Resources

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.

Refine by Resource Type

Refine by Topic

Refine by Date

People need plants to live. Plants need carbon and nitrogen to grow. But there’s too much carbon in the atmosphere and not enough in the ground, especially on farmland degraded by generations of unsustainable practices, while rivers and streams are full of nitrogen that should be nourishing crops. Can regenerative and holistic farming methods set things right? A conversation with Hannah Smith-Brubaker of PASA Sustainable Agriculture, ahead of PASA’s upcoming 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Lancaster. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · The Ground Beneath Our Feet Dealing with climate change means drastically reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. But…
Interest in the outdoors skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, opening the doors for big investments in recreation, conservation, and climate. Most recently, billions in new funding for outdoor recreation and alternative transportation are now available with last month’s passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. We discuss with Charles Cooper, Managing Director with Signal Advocacy and a Co-Chair of Signal Outdoors. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · The Solution   It was clear from the beginning that the COVID-19 pandemic would transform the way people relate to public space. Not everything about that transformation has been positive, but some developments —…
From the formation of fossil fuel deposits to the tectonic ballet that gave us the Appalachian Mountains, geologic events occurring hundreds of millions of years ago made the Keystone State what it is today. These events also created the distinctive regional topographies by which DCNR’s Conservation Landscapes program is organized. We explore the links between outdoor recreation, climate change, and Pennsylvania’s geological history with DCNR’s Kristen Hand. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Rock Talk   The last 400 years of Pennsylvania’s history are often covered in textbooks. But what about the last million years? Or 500 million years? The Pennsylvania we know…
With the energy market changing, power-generation companies must reassess their business models. Rather than cut their losses and move on, Talen Energy of Allentown, PA, is looking at ways to keep facilities open by exploring other options for their plants, like battery storage and digital currency mining. We discuss with Julie LaBella, Talen’s Senior Director for Regulatory and External Affairs. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Power Shift Between climate change and the changing economics of energy production, there’s no realistic scenario where coal-fired power plants are still a part of Pennsylvania’s energy portfolio by 2050. Nuclear energy faces challenges too, though…
The problem of plastic polluting the ocean has been a popular topic for a while. But until about 10 years ago, no one was studying the prevalence of plastics in fresh water. Dr. Sherri Mason, Director of Sustainability at Penn State Erie, was one of the first to look into plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. We speak with her about her research on microplastics, and what it means for ecosystem and human health. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Litter in the Lakes Dr. Sherri Mason, Director of Sustainability at Penn State Erie, helped put the issue of plastic pollution in…
The mission of Penn State Extension is to bring the scientific and practical expertise of PSU researchers and faculty throughout the Commonwealth. But even with offices in every county, extension staff can’t be everywhere at once. That’s where master volunteers come in. PSU Extension’s Master Gardener program is familiar to many, but did you know you can also train to become a Master Watershed Steward? We talk with program coordinator Erin Frederick. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Mastering Watersheds Local watershed associations and their volunteers are the lifeblood of water conservation efforts in Pennsylvania. They’re the people who identify the needs, find…
Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Policy Check-In One month ago, the state Regulatory Review Commission signed off on a rulemaking that would make Pennsylvania the newest member of RGGI, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – the state’s best opportunity to substantially reduce its contribution to climate change. Along with emission reductions, Pennsylvania will also reap significant financial rewards through the sale of carbon dioxide emission allowances. The vote was one of the final hurdles DEP needed to clear before the rule can take effect next year. With 2022 now in sight, the focus shifts to how the Commonwealth can leverage RGGI…
Philadelphia’s trails took a beating from Hurricane Ida, and some will take months to recover. Two weeks after the floodwaters receded, we look at conditions along the Schuylkill River Trail with representatives from the City of Philadelphia and the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · The Aftermath Hurricane Ida slammed into Greater Philadelphia on September 2, causing at least five local deaths and untold millions of dollars in property damage. Ida also took a heavy toll on the popular Schuylkill River Trail, which, when completed, will extend 126 miles upstream from the heart of Center City…
We celebrate Pennsylvania Trails Month with a preview of this year’s PEC Public Lands Ride and the 11th annual PEC Environment Ride. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · A Ride for Everyone   As summer comes to an end, we’re looking forward to cooler weather, changing leaves, and Pennsylvania Trails Month! Pennsylvania is home to millions of acres of public lands and over 12,000 miles of trails — so no matter where you are in the state, a great bike ride is never too far away. This fall, PEC is hosting multiple cycling events around the state: the Public Lands Ride, and…
An aerial map of tree canopy in any large U.S. city will give you a relatively accurate picture of income and racial demographics: with few exceptions, the more tree cover a neighborhood has, the more likely it is to be wealthy and predominantly white. Tree Equity Score, a new tool by American Forests, helps quantify this disparity. Ian Leahy, VP of Urban Forestry at American Forests, walks us through the process of developing Tree Equity Score, and how it can be used to promote healthier, greener, more equitable cities. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Trees for All   Despite three centuries…
There are 349 rare, threatened, or endangered native plant species in Pennsylvania. The habitats they call home are as diverse as the plants themselves. As the climate changes, new challenges will arise for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the agency in charge of managing these habitats and protecting Pennsylvania’s rare plants. On this episode, DCNR botanist Andrew Rohrbaugh discusses what the future may hold for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable flora. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Protecting Our Plants   This summer, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources designated 35 new wild plant sanctuaries in state forests. Hidden in…
It’s one thing for an environmental organization to tout its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s another to live out that commitment at the level of programming and daily activities. On this episode: how Philadelphia’s Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership is innovating upon its mission to protect the watershed and better serve all its residents. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Walking the Walk   The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watershed is a cross-section of Greater Philadelphia. Encompassing a wide swath of suburban Montgomery County as well as neighborhoods within the City proper, it’s home to a diverse population of residents who are increasingly engaged in…