This & That – Feb. 21, 2012

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Harris Township Chicken Ordinance

Congratulations to Amy Farkas, Nellie Bhattarai, the Board of Supervisors and the residents of Harris Township on the adoption of their new chicken ordinance, covered in the Centre Daily Times on Feb. 16 by Jessica VanderKolk:

“…The ordinance, discussed since last fall, allows residents on lots less than 10 acres to raise from two to eight hens, depending on lot size. Lots as small as 3,000 square feet may have two chickens…”

Olga Bonfliglio writing at Energy Bulletin

Big government and big corporations befriend the local food movement:

“…Handling this growing demand for local food presents many opportunities for economic development and job growth because it requires the rebuilding a local food system that involves all the steps from “farm to fork” including production, processing, packaging, marketing, sales and distribution…”

Job Opening at The Seed Farm in Lehigh County

Position available: Assistant Field Manager at The Seed Farm, a Lehigh County Agricultural Business Incubator and New Farmer Training Program in Emmaus Pennsylvania.

The Seed Farm offers a three-year new farmer training program and agricultural business incubator. New farmers have access to the training, land and equipment to start their own farms on County-owned land.

The Assistant Field Manager’s responsibilities will include general field work, including significant tractor work; management of weed management and tillage on farm demonstrations; harvest; pack and marketing as needed. This position requires two or more years of production experience. Tractor experience required.  Please direct inquiries to Sara Runkel, The Seed Farm Executive Director at sara_runkel@theseedfarm.org.

News from Shavers Creek Environmental Center

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center opened to the public for 2012 last week on Feb. 15:

Have you seen our latest animal additions, like Leopard Frogs, a Short-eared Owl, and a third (younger) Bald Eagle?  Or the snazzy new trail markers along our Point, Bluebird, and Black Walnut trails?  Stop in our bookstore for a trail map, visit the birds in the Raptor Center, and warm up in the Discovery Room with our reptiles. Our doors will be open throughout the year from 10 am to 5 pm, seven days a week, so come and discover with us!

The theme of this week’s Kids Corner is “Wind” — children ages 3–5 and their caregivers are invited to come out and participate this Wednesday, February 22 from 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. The program is FREE thanks to the support of our members, and the sponsorship of Growing Tree Toys in State College.

Coming up this Friday, our spring public program schedule continues…

Owl Prowl - Do you ever wonder how owls stay warm in the winter? Or how they find things to eat in the dark? What do the different owl calls sound like? Join us for an owl prowl this Friday, February 24 from 6:00–8:00 p.m., and find the answers for yourself. We’ll learn about our resident owls and cool owl adaptations. Then we’ll venture outside and try out some of the wild owl calls we’ve learned. With a little luck and good listening, we may even hear them call back! Bring your flashlight, plenty of warm clothes, and sturdy footwear. Owl prowls are very popular programs, so pre-registration will be required. Please call Shaver’s Creek to register at 814-863-2000. The program is FREE to members, and we suggest a $5.00/person donation for non-members. Program is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Summer Camp - A friendly reminder that Summer Camp registration is open. As of a few days ago our camps are about 87% full, so visit our website  to see what camps still have room.

For questions about any of these programs, please email us at ShaversCreek@outreach.psu.edu or call 814-863-2000.

Feb. 23 -Farm Equipment Auction – PSU Surplus

Penn State Surplus is holding a Farm Equipment Auction on Thursday, February 23, in the Snider Agricultural Arena. Preview is Wednesday February 22 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information call 865-4371 or check out www.surplus.psu.edu.

Feb. 27 – CSA Fair in State College

March 1 – Creation Care Coalition Meeting

All are invited to the next meeting of the Creation Care Coalition of Centre County on Thursday, March 1 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (corner of Foster and Fraser St. In State College).  Meet together for dinner at the Community Cafe at 5:45, followed by a program in Room 325 from 6:45 to 7:45.  John Roe will present a program entitled “Spirituality, Stewardship and Justice:  My Journey with GreenFaith.”  John will tell us about his experiences as a participant this year in a seminar offered by GreenFaith. Click here for more information on the Green Faith Fellowship program.  Invite your friends, all are welcome to come to either dinner or the program or both.

March 31 – PennFuture Watershed Workshop

“Water, water everywhere: tools for addressing stormwater and Marcellus issues.” Saturday, March 31, 8:30 - 12:30 p.m. at Keystone College, Evans Hall, One College Green, La Plume, Pa 18444.  Free for PennFuture members and students with ID; $10 for others. Space is filling up. Register online or by calling 570-208-1757.

This workshop will give conservation and watershed groups, citizens and volunteers the tools to better protect our water from a variety of threats — including stormwater runoff and Marcellus gas drilling. More info & registration.

Topics include:

  • Marcellus shale development and its effect on stormwater management.
  • New municipal stormwater (MS4) permit process
  • Creative approaches for homeowners and communities to address stormwater issues.

Marcellus Drilling – Phone-in and Write-in Campaigns

To voice your opinion about the permitting of the Marc 1 pipeline - Call DEP: 570-327-3636.

For anyone unable to attend the PA-DEP’s Feb. 15 public hearing about air quality impacts of a proposed compressor station in Davidson Township, Sullivan County, written comment should be submitted by the close of business on Feb. 27 to DEP Air Quality Program Manager, 208 West Third St., Ste. 101, Williamsport, PA 17701.

For anyone unable to attend the Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s Feb. 16 public hearing on water withdrawals for drilling projects, on the agenda for approval at the March 15 SRBC meeting, written comments should be submitted by the close of business on Feb. 27.

Written comments may be mailed to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 1721 North Front Street, Harrisburg, Pa. 17102–2391, or submitted electronically to Richard A. Cairo, General Counsel, rcairo@srbc.net, or Stephanie L. Richardson, Secretary to the Commission, srichardson@srbc.net. Comments mailed or electronically submitted must be received by the Commission on or before February 27, 2012, to be considered.

News & Events from PASA

PASA-Supported Sustainability Schools:

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