Posted by Melinda H. on Apr 25th, 2012 11:32pm

With a cold, wet forecast predicted for this coming Saturday, Nature Abounds has rescheduled the Forest Summit until Saturday, May 19th, 2012. The event will be held at the SB Elliott State Park (I-80 Exit 111) from noon until 6 PM. Registration is open at

At the Forest Summit, along with several guest speakers, we'll look at the issues the Pennsylvania forest is facing such as:

·         hydraulic "fracking",

·         wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation,

·         climate change,

·         environmental health,

·         urban sprawl,

·         invasive plants/pests,

·         public lands and citizen rights and responsibilities

·         what citizens can do to help.


During the gathering, Nature Abounds will launch our new Citizen Watch volunteer opportunity, which will engage citizens in protecting and cleaning up our local forest and rural areas, from illegal dumps to pollution and from invasive plants and pests to other environmental issues that we all need to be aware of.


For more information, call 814-765-1453 or email .  Nature Abounds is a national 501c3 non-profit, bringing people together for a healthy planet.

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Posted by Melinda H. on Apr 10th, 2012 4:44pm

Nature Abounds has announced the guest speakers for the upcoming Forest Summit, being held on April 28 at SB Elliott Park (Exit 111 off I-80). Guest speakers include the following:


Tony Arnold

Tony Arnold graduated from Penn State with a major in Philosophy and a minor in English. Since childhood, he has always had an interest in the outdoors and spends much time hunting, fishing, and bird watching. His primary interest is waterfowl. Tony also trains for marathons. Tony currently works for the PA Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services as administrator of the rabies and swine programs. Tony enjoys public service, but also finds it very important to volunteer, especially with an organization like Nature Abounds. “I consider Nature Abounds as a master environmental organization,” says Tony. “It actively engages our citizenry on a range of environmental issues, asks theirs input, and in the end keeps them more accountable by encouraging them to be more observant and conscientious of the simplest and even the most urban ecosystems.” Tony currently lives with his wife Kelly, who works with special needs children, in the Harrisburg area. They love the birds and wildlife in the area, and very much enjoy the people, too. 


John Childe

John Childe has been practicing law for 38 years, and in private practice specializing in public interest environmental law for the past 30 years. Before this, he was with DER, (now DEP) working as counsel for the State Bureau of Parks and Forestry. John’s private practice has been split between Pennsylvania and Florida, where he has been working on Everglades related issues for more than 20 years. In Pennsylvania, he has worked with many different groups and individuals. Among other things, John has conducted litigation with coal companies that resulted in the restoration of Babbs Creek, a major tributary of Pine Creek.


Robyn Grabowski

Robyn Grabowski has been rehabilitating wildlife since 1988 and teaches classes on wildlife rehabilitation and wildlife nutrition all over North America and overseas as an International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) instructor. Robyn was the IWRC chair for the Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation document which provides recommended cage sizes and protocols to wildlife rehabilitators in North America. She is currently the chair of the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Council which is an advisory committee to the Pennsylvania Game Commission concerning matters of rehabilitation. Robyn has a BS in Animal BioScience from Penn State University in the College of Agriculture. She worked many years as a veterinary technician and as a research assistant in physiology and animal nutrition at Penn State. Over the years, Robyn has received awards for her volunteer work at CWC such as: Eckerd 100 Salute to Women Award and Outstanding Citizen award from the State College Jaycees 2003. Since 1995 and currently, Robyn is the executive director of Centre Wildlife Care where she oversees the care of over 1200 orphaned, injured and compromised wild animals per year.


Kevin Heatley

Kevin Heatley is a senior restoration ecologist with the national firm - Biohabitats Inc. His professional focus includes landscape sustainability, invasive species suppression, and conservation biology. He functions at Biohabitats as the lead technical specialist and operational manager on a diverse range of projects across North America and the Caribbean.

Kevin also serves as a technical scientific consultant to the nonprofit Responsible Drilling Alliance in Williamsport, PA. The RDA is committed to understanding the full ramifications of the unconventional natural gas industry. As a function of that position he has conducted numerous public educational sessions throughout the Marcellus Shale region. Kevin is a graduate of Penn State, with a Masters in Environmental Science.


John Hecker

John Hecker is the new manager and district forester of the Moshannon State Forest District based in Clearfield County. He was promoted to the position in late 2011. He formerly headed silviculture and timber management at the Bureau of Forestry’s headquarters in Harrisburg. In his role, Hecker oversees forest-growth management, personnel coordination, infrastructure maintenance and fire prevention and suppression. He also manages service foresters who provide support, direction and technical assistance to private forest landowners. John holds a bachelor’s degree in forest science from The Pennsylvania State University. He’s a native of Ephrata, Lancaster County.


