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Three Hundred Fifth-Graders to Visit ESC for Earth Week


(EDITOR’S NOTE: A rainy weather forecast prompted cancellation of the McCall Middle School’s planned April 22 visit.)

Three hundred fifth-graders from two area school districts will explore a natural laboratory, tour the “Pennsylvania WoodMobile,” meet “William Penn” and visit a sawmill when they celebrate Earth Week at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center on April 22-23.

Two hundred students from the Montoursville Area School District will visit the campus from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 22, and 100 students from the Montgomery Area School District will participate in the activities in the same time period on April 23. The Earth Science Center, located near Allenwood, houses the College’s School of Natural Resources Management.

Students in the Forest Technology majors will act as guides as the fifth-graders tour the natural laboratory, which includes 110 acres of forest, plantations, fields, ponds and an interpretive trail system. The trail system features four trails, 36 environmental points of interest, an outdoor classroom, a pond and a picnic area. It serves as an ongoing project for the Forest Recreation course in the Forest Technology major.

The Pennsylvania WoodMobile is a project of the state Department of Agriculture’s Hardwoods Development Council and the state’s hardwoods industry. The traveling exhibit, which is housed in a 34-foot trailer, provides information on Pennsylvania’s forest resources and the forest-products industry.

In the WoodMobile, the students will learn how today’s forest differs from the forest of a century ago, touch various hardwood species produced in Pennsylvania and see how deer affect the forest. They’ll also learn about Pennsylvania’s forest-products industry, see how wood products are made and learn how the forest is managed in sustainable fashion.

In addition, a costumed William Penn will present workshops on the history of wood in Pennsylvania, and the students will tour the College’s sawmill operation and view a demonstration there.

“The activities we’ve included for the fifth-graders were planned with ‘fun’ in mind, but we also wanted to take the opportunity to educate them on the impact forest products have on their lives,” said Dr. Mary A. Sullivan, assistant dean of natural resources management. “An added bonus is that our Forest Technology students, by acting as presenters and guides, will refine their skills as they enjoy the day with these young students.”

For more information about the Forest Technology program or other majors in the School of Natural Resources Management at Penn College, call (570) 327-4761, send e-mail or visit on the Web.

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