Schlegel will assist as participants assemble, personalize, and test-fly simple sled kites. Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Thursday, March 22. $2.00 per person and $3.00 per kite. All ages.

Spring Hike Series – Speedwell Forge
Sunday, March 25 from 3-4:30 p.m.
Speedwell Forge County Park
480 Speedwell Forge Rd, Lititz, PA 17543
Naturalist Ann Strauss will lead a series of four spring hikes celebrating the parks of Lancaster County. This first hike of the series features Speedwell Forge County Park. Hikers will cover a two-mile loop trail through a beautifully wooded ravine that looks down upon the Hammer Creek. We will look for signs of spring and a variety of hardwood trees. The hike is moderately difficult with a few steep sections, but the trail itself is well maintained and easy to walk. Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Friday, March 23. $3.00 per person. Ages 8 and up.

Munchkin Science – Eating and Taking Care of Your Body
Tuesday, March 27 from 1-2 p.m.
Lancaster County Environmental Center
1 Nature’s Way, Lancaster, PA 17602
This Munchkin session led by Naturalist Ann Strauss starts with a basic understanding of the digestive system. Kids will get to snack while having fun with some taste tests. Kids will learn where their food goes after they swallow it and how food is used to build their bodies. As a final activity, participants will learn about the importance of good dental hygiene during an easy experiment. Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Monday, March 26. $4.00 per child age 3 and up and $1.00 per adult. Ages 3-5 with an adult.

Art In The Wild: Meet The Artist
Saturday, March 31 from 1-3 p.m.
Wildwood Park
100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Art In The Wild artists are busy finishing up final touches to trailside art installations. Take a self-guided three-mile trail walk to meet the artists and observe the inner workings to creating outdoor art. FREE.

Blue Moon Hike
Saturday, March 31 from 7-9 p.m.

Wildwood Park
100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Have you ever heard of or seen a Blue Moon? Join a park naturalist at Dauphin County’s newest park – Detweiler Park – to hike and look at the night sky!  Learn about moon folklore and take a look at constellations, stars, planets and possibly shooting stars that may be visible while we watch the Blue Moon rise. The walk will be a total of 1.5 miles. Dress for the weather; Bring a blanket to sit on and a flashlight. Register online here. FREE.

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Art in the Wild at Wildwood Park, Harrisburg, 2017

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