Conservation Celebration

Conservation means keeping something in good and orderly condition. As a TRAIL FAMILY, we definitely have stock in conserving the natural environment.  There are several departments that have to do with conservation, national parks, state and national forests, and the department of conservation. Each of these play essential yet slightly different roles in protecting natural spaces and resources throughout the country. When you are planning TRAIL FAMILY trips, be sure to consider all of these options. Many of them have trails that can be accessed for free.

Calvin at the bridge at Varden Conservation Area, Northeast PA

One of our local conservation areas is the Varden Conservation Area. It was established after the land was gifted by Dr. Mead Shaffer, local veterinarian. The area is managed by Promised Land State Park. There are two separate tracts of land that feature over seven miles of trails, one of which is ADA accessible. What a wonderful feature! This conservation area is also open to hunters, trappers, and dog trainers during certain seasons established by DCNR and Pennsylvania Game Commission. One tract of land also has a fishing pond.

As a TRAIL FAMILY, we definitely have stock in conserving the natural environment.

The Department of Conservation of Natural Resources (DCNR) along with a charity organization called “The Friends of Varden” host a Conservation Day event annually on the first Saturday of September. There is a wildlife presentation, fishing derby, scavenger hunt, face painting, silent auction, and bake sale. This event is free for anyone to attend. It is a fantastic day out that we have enjoyed for the last four years. 

Checking over our scavenger hunt list

Our favorite event this year was the scavenger hunt. There was a list of things to find as well as questions to answer. Many trees and plants were marked with flags that you had to identify. Because our girls had gone on a guided nature walk earlier that summer, they knew many of the trees and plants! We also collected some pine cones and leaves as part of the hunt. You got extra points if you found the largest or smallest leaf or pine cone. We also had to look for five insects. We saw a grasshopper and a few moths. Some gnats and flies found us We ended up getting 29 out of 30 possible points. Not bad if you ask me!

A chameleon at the wildlife presentation

We love free TRAIL FAMILY events. You don’t have to spend tons of money to cultivate the TRAIL FAMILY lifestyle. However, many of the spaces that we enjoy as a TRAIL FAMILY are dependent on donations to keep operating. It is great to support your local parks and conservation areas as much as possible. Attending events and donating shows the volunteers that we care about the trails and the work they do to maintain them. When we attend this particular event we either bid on items in the silent auction, buy goods at the bake sale, or both. Let’s be inspired by Dr. Shaffer’s generosity in his amazing gift that is now open for everyone to enjoy. 

What are some forest or conservation areas local to you? Do they have events where you can donate to their cause? Could you volunteer as a family to help one of these organizations?

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