Now Available: Video of Central PA Chapter’s May 9th Program!

PA IPL’s Creation Care Program

On Monday, May 9th at 7:00pm, the Central PA Chapter of PA IPL met to learn about PA IPL’s Creation Care program. This meeting is led by PA IPL Coordinator of Habitat Restoration Greg Williams and PA IPL Board member and planter George Dempsie, with those trail volunteers and home planters from our 3-county area as well as recipients in nearly a dozen different counties in Pennsylvania as far away as Luzerne or Delaware county for a PA IPL tree planters roundtable discussion about this program. Newcomers interested in becoming part of the program are also welcome. The meeting begins with information of how to give them your requests for plants by the end of this May and, with luck, receive them early this October. We share best practices, answer questions, and plan for the future of this great program.

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light is so pleased that our Creation Care program has received free native trees, tubes, and stakes from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation since 2018 and then became a partner with the CBF in Fall of 2019. During that time, we received hundreds of healthy, wonderful native trees and shrubs that our hundreds of volunteers planted in a 3-county area in Central Pennsylvania. In 2020, because of the pandemic, we had too many trees and not enough planters to volunteer to plant on public land, so we offered these resources to individual landowners. We got a huge response so, since then, we’ve also become a distributor of free trees and stakes and 95 different individuals have received these plants. This Spring, we received, then planted or distributed 4700 native trees and shrubs that will, over time protect our waterways, beautify our landscape, feed our native insects who are so important to the food chain, slow the increasing flooding, make our environment more biodiverse, and sequester a significant amount of the excess carbon dioxide that drives climate change. This project also gives all of us visible and measurable progress in our efforts to reverse climate change and plants seeds of hope as well as trees and shrubs. YOU CAN BE PART OF THESE EFFORTS!

Sign up here if you would like to join the Central PA IPL Chapter!

Now Available: Video of Central PA Chapter’s February 2nd Program!

Volunteer Participation in Rails-to-Trails Habitat Restoration

On Wednesday, February 2 at 7:00pm, the Central PA Chapter of PA IPL hosted a discussion between Greg Williams, PA IPL Coordinator of Habitat Restoration; Ethan Imhoff, Board President of Central PA Rails to Trails (the Lower Trail); and John Frederick, Antis Township Recreation and Environmental Code Director who also is leading the charge on the extension of the Bells Gap RTT, where PA IPL began volunteering 3 years ago.

The idea of using abandoned rail lines as trails for recreation, historic conservation, exercise, and connecting and enhancing communities began in the mid-1960’s and has expanded to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light is a 12-year-old organization of congregations as well as people of faith and conscience concerned about global warming. Six years ago, the Lower Trail allowed PA IPL volunteers to embark on a habitat restoration program with the goal of removing non-native invasive plants that are crowding out native trees and shrubs. Hundreds of volunteers of all ages have, through this work, opened-up views from the trail, and planted thousands of increasingly scarce native trees and shrubs donated by Chesapeake Bay Foundation. These native plants are still available for free. They restore the base of the food chain that feeds native insects and thus native birds, are an investment in the future of more diverse and healthier ecosystems, and are the primary way to sequester excess carbon in our atmosphere.

We are particularly interested in matching other Rails to Trails programs across Pennsylvania with PA IPL members who might be interested in habitat restoration volunteering.