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This page houses archived copies of posts and materials published on the PEC website since 2014. Use the tools below to search or browse legacy content including publications, handouts, maps and trail information, audio and video, blog posts, newsletters, and more.

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Have you ever been on a walk and stumbled upon an enormous tree? It can be an awe-inspiring experience, standing at the base of a truly ancient organism. These trees are especially important, not only because they play essential ecological roles, but because they appeal to our emotions and provide an example of what can be accomplished if natural places are protected. Whether in a remote state park or on a city block, these eye-catching trees help make the argument for conservation. Champion Trees of Pennsylvania A champion tree is the largest individual of its species. American Forests keeps a…
The state budget passed in July represents Pennsylvania’s biggest investment in conservation in more than 15 years, including funding for three new state parks. DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn returns to the podcast for a closer look at what’s in the 2022-23 budget for the environment and outdoor recreation. The 2022-23 budget includes a historic investment in the environment and conservation in Pennsylvania. $696 million will help fund outdoor recreation, habitat restoration and preservation, the Outdoor Corps, and other projects. The budget also added 31 new DCNR staff positions. One of the most talked-about budget additions is the $56 million…
The Catawissa Creek, an incredibly beautiful, 41-mile tributary of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, was one of four nominees for the 2022 Pennsylvania River of the Year. Despite the impressive outreach efforts of the emerging coalition between the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR), Catawissa Creek Restoration Association (CCRA), conservation districts in Columbia and Schuylkill counties, and other groups, the Catawissa was not voted as this year’s winning river. However, this story has a silver lining! The excitement, engagement, and interest generated in the watershed community and among all four community watershed…
Great ideas can sometimes take time! The Spring Garden Street “Greenway” is an excellent example, though it appears that vision will prevail. PEC began working on a concept plan for a Spring Garden Street Greenway back in 2010. The project evolved from a prior study that indicated the most efficient and feasible ways to travel across Center City Philadelphia by bike were the Pine/Spruce corridor and the Spring Garden Street Corridor. While Pine/Spruce were quickly developed as buffered bike lanes, the idea that Spring Garden Street could accommodate a protected bikeway and efficiently connect the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers and…
This news story, originally published in Capital & Main on August 12, quotes from a letter sent by PEC and the Environmental Defense Fund to Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Environmental Resources & Energy Committee on July 28, 2022 opposing Regulation #7-544 (Control of VOC Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources). Comments from PEC Senior VP John Walliser are excerpted below. Find the full story here. Pennsylvania Legislators Stall Emissions Regulation The state risks health and highway funding if it doesn’t pass regulations on oil and gas pollution. Published on August 12, 2022 By Audrey Carleton Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are attempting to…
For more than 70 years, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) has worked with Pennsylvania and seven other states to improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin. In addition to its extensive monitoring and data collection efforts, ORSANCO offers programs to help people connect with their local waterways and become better stewards. Lily Jones talks with outreach specialist Nick Callahan about ORSANCO’s annual River Sweep cleanup and floating environmental education classroom. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) has collaborated with member states for over 70 years to improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin.…
I’d venture that all of us who feel passionately about the environment and clamor for its protection and restoration can point to outdoor experiences in our youth that engaged us, excited us, seduced us into a deeper appreciation of the natural environment — “ah ha” moments that hooked us for good! PEC believes that providing Pennsylvanians with access to the outdoors keeps us connected to natural resources and cultivates appreciation, if not reverence, for the natural environment. It makes us feel good! It gives us breath! It makes us smile. It provides space! Places to hike, bike, kayak, fish, hunt,…
It happens: sometimes outdoor adventures don’t go as smoothly as you’d hoped. They can be frustrating and physically punishing. At times they can be downright harrowing. A recent paddling trip turned out to be one of those experiences for me — but to my surprise, I came away even more convinced that spending time on the water is worthwhile, even when things don’t go as expected. I don’t often write about experiences leaving me humiliated, but nevertheless, I volunteered to write this blog to reflect on my kayaking adventure, provide some lessons learned, and describe how I found inspiration from a…