Only Comes Once a Year...
It's fall, and the trees are in the process of unveiling
their annual color show. Accordingly, the
central theme of
this issue is trees. There are few moments
in the Pennsylvania year as spectacular as mid-October, so
try to ignore at least one obligation and get out into the
woods. To help plan your trip, you
might want to check out the following websites.
The Foliage Network
relies on a network of spotters to provide weekly reports to
show which areas are nearing peak displays of color
(according to the most recent report, we are currently at
"Low Color"). The
Weather Channel's Fall Foliage page offers maps, as well
as an excellent scientific explanation of
why the leaves change color.
FallinPA.com has maps, live web cams, and
road trips that will take you through the best areas.
A great place to start is to take PA 120 west to Renovo for
Flaming Foliage Festival (Oct 10-12).
Hemlock is a publication of the Environmental
Focus Group. The
articles are contributed by LHUP faculty, staff, and students--as
well as members of the central Pennsylvania community. If
you would like to submit something for a future issue, please
contact Bob Myers.
Vanished History Unearths a New Beginning: Eagleton Mine
--Robert G. Zakula (LHUP 2008 Alumni; pursuing a M.A.
in History at Central Washington University)
10th, 2006, the grand opening occurred for the newest
addition to the many great trail systems within the
Pennsylvania Wilds. Located approximately 7 miles west of
Lock Haven in Sproul State Forest, the reconstructed
Eagleton MineCamp Trail (EMCT) is a gratifying place to visit for
people who like the outdoors as well as local history.
Eagleton Mine Camp Trail, however, was not a new project
that was developed by the Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources (DCNR). In fact, the EMCT was formerly
the village of Eagleton, a secluded, yet productive, mining
community that operated from roughly 1845-1870.
original EMCT was part of the Eagleton Railroad system,
which traversed along the West Branch of the Susquehanna in
the Tangascootac Valley, and connected many other industrial
towns to the small mining village on the Allegheny plateau.
The Eagleton Railroad, at that time, would have been
considered an engineering feat for such a rural,
underdeveloped region; the innovative railroad grade climbed
seven switchbacks until it reached the top of the plateau
where the village was located. It is also alleged that
Prince Farrington, a notorious bootlegger during the
prohibition-era, had built a still on top of one of the
ridges near the mining camp.
peak, Eagleton’s production was heavily focused on coal and
iron ore, and rarely, if ever, ventured into other crude and
laborious industries. Like the other mining towns in the
region, Eagleton curiously vanished with no sign of reviving
a quickly dying industry.
detailed history of Eagleton’s operations and its workers is
difficult to dig up, literally, but so is the past of many
other mining towns that existed in the surrounding valley
and watershed. Any person interested in disclosing the
particulars of these remote mining camps would have to
“mine” their way through old industrial records and
historical archives in Clinton and Centre counties’
libraries and courthouses.
the foundation of the mining village of Eagleton is no more,
and the old railroad bed has either been dismantled or has
succumbed to overgrowth over the past century. Only the
limited knowledge of once was and what could have been
besieges this partially isolated forest like an eerie
apparition, and the workers’ drudgery can be felt in spirit
right alongside an individual’s efforts when pursuing more
modern-day, physically-demanding activities.
Eagleton Mine Camp Trail’s resurrection from the industrial
past, with construction efforts led by the DCNR, was also
sponsored by the Clinton County Economic Partnership and
local businesses. In spite of the renovation and (limited)
press coverage of the addition to Sproul State Forest’s
280,000 acres, the EMCT is still fairly unknown, or rather
unused, by outdoors enthusiasts. Perhaps the
newly-constructed woodland trails are a gift to local
citizens who view these forests as their backyard,
particularly residents of Lock Haven, Mill Hall, and
Renovo. For these reasons, the EMCT serves as one of the
most conveniently constructed, serene trail systems in
Sproul State Forest.
are multiple options for outdoor activities in all four
seasons, from hiking, trail-running, mountain biking, and
horseback riding in the spring, summer, and fall, to
snowshoeing and, to some degree, cross country skiing in the
winter. With restrictions on logging, there is also an
unaccounted number of wildlife as well as old and new plant
and tree growth; it is almost guaranteed that trail users
will catch sight of deer, bears, snakes, and wild turkey.
