While experiencing nature is probably best done in nature, this year, due to continuing concerns over COVID-19, a popular environmental expo will be presented virtually.
NatureWorks, presented by Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center and Penguin Count, has been held the past three years at the center in Cambria City. The online version of the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 6. There is no charge to participate.“The pandemic has forced a lot of organizations to re-imagine their in-person activities,” Melody Tisinger, Bottle Works co-director, says.
But, she adds, this year’s event will “continue to teach families about the abundant natural resources in our region and promote outdoor play, appreciation and conservation concepts to all who tune in.”
Past expos have featured more than 25 conservation-themed groups and agencies that interacted with the public and, Tisinger says, this year’s event also will be an interactive experience.
Presenters will be live-streamed during their 20- to 40-minute talks and those who tune in will be given a chance to ask questions.
Presenters and topics include:
• Mountain Laurel Trout Unlimited – The theme for this presentation is cold-water conservation and macro invertebrates (small aquatic insects in various stages of development). A demonstration on fly-tying using feathers and fur will be included.
• Allegheny Plateau Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation – Chapter members will discuss turkeys and regional conservation efforts, and demonstrate and teach turkey calls.
• PA Fish and Boat Commission – The commission’s presentation will instruct viewers on fish characteristics and adaptions using fish models.
• Cambria County Conservation District – Officers will share information on vernal pools (seasonal wetlands) and springs. In addition, they will show viewers live specimens and discuss amphibian migration.
• Stoneycreek Conemaugh River Improvement Project – SCRIP will lead a guided activity on the properties of water.
“More people have been seeking refuge and renewal in the great outdoors, and we hope that these presentations will help viewers appreciate and understand the world around them,” Melissa Reckner, NatureWorks co-chair, says.
Pre-recorded videos will be provided between live segments by Penguin Court, a preserve of Brandywine Conservancy; REI, Recreational Equipment Inc., Bedford; Allegheny Ridge Corp., Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway; Friends of the Inclined Plane; Benscreek Canoe Club; Kim Williams, NatureWorks’ featured artist; and Bottle Works Gallery and Giftshop.
Williams’ artwork will be featured in an exhibit titled “All Creatures Great and Small” that will be displayed and available for purchase March 6 through April 24 at Bottle Works.
Additional videos from Allegheny Ridge Corp., Benscreek Canoe Club, Penguin Court, Penn State Master Gardeners of Cambria County, and REI Co-Op can be found the Bottle Works YouTube Page.
Event sponsors are Community Foundations for the Alleghenies and REI Co-Op.