February is for the birds at Jennings...and the trees and more!
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Be part of a global citizen science effort!  
The 19th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count

Homeschool CSI: Great Backyard Bird Count


Friday, February 12
8:30 AM - 12:00 Noon

REQUIRED by February 5  
For ages 5 and up

* Featuring hands-on discovery centers and learning activities for families to experience together, including bird identification, observing and counting birds at feeders.

* Learn how to participate in the GBBC, then use your new skills to observe and submit data at home. 

* Cost: $3/person or maximum $12/family.

Great Backyard Bird Count (public program)


Saturday, February 13
9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Free, but PRE-REGISTER by February 10  
For ages 10 and up

* For individuals who share an interest in birds.
* Learn about and practice bird identification, as you observe birds at Jennings' feeders, with tips from our staff and Bartramian Audubon Society.

* Find out how to use the GBBC website to submit your own observations and learn lots more!

We also invite and welcome volunteer birders who would like to make regular visits to Jennings to observe and count birds on their own on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from now through April 6th in support of our Project FeederWatch citizen science participation. Contact Becky Lubold at or 724-794-6011 for more information. 

Step into Snowshoes!

Now through February,
when snow conditions are suitable.


We are still hopeful that by the time you read this, we'll have enough of the fluffy white stuff to get outdoors and enjoy exploring the winter forest on snowshoes!  


Explore Jennings' trails in the winter and learn a new skill.  It's easy, it's fun, and it's free! When enough snow covers the trails, a limited number of snowshoes will be available for use within the park.

The center will be open on snowy Saturdays, as well as on regular Monday-Friday business days, to loan snowshoes between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.  A fun, family activity will be featured each Saturday we are open. A valid driver's license or ID card must be provided in order to borrow them.  (If in doubt about snow conditions, call 724-794-6011 before traveling to Jennings.)

Educator "Appie" Hour


Wednesday, February 17, 3:30 - 6 PM

FREE, Registration appreciated

Secondary teachers and administrators are invited to this open-house style event to meet our professional educators, discover new opportunities for schools, students, and teachers, and learn more about the unique resources of Jennings. This event will showcase the affordable inquiry-based programs that bring science practices to life for students in and out of school. Investigations at Jennings engage students in real conservation issues, using real tools and methods of field ecology, environmental science, and engineering. Also of interest are new service learning opportunities available for students in clubs, honor societies, or completing senior projects. All participating schools will receive a voucher for a discounted field trip to Jennings. Participants may arrive any time between 3:30 and 5:30 PM. Free appetizers provided! Registration is appreciated by February 15. Register online or by calling 724-794-6011.

"A Tick in Time Saves Lyme" 


Sunday, February 21, 2:00- 3:30 PM

FREE, Registration not required

They're out there...and we may have many questions and misconceptions about them. Hear the latest information about ticks, the diseases they can carry, and more from Dr. Thomas Simmons, Professor of Biology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Simmons will discuss the “Ecology of the Blacklegged Tick and Lyme Disease in Pennsylvania,” based on his current research about tick- and mosquito-borne diseases in our state. Blacklegged (deer) ticks are found in all 67 counties, with heavy concentrations in western Pennsylvania and an increase in the number of Lyme disease cases reported. 

In addition, Dr. Anne Simmons, with IUP research students, will provide interactive displays and opportunities for close-up viewing of ticks, using microscopes. Registration is not required for this free, public program.

Looking ahead: Maple sap will begin running and we'll be collecting and evaporating in time for our annual maple sugaring programs for schools, scouts and the public. 

  • "Home Sweet Home: Backyard Maple Sugaring" comes first on February 27th (details below).

  • Teachers can call now to schedule programs for their students. (Contact Miranda Crotsley, our Program Coodrinator at 724-794-6011.)

  • Registration for "Maple Sugaring for Scouts (March 19) begins February 3.

  • The public program takes place on March 20. Find details on the DCNR Calendar of Events

Home Sweet Home: Backyard Maple Sugaring


Saturday, February 27, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM


Here’s an opportunity for adults who want to try making their own tasty maple syrup! Again this year, we'll offer a workshop designed to inspire and enable participants to do just that. An optional tour of Jennings’ sugar bush will follow the workshop from 1:00 until 2:00 PM.

From choosing appropriate trees through tapping, collecting and evaporating maple sap, participants will learn, observe and practice the steps in the sugaring process, and discover how it can be done on a backyard scale. Information and resources will be provided for finding out more and getting started at home. 

The program is free, with equipment available to purchase.  Registration is required by February 20, and space is limited. Register online or by calling 724-794-6011.

Affiliated Meetings and Events


This "friends" group that supports Moraine, McConnells Mill, and Jennings State Parks will not have public meetings in January and February, 2016. Meetings will resume in March.


Bartramian Audubon Society

Bartramian Audubon's meetings will resume in March with a presentation about hummingbird myths.

Looking toward summer! 

Calling all parents of high school students!

Jennings and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy are again planning to offer the EYE Con summer science camp experience for teens, but we need your help to make sure the camp's schedule works for parents and students alike! Please help us by taking this very brief (2 minutes or less) survey. Even if your high school student may not be interested or able to attend this year, please take the survey and spread the word to other parents of teens!

Reminder: DCNR's Calendar of Events

On DCNR's Calendar of Events you can search for scheduled events at any of Pennsylvania's State Parks, as well as follow events, share and invite friends, and comment and upload photos after attending. Check it out here.
Copyright © 2016 Jennings Environmental Education Center, All rights reserved.

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