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August 18 Update

With the addition of walks in Tioga, Lycoming, Mercer, and McKean counties, we are up to 47 walks being offered across the state on October 1. Check out “Where Are the October 1 Walks Happening?” to see what’s been planned for a walk near you!

See you in the woods on October 1!

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Walk in Penn’s Woods August 5 Update

Every week we gain multiple walks. Today we updated the listing of the October 1 walks and added one more in Snyder and one on the Berks/Schuylkill border.

This statewide day of woods walks is drawing out a lot of interest, a lot of new partners, and a lot of fun opportunities to get people excited about Penn’s Woods!

We hope you’ve made your plans to join us in the woods on October 1 at a walk near you!

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Adding New Walks All the Time

As of July 26, we are pleased to report that we have 41 walks currently confirmed across Pennsylvania. If you click on the tab “Where Are the Walks Happening?” at the top of the page, you’ll be able to see a table (alphabetized by county) of those walks offered to date.

We are excited by the new partnerships forming and breadth of support offered to get people out in Penn’s Woods and talking about the benefits of those woods to our health, communities, wildlife, clean water, clean air, and overall quality of life.

We hope you’ll join us too!

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Announcing the Walk in Penn’s Woods

The new informal partnership for Penn’s Woods, Working for You, announces a statewide Walk in Penn’s Woods on Sunday, October 1, 2017. Rural, urban and suburban woods, state and national forests and parks, municipal watersheds, conserved areas, private lands and industry in the state’s 67 counties will hold open houses and guided woods walks showcasing the multiple values and diverse uses of our state’s priceless forest resources.

As the fall season arrives this year, the first Sunday in October will feature mentored woods walks all across the state, providing entrée to woodlands, along with easy access to expert forest and wildlife professionals. Some individual Walks in Penn’s Woods may also schedule children’s activities, showcase management for wildlife or watersheds, exhibit the results of harvesting or planting, demonstrate the results of urban tree cover, showcase riparian buffers or reveal the fascinating innards of a local sawmill.  You can find information about each individual event on the Walk in Penn’s Woods website.

The partnership coordinating these events includes the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, Penn State Center for Private Forests, Penn State Natural Resources Extension, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Forest Stewards, and the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative. These partners, along with a number of additional supporters, are working energetically to fashion a group of diverse, informative, and exciting events to entice individuals, families, friends and neighbors, out into Penn’s Woods for an enjoyable learning experience.

Pennsylvania literally means Penn’s Woods. A grant from King Charles II to William Penn in March 1681 established the colony; Sylvania is a Latin word that means “forest land.” Penn recognized the value of his Pennsylvania forests and included in his 1681 Concessions to the Province an order to leave one acre of trees for every five acres of land cleared.

After Penn’s death, settlers generally disregarded his edict and by 1907 had reduced the original forest from 27 million acres to less than nine million.  But over the last century, Pennsylvania has regained much of its historic forest land, reaching approximately 17 million acres during the last two decades. This is the largest amount of forest to stand in Pennsylvania since it became a state and it includes some of the most intact and bountiful hardwood forest lands in the temperate world.

Penn’s Woods is one of the state’s prized Crown Jewels. Not only does it provide a spectacular and significant timber resource, but it provides incalculable value as a water resource, pollution filter, carbon store, wildlife habitat and biodiversity reserve, urban refuge, and a priceless source of recreational and aesthetic enjoyment. It is also a resource challenged by invasive plants and diseases, climate change, mismanagement, development pressure, and legacy issues.

The Partnership for Penn’s Woods invites all Pennsylvanians to learn about the many ways that Penn’s Woods Works for all of us on October 1st by participating in one of the mentored walks and events across the state, by downloading additional information about the resource, or even by documenting and sharing your own learning adventure in our woodlands on the Walk in Penn’s Woods website.

We especially invite you to participate by volunteering a venue, being a mentor, demonstrating a skill, or showcasing your stewardship!