Educational Outreach

Education is essential to the Merrill Linn Conservancy’s mission. Our educational programs and activities aim to create appreciation of and curiosity about nature, to raise awareness of the need to preserve and conserve ecologically significant sites, and to build positive attitudes towards thoughtful stewardship and management of our landscape. Below you can read about several of the Linn Conservancy’s past, present and ongoing initiatives.

Newsletter, Linn Log

The Conservancy’s newsletter, the Linn Log, has long functioned as a conduit of information about the Conservancy’s activities, upcoming events hosted by like-minded organizations, articles exploring our local environment, developments in conservation, and recognition of service to the Conservancy.

Caring for Communities

Each spring, the Conservancy presents Caring for Communities—a salute to Earth Month—with a series of free family-oriented events and outdoor activities that reconnect people to nature during its most exciting season. Participants may attend a screening of an award-winning environmental film, tour a local farm to learn about its sustainable practices, take part in an interpretive hike focusing on early spring flowers, try their hand at live stakes planting, or enjoy a demonstration of raptors in flight and more. Programs vary from year to year. Caring for Communities events schedules are usually available by March.

Plein Air

The Conservancy’s education committee partners with the Lewisburg Artists Guild and the Union County Historical Society each spring to host the annual Plein Air Event, an opportunity for artists of all ages and skill levels to paint outdoors—en plein air—at local properties protected by the Conservancy. During the event a local artist presents a plein air workshop techniques and strategies for painting in nature. Art work created by the artists during the event is exhibited at The Public Library for Union County during the month of June.

Native Plant Garden

The Merrill Linn Conservancy Native Plant Garden, located at the East Buffalo Township’s municipal property on Fairground Road, was established in 2017 as an extension of the Conservancy’s Linking Landscapes Initiative. Native gardens are a vital link in creating corridors of life-sustaining habitat for native and migratory birds, bees, and butterflies. Conservancy members, friends and students learn about native gardens by helping with planting and maintenance.

Conservancy members designed, installed and maintain a native plant garden at RiverWoods Senior Living Community. Residents enjoy viewing the garden as it changes from early spring to late fall. It has inspired some to choose native plants for their own garden areas.

For more information, visit:

Further reading:

Workshops/Seminars

The native plant garden serves as a focus for the Conservancy’s native gardening presentations and workshops, which have included a 6-week Bucknell Institute of Lifelong Learning (BILL) course that introduced participants to the many benefits of native gardening.

Social Events

These are times for enjoying the company of others as well as learning opportunities. Whether they occur as a celebration of a new easement, as part of our annual banquet in May, a local hike or a celebration of an astronomical event, they are times that enhance our understanding and appreciation of our natural world. We welcome members and non-members alike to share in these enjoyable events.

Especially for Youth

Many of our activities are geared to the young. The Conservancy engaged children in creating paper lanterns for its Winter Solstice Campfire and Lantern Walk. Held at the Dale-Engle-Walker property on the longest day of the year, the program educated children and their parents about the scientific and cultural importance of the solstice during walks along lantern-lighted trails. Bonfires, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows kept everyone warm. With regard to Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods and related readings, the Conservancy’s education committee supports Nature Play programs for children that will provide the unstructured play that is vital to the physical, mental and emotional development of children. The Conservancy has also hosted Fossil Digs at a quarry near Faylor Lake in Snyder County. The popular event has drawn more than 400 children and adults.

The Conservancy also provides financial support in the form of scholarships for students participating in environmental programs, such as the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education’s (PICE) Wildlife Leadership Academy programs for 14 to 17-year-olds.

We supported R.B. Winter State Park’s environmental education efforts by acquiring grants to furnish nature displays for the Halfway Run Environmental Learning Center and to build the Sheary-Linn Amphitheater.

Conservation Union

In 2016 the Merrill Linn Conservancy founded the Conservation Union, an informal alliance to foster cooperation and sharing of information among local, county, state, and national organizations, agencies and individuals working on local conservation issues. Meetings were traditionally held at 7:30 a.m. on the last Friday of the month at Union County Government Center in Lewisburg. Conservation Union meetings are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

Video Productions

For our 30th anniversary celebration in October 2018, the Conservancy and the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance each created exquisitely photographed drone videos:

The Conservancy video explores some of our most beautiful protected sites, while the BCWA video follows Buffalo Creek from its headwaters to the Susquehanna River. Other Conservancy videos include A Vision of the Valley and The Montandon Wetlands: A Special Place in our Backyard.

Publications

The Conservancy regularly updates and prints a variety of brochures, including its Rural Routes series, and trail brochures.

Informative guides are available at our Shamokin Mtn., Koons and Dale’s Ridge trailhead kiosks.

The two brochures of our Rural Routes series describe scenic driving routes within Union County. Detailed maps and directions along with commentary about local natural features lead drivers to sites of special interest including scenic overlooks, parks and hiking trails.

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