Wild Notes Winter 2011 edition

Winter 2011

*You can also download the entire issue in PDF form.

Cosmo the flying squirrel


You can also download the entire issue in printable PDF form

How do we protect a special woodland in our community?  How do we protect a special woodland, while sustainably developing our community?  How do we protect that woodland, while sustainably developing a changing community, with economic pressures, declining urban centers and high unemployment?

The questions continue to grow.  For all who embrace conservation, we are challenged by the changes in our communities and the need for economic growth, jobs and development.  How do we protect the special places that create the "green" landscapes of our communities?  How do we maintain the quality of local streams that run through the neighborhoods, slow down stormwater that would otherwise flood our basements, build trails that encourage healthy recreation and protect wild places that are needed by all creatures?

Workshops involve hands-on activities that keep participants engaged.

Each citizen must address these challenges within the boundaries of their community or municipality.  Now more than ever, a foundation of community education is needed to help communities work together and decide their future.  People need to know how to govern and how to model good practices within the confines of current budget issues and other environmental and social challenges.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of State Parks, in partnership with other organizations and agencies such as WRCP, is working with teachers, community leaders and students throughout the commonwealth through an award-winning program called PeopleLand and Community Education (P.L.A.C.E.).

P.L.A.C.E. uses a variety of educational resources, including a 250-page education guide called Pennsylvania Land Choices.  The Pa. Land Choices Education Guide provides a foundation of activities and information for teachers in grades six through 12 (although the activities can be adapted for elementary and college-level students as well), and can be downloaded in its entirety at www.palandchoices.org.  More than 15 school districts and a handful of universities have incorporated Pa. Land Choices into their curricula.  The curriculum is also used in professional development workshops offered through state parks across Pennsylvania.  These workshops are approved for Act 48 professional hours and continuing education credits.  During the workshops, teachers work with conservation specialists, planners, municipal officials, businesses, industry and agriculture experts to apply science and civics through place-based learning.


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Pennsylvania Wild Resource Program