EMCT trail is clearly marked on trees and rocks as well as
wooden posts to help someone find direction. For
individuals who seek endurance-based, technical challenges,
there are strenuous climbs, rock gardens, and tricky
switchbacks on the trails marked as moderate to difficult.
With 20-plus miles of trail and several connectors, there
are a countless number of ways for anyone to enjoy this
backyard treasure in solitude.
of the Month: The Eagleton Mine Camp Trail
----Robert G. Zakula
you're interested in hiking the EMCT, first download the
maps of the
Sproul State Forest and
Eagleton Mine Camp Trail. To get to the EMCT trailhead,
take Route 120 west from Lock Haven for about 7 miles. Look
for a large wooden sign displaying Eagleton Mine Camp Trail
and turn left onto Eagleton Road. Follow this unpaved
logging road for a little over 2 miles to the eastern
trailhead; there is a large gravel parking lot on the right
near a set of power lines. Little Buckhorn Trail, .4 miles
west of the parking area on Eagleton Road, is highly
recommended for its challenging climbs, unparalleled
ridgelines, and multiple stream crossings. To reach the
western trailhead, follow Eagleton Road west for roughly 3
miles—the gravel parking lot will be on the left.
Hikes of the Month can be found at Hemlock Hikes.
Getting Started in
--Caleb Sizemore (LHUP English Major)
One of the best ways to enjoy
the beauty of the many trails in this area is with a
mountain bike (MTB). I've been mountain biking for
years, and I'd like to pass on some advice on how to get
One of the main
considerations is what kind
of area (geographically) do you live in? If you live in the
mountains, say like, here in LHUP, a single track MTB might be
the best thing for you! Maybe a long and fast railroad bed
(rail-to-trails) would better suit your fancy. There are
currently 13,935 miles of railroad track turn trail in PA
and the surrounding states. How ‘bout a crazy dash to the
bottom of the mountain on a tough downhill track? Penn
State has some of the best downhill courses in the country.
Each of these types of trails requires a different mountain
You basically have two options.
Most people choose a Hard-tail, a bike with shock absorbers on the front
forks. Others go with a Full Suspension, a bike with shock absorbers in the front
and the rear. "Old Timers" and "Purists" might choose
a rigid bicycle without any shocks, but this probably won’t serve well as the beginning
bicycle for you.
When purchasing a bike, keep
a few things in mind:
Decent mountain bikes are
lightweight and responsive to the demanding constantly
Do your research. I
can’t stress this enough! To find the perfect bike for
you talk to friends, and read reviews on the internet.
Try a lot of bikes.
your friends' bikes and find what you like and what works for you.
Go to a bike shop.
For example, you might start at The Bike Gallery at 140
E. Main Street, Lock Haven. It’s
their job to know what bikes are out there and what
bikes would be good for the trails you want to tackle.
it comes to MTBs, you usually get what you pay for.
Buy a cheap bike, get cheap performance. But once
you've found the bike you want, don’t settle for the first price you find.
People are always getting rid of good bikes. Check the
local paper, magazines, and the internet for a price you
Now you have a bike.
But before you go riding, there are a few more purchases you
might want to make. You absolutely need a helmet.
Spandex padded shorts
make a world of difference on the trail. After a good ten
miles of bumps and crags, you’ll have plenty of your own in
places you would rather not. Gloves and a jersey are also
very nice to have, but once again, not entirely necessary.
Riding shoes are also another
option for extra equipment. The shoes are rigid and
specially made to clip into your peddles and help you ride
through the tough terrain. Please note that these shoes are
in European sizes and if you are interested in buying a pair
you need to go to a bike shop and have them fitted for you.
