10/1/19 — In the western section of the PA Highlands, community members celebrated National Public Lands Day at Pine Grove Furnace State Park by planting 30 native trees on Saturday, September 28th. Twenty volunteers and park staff spent a few hours planting 10 red oaks, 10 red maples, and 10 tulip poplars.
The area of the planting is an ongoing resource project where a solid mass of invasive shrubs, mainly privet, was the only plant growing. These invasive shrubs provide little habitat or food source for other species, both plant and animal and therefore are a detriment to the ecosystem. Their growth nature also chokes out any other plants from regenerating. The shrubs were taken out by machine and we have been monitoring and replanting the area to reestablish a canopy forest in years to come.
Saturday’s installation was the largest replanting effort in this area of concern. The volunteers spent a nice warm fall day planting the trees and having some camaraderie at the picnic lunch provided by the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace that followed the event. The efforts of all volunteers, staff, and Friends contributed to a great day and are integral to stewardship and conservation in the PA Highlands.
The Pennsylvania Highlands is home to critical treasures and extraordinary organizations. Highlight the Highlands is a blog series that features outstanding places and projects in the PA Highlands. Find past and future installments on pahighlands.org/category/news.
The Pennsylvania Highlands is part of the four-state Highlands region, a nationally recognized high-value natural resource conservation landscape stretching from Pennsylvania to Connecticut. Funding for conservation projects in the Highlands is provided by the federal Highlands Conservation Act. For more information on federal funding, click here.