Brian Oram

Brian Oram is a licensed professional geologist and owner of B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. Mr. Oram has over 23 year experience in working on groundwater and water quality issues in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Mr. Oram has a MS Degree in Environmental Pollution Control from The Pennsylvania State University and a BS Degree in Earth & Environmental Sciences from Wilkes University.

Brian is active in local and region environmental programs and is the current chairperson for the Pocono Northeast RC&D Council and active with the Carbon County Groundwater Guardians and Exploring Audubon’s Lehigh – An Auto Tour. With respect to the development of the Marcellus Shale and other Unconventional Gas, the Company is working with a number of professors and professional geologists at Wilkes University on the creation of a “Citizen Groundwater and Surfacewater Database” and the Company is conducting a survey of private well owners and watershed organizations in Pennsylvania and local workshops to educate private well owners and watershed organizations.


Also during the gathering, Nature Abounds will launch the new Citizen Watch volunteer opportunity, which will engage citizens in protecting and cleaning up our local forest and rural areas, from illegal dumps to pollution and from invasive plants and pests to other environmental issues that we all need to be aware of.


This is one event that you are welcome to bring your family and kids along. There's plenty of space and hiking trails in the park for anyone that wants to take a break from the activities, and there's also a ball field nearby. Likewise, there are a lot of attractions in the area, from viewing the PA elk herd, trying to eat a 5 lb. burger, or wander through Bilger's Rocks, a rock formation that is over 300 million years old. There is fun for the whole family.


For more information, call 814-765-1453 or email .  


To register for the event, go to the Forest Summit website at: .


For more information about volunteering as a Citizen Watch volunteer, please see:


Nature Abounds is a national 501c3 non-profit, based in Clearfield, bringing people together for a healthy planet.


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Posted by Melinda H. on Mar 1st, 2012 11:40am


Nature Abounds, an emerging national non-profit based in Pennsylvania, has received a $169,977 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Grant Program. The grant funds will be dedicated to the state-wide Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps Program (PaSEC) that operates under Nature Abounds, engaging senior volunteers across the state in environmental projects like water quality monitoring, watershed assessment, trail restoration, and environmental education.


Since 1997, PaSEC volunteers have dedicated over 2,000,000 hours to protecting and restoring Pennsylvania’s environment. In one year alone, the estimated value of the PaSEC program is estimated at $3,051,427.


According to Melinda Hughes-Wert, Nature Abounds president, "The new funds will be used to expand the service area of the PaSEC program as well as explore new opportunities. Likewise, funds will be used to obtain some equipment and supplies as well as for training of new and current PaSEC volunteers.”


For more information about becoming involved with the PaSEC program, contact Nature Abounds at 814-765-1453, email, or see Nature Abounds’ website at Nature Abounds is a 501c3 national non-profit organization, bringing people together for a healthy planet.


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Posted by Melinda H. on Apr 6th, 2011 2:37pm

Nature Abounds and the Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps (PaSEC) have set some dates for water quality monitoring for current and new volunteers.   Dates have been set as follows: 

Elk County - April 5th

McKean County - April 7th

Lancaster County - April 11th

Adams County - April 12th

Indiana County - April 13th

Philadelphia (Center in the Park on Germantown Rd.) - April 18th

Clearfield County - May 2nd 

PaSEC trainings are also being planned (dates still yet to be determined) for the following locations: Crawford County, Blair County, Centre County, Harrisburg area, Montgomery County (PEAK Center in Lansdale). A training was held in Schuylkill County in late March. 

To become a volunteer with the PaSEC, a person needs to be aged 55+, live in the county where the training will occur, and have an interest in the outdoors. Besides water quality monitoring, volunteers may assist with wildlife observing and reporting, assessing stream habitat and/or riparian buffers, trail restoration, or general office support. 

The PaSEC has been active since 1997, monitoring the 86,000 miles of streams across the Commonwealth, marking abandoned wells, restoring trails, and providing environmental education to the public. The PaSEC program is supported by the US EPA's 319 Non-point Source program as well as matching funds from the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, and is under the guidance of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 

For more information about any of the trainings or about becoming a PaSEC volunteer or sponsor for a new PaSEC group, please contact Melinda Hughes-Wert at Nature Abounds. She can be reached at either or at (814)765-1453.  Nature Abounds, the coordinating organization of the PaSEC, is a national 501c3 non-profit, bringing people together for a healthy planet. More information about Nature Abounds can be found at . Photo: Members of the Blair County SEC look at the macroinvertebrates (insects) of a local stream Contact:Melinda

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