Once you actually
start riding for yourself, you will realize what other
pieces of equipment you would like to have, what keeps you
Mountain biking can be one of
the best ways to get out of the house/town/job/busy
lifestyle to see the outdoors around you. To relax. To
exercise. TO HAVE FUN! Please,treat the trail and
the wildlife around you with respect. Others want to enjoy
the same exciting ride that you do, so keep the trails looking pristine.
For more information, see
Mountain Biking Pennsylvania.
Sense of Place at LHUP
--Jeff Schaffer (LHUP Campus Minister)
As I write this, the calendar does not yet give its
permission to talk of autumn in the present tense.
Nevertheless, the signs of its arrival are beginning to
appear all around Lock Haven. For example, on recent
morning walks I’ve observed migrant warblers in the nearby
forests. These small, colorful birds are busily focused on
finding food to fuel their south-bound journeys.
Yet another tell-tale sign of the season is the hike up to
the Hubert Jack Stadium for LHUP football. I love our
Bald Eagles and enjoy the games but I also appreciate the
setting for those contests. LHUP has one of the most
picturesque venues for sporting events in the world!
From the bleachers fans can look down the mountain and see
the university and the river valley below. There, the West
Branch of the Susquehanna reflects the forest-cloaked
mountains beyond. The trees of those forests seem to have
been woven into the fabric of the town. To me, the stadium
is a reminder of a unique intimacy between our university
and the natural world that surrounds it.
LHUP alma mater is another reminder of that intimacy.
The first verse in particular articulates a sense of place –
a connection to the environment. As we all know, Lock Haven
is the place “where the crystal Susquehanna shimmers in the
sun.” It is also the place where “the hemlock, pine and
maple murmur in the night.”
As I reflect on my time here at LHUP, I recognize that I have
experienced a growing intimacy with the natural world around
me. I have enjoyed a growing sense of place -- a
sense of the grace imparted to this corner of creation and
of how I fit into that landscape.
As a person of faith, I believe this is as it should be. If
we human beings are to be good stewards of the environment,
we need to recognize our place within it. My own faith
tradition, drawing from the Hebrew Scriptures, puts it this
way, “Dwelling in the presence of God, we begin to
experience ourselves as a part of creation, as stewards
within it, not separate from it. As faithful stewards,
fullness of life comes from living responsibly within God’s
creation.” (Renewing the Earth, US Catholic
Conference, 1991) From my own research, I know that the
Anglican and Lutheran churches have said much the same.
As members of the university community and as citizens of
planet earth, I hope and pray that our connection to the
natural world will deepen over time. That intimacy can only
help us to protect the environment as well as those of us
who live here.
This article was adapted from For the Good of God’s Green
Earth. FGGGE is a blog-pod written by LHUP campus
minister Jeff Schaffer that explores the connection between
faith and caring for the environment. Other postings
from FGGGE can be found at:
http://ministries.dioceseaj.org/lhucatholic/ . For
more information on faith-based environmentalism, visit the
The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change,
The Episcopal Ecological
The Evangelical Lutheran Church Statement on the Environment.
Getting to Know Your Local Conservation District
--Steven Putt, CPESC, Resource Technician, Clinton
County Conservation District
for the Clinton Country Conservation District, I find that
many people are unfamiliar with the idea of a county
conservation district. This is unfortunate since
conservation districts have been helping to conserve our
natural resources since the late 1940s. The 66 conservation
districts were initially established to help promote soil
and water conservation on farm lands. Since then, they have
evolved to meet the needs of today’s ever-changing
environment. Currently, Conservation Districts are involved
in environmental education, erosion and sediment pollution
control, stormwater management, watershed restoration,
wetland protection, abandoned mine land reclamation,
agricultural land preservation, nutrient management,
floodplain assistance, forest management, outdoor
recreation, and wildlife habitat improvements.
