Moraine State Park provides programs to educate participants, parents
By Rick Wills
Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
When Scott Carter took a summer internship at Moraine State Park, he did not imagine he would be dragging fish nets through Lake Arthur.
But that's exactly what he did last week in driving rain during an education program for young children.
“It's a different experience every day. It's never the same,” said Carter, a student at St. Francis University in Loretto, Cambria County, who plans to study environmental studies or park management in graduate school.
The fish net was part of a demonstration of aquatic life for a group of about 20 Hide N Seekers — participants in an education program for 4- and 5-year-old children that combines outdoor activities with stories and crafts.
The fish net trapped baby bluegills, perch and sunfish.
One of dozens of programs in the 16,725-acre park, Hide N Seekers aims to educate children about the lake.
“The theme of the program this year is the lake, what lives in it — fish and aquatic plants. It raises the awareness of the children,” said Nicole Simon, an environmental education specialist at the park.
At last week's session, children heard stories about aquatic life from Stephanie Taylor, another environmental education specialist at Moraine. In a question-and-answer session, she showed children models of various fish, a king fisher muskrats and a raccoon pelt.
“Even I'm learning from this. This is information that most adults don't know,” said Jennifer Aglio of Butler, who brought her daughter, Avery, 5.
Avery and the other children used molds to make clay animals.
Last week's session was held at a pavilion in the park's Lakeview area on Lake Arthur's North Shore. Despite heavy rain, the group spent about 20 minutes at the lake shore.
“We don't cancel unless there is an electrical storm,” Simon said.
Many of the children in the program are from families who regularly visit the park. “We love Moraine. We come here all the time,” said Megan Oldenski of Harmony, who brought her two sons, Landon, 6, and Keegan, 4.
Other activities at the park include sessions on bats and fireflies; kayaking lessons; and geocaching, a treasure hunting game in which people use a GPS to hide, and then find, containers.
The Moraine Preservation Fund, a nonprofit volunteer organization, supports the park. It has helped develop important wildlife restoration projects like the osprey and barn owl reintroduction programs.
The fund also operates the park's gift shop and Nautical Nature boat, a 37-passenger enclosed pontoon boat that offers interpretive boat tours and is used for the summer's popular weekly pizza cruises.
Moraine State Park, which opened in 1970, is named for the glacial moraines, or glacial debris of soil and rock, that cover its land. The moraines were formed at the end of the last glacial period.
The area was once a site of mining and drilling for oil and natural gas.
Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mars Area residents plead with board: Don’t OK drilling
- Coroner called to car crash in Muddy Creek
- Democrat drops out of race for Kelly’s congressional seat
- Cranberry Twp. class helps foreign children learn English before first grade
- Cranberry family grateful to organization providing specially trained dog
- Cranberry women take part in PSU fundraiser
- Butler County’s unemployment rate lowest in area
- SV, Mars students earn accolades for artwork, writing
- Wolf leading pack among Democratic gubernatorial candidates
- Seneca Valley Middle School earns national recognition a second time
- Butler Township finances get boost from land sale