Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is closed through May 15 as part of Penn State’s efforts to maintain public health and safety in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. University-sponsored events, including the Maple Harvest Festival and a number of public programs and school visits, are also canceled or postponed. For questions, please contact us at ShaversCreek@psu.edu. For the latest updates and information, visit: sites.psu.edu/virusinfo.

Explore nature every day

I spent some time outside yesterday. If you ask any of my friends or family about my connection to nature they would say, “Megan can’t go a day without exploring nature and telling us about it without any prompting!” However, at a time when social distancing and self-quarantining is essential, spending time outside for me…

Shaver’s Creek events canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

We are sad to report that we must cancel the Maple Harvest Festival for 2020. Penn State President Eric. J. Barron and Penn State health and safety officials announced on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, that due to the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State would move to remote learning for all classes beginning Monday, March 16, through…

A View from Inside a Barn Owl Nest Box

Barn owl (Tyto alba) populations in North America have been declining rapidly for the past two decades primarily due to limited accessibility of hollow trees, old barns, silos and suitable grassland habitat. Other reasons for declining barn owl populations include: use of pesticides and rodenticides, predation by great horned owls and suburban expansion. The barn…

Thirteen Years and Counting

I have been volunteering at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center since the summer of 2006. Since then I have had to learn new methods to present programs to the public, especially as Shaver’s Creek has been renovated to enhance the visitor experience. For me, the one thing that has remained constant is my passion for this…

Life of an Intern

It’s 6:20 am. My day begins to the sound of an alarm and I wake up in a bed that’s not mine.  I’m at Outdoor School filling in for a counselor whose paperwork didn’t come in time. I help the kids get ready for the day, making sure they have an extra warm layer, rain…

Another Successful Birding Cup!

Major congrats (and thanks) are in order for our Birding Cup teams this year! Although they braved occasional rainy hours, they came through with huge identification lists, totaling 194 species. That’s crazy awesome, and continues to show that citizen science initiatives are a powerful way of gathering data. Not only data, but funds raised for…

Meet Me at the Sugar Shack

Who knew that “real” maple syrup was such a big deal? I mean, I knew that it existed, but it couldn’t be much better than the stuff that Mrs. Buttersworth made, right? At least, that’s what I thought, until I got a taste of the real deal in my later teenage years. Game changer. Big…

We need people power!

Join Shavers Creek Environmental Center in celebrating Earth Day by being outside and getting your hands dirty! This year’s Earth Day Work Day runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. Our Raptor Center renovation project is complete and there are several projects available to spruce up the grounds and trails. Spreading…

Owl Prowl Tips

February’s Sweetheart Owl Prowl at Shaver’s Creek was another resounding success! Over fifty people attended the program (thank you to those who attended!). Nobody heard any owls out on the trails or in the woods; however, I did have another terrific opportunity to help teach people how to call out for owls. For those of…

Home Under a Heat Lamp

When a new neighbor moves onto your block, it can be appropriate etiquette to welcome them with baked goods and warm regards. Other times, all they may desire is a fresh dish of water and a safe place to rest. The latter may not be something we have all experienced — that is, unless you…