Clinton County Conservation District was established in 1946
and currently has six staff members, who work towards the
preservation, enhancement and protection of Clinton County’s
natural resources. Our four primary responsibilities are
granting permits for construction and timber harvesting
activities, watershed management, environmental education,
and technical assistance for agricultural activities. The
Clinton County Conservation District has been involved with
the Chatham Run and Fishing Creek Stormwater Management
plans. The District has also helped to establish a no-till
cover crop program to reduce soil erosion on farmlands,
which will help improve conditions in the Chesapeake Bay. We
have been directly involved with the Kettle Creek, Beech
Creek and Sugar Valley Watershed Associations, as well as
with the cooperative effort to assess and remediate acid
mine drainage problems. The District also hosts many
environmental educational activities throughout the year,
including County Envirothon, a poster contest, rain barrel
workshops, conservation summer camp, 6th grade
conservation field days, and various trainings for municipal
officials, environmental consultants, and contractors.
Conservation Districts are local people working to preserve
and enhance the local natural resources. If you have a
question or concern, or would simply like more information
about programs the District is involved with, please feel
free to contact your local Conservation District office.
The Clinton County Conservation District is located at 45
Cooperation Lane, Mill Hall, PA. You can contact us by
visiting our website at
http://www.clintoncountypa.com/conserve.htm or by
calling (570) 726-3798.
Review: Tree Guides
Last fall my son had to do a
leaf collection for his 7th-grade science class. To
help him, I bought a tree guide. I now have three
of these guides and haven't ruled out the possibility of
picking up a fourth. But before I do, I thought
I'd tell you about the ones I have.
My first guide was Stan
Trees of Pennsylvania Field Guide (Adventure
Publications, 2004). The book includes 117 species of
the most-common Pennsylvania trees. The trees are
arranged by needle or leaf type (simple, lobed, etc.) and
how they are attached to the tree (alternate or opposite), which makes it very easy
to narrow down the possibilities quickly. Within each
section, the trees move from small to large needles or
leaves. Tekiela includes descriptions of the tree as
well as large pictures of the leaves/needles and smaller
pictures of the bark, flower, and fruit of the tree.
His notes offer interesting information about the
relationship of the tree to the forest and to the human
community. At $12.95 it's reasonably priced and the
compact size (4.5" x 6") enables you to shove it in your
problem with Tekiela's guide is the relatively few number of
trees--I found myself frustrated because many of the trees I
was encountering were not included. Which led to my
second purchase, Roger Phillips,
Trees of North America and Europe (Random House,
1978). At $29.95, Phillips is much more expensive, and
at 8.5" x 11" it doesn't fit into too many pockets, but it
makes up for these limitations with its coverage--a whopping
500 trees. The organization is a bit more
complicated--the first 50 pages present a leaf index, with
similar looking leaves/needles grouped together. For
example, there are four pages of maple leaves. Once
you think you've found the right tree, you are referred to a
page in the second section of the book, which presents
pictures of the leaves and fruits or cones, as well as a
With the Phillips guide I was
able to indentify many of the trees that had eluded me, but
I found it clunky to carry around. Within a week of
buying Phillips, I found what I thought was the perfect
guide: The National Wildlife Federation's
Field Guide to Trees of North America. Like
Philips, the NWF guide covers 500 trees, the price is
($19.55), and at 4.5" x 7.5" it's portable.
The organization makes it easy to find your tree. The
major sections are divided by type of leaf and arrangement (needlelike leaves, scalelike leaves, fan-shaped leaves, opposite leaves, etc.).
Each section is color-coded, and within each section are
further groupings: for example, within opposite leaves, the
trees are grouped by lobed simple leaves, unlobed untoothed
simple leaves, etc. The beginning of each major
section also has a guide that often uses the fruit of the
tree to direct you quickly to the right area (that's why
this is an especially good time to begin tree
indentification--the fruits are out). The
supplemental material is first-rate as well--interesting
introductions to forests, tree ecology, and identification
tips. In short, this is the guide to buy.
had just spent $29 on Phillips, it took me a few months to
buy the NWF guide, but eventually I broke down, and I've
been very happy with it. However, I have found that
ultimately it's not such a bad thing to have three guides.
There are trees in Phillips that are not in the NWF
guide--for example, the common yews in Highland cemetery.
Also, it's often helpful to have several pictures of the
tree, leaves, or bark. I struggled to find the
beautiful swamp cypress that is at the northwest corner of
Ulmer until I saw the picture of its distinctive green fruit
in Phillips. And each time I'm in a bookstore, I flirt
with the many other tempting guides...
But regardless of which one
you choose, I strongly encourage you to get a guide.
Before I began learning the individual species, the trees I
passed each day were just a generic blur of trees. Once you
begin learning a few species, you begin to see the
individuality of each tree--an important part of developing
a sense of place.
Energy Conservation at
--Dave Proctor (LHUP Director of Facilities Planning)
cost of oil at all time highs, the cost of natural gas
rising almost as quickly, and the impending deregulation of
the Electric Companies, energy remains a major expense
for LHUP. With our total energy costs approaching
$3,000,000 this year, a small 10% reduction in usage can
lead to a $300,000 saving, providing funds for other uses.
In addition to economic pressures, the “Green” movement has
encouraged LHUP to use energy more efficiently than was done
in the past.
To meet this
challenge the university has been active in several areas,
and the result has been that our energy usage has dropped by
33% since 2002-03. We measure our energy consumption in
terms of BTUs per square footage (SF) per year. In 2002-03,
we expended 133,163 BTUs/SF for a total cost of $1,786,331.
In the fiscal year 2006-07 we expended 98,197 BTUs/SF at a
cost of $2,337,777. At that level of usage, we were the
third lowest in energy consumption out of the 14 PASSHE
universities. The report for the last fiscal year is not
yet complete, but we hope to have lowered our energy usage
the effort to achieve energy efficiency in our operations is
an Energy Committee that operates within the Facilities
Department. Active now for several years, this committee
has been one of the primary reasons we have achieved the
efficiencies noted above. This committee meets weekly and
is attended by our mechanics and supervisors. It focuses
its efforts on identifying the least energy efficient
buildings and then improving their efficiency by either
improving the operations of the existing equipment or
replacing equipment with better, more efficient technology.
Secondary to this effort is the energy audit we recently
completed. Honeywell, Inc. working with the Energy
Committee, performed a detail review of the energy
operations of over 1.3 million square feet of university
building space. As a result of this audit LHUP is in the
process of negotiating a contract with Honeywell to invest
over $10 million in our buildings over the next two years.
The energy savings from this effort will recoup the $10
million in less than 15 years and reduce our energy
consumption by approximately 25%. As part of this project,
we will change 50% of our lighting to more efficient type
fixtures, and replace approximately 25 boilers with newer
technology that will operate 10-15% more efficiently.
also utilizing what is know as LEEDS (Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design), design/construction/operation
criteria developed by the US Green Building Council in the
design of any new or renovation of existing buildings. This
criteria was used for the Durrwachter Alumni Conference
Center, the expansion of Bentley Dining Hall, and for the
design of the new Classroom Building in Clearfield. It will
also be the design criteria used for the design of the new
Science Center at East Campus. Utilizing this design method
ensures that all aspects of the design, construction and
operation of any new or renovated building on campus
receives full environmental consideration.
but definitely not the least, for several years we have been
purchasing our energy on the open market. What this means
to LHUP is that we can purchase gas at the well head and get
it delivered to the university at a cost less than what the
local utility company charges. As the market cost of gas
fluctuates, we are able to take advantage of lowered costs
and lock in those prices for extended periods. During the
fiscal year 2007-08 we were able to use this to our
advantage and saved several $100,000 in our gas costs.
committed to reducing not only energy costs, but energy
usage. We will continue to strive to improve our
performance in these areas and look for ways to increase our