Point State Park in Pittsburgh to Host Wild Resource Festival
HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With its expansive backdrop of three major Pennsylvania rivers and abundant historic resources boasting National Historic Landmark distinction, Point State Park in Pittsburgh will host the Wild Resource Festival’s annual salute to nature from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. The 36-acre park is situated where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River.
“This is Point’s day to shine after being selected to offer a Wild Resource Conservation Program festival,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan. “Recently enriched with a variety of major renovation projects, and boasting annual visitation figures that surpass 2.6 million, this Allegheny County landmark is a natural choice for this event.”
Festival visitors will enjoy a variety of hands-on, educational displays and exhibits, nature walks, fishing and other group activities, entertainment and refreshments. Festival activities are offered without charge, and registration is not required.
“Education is the watchword, but there will be an emphasis on fun, as park visitors are invited to sample a broad spectrum of the outdoors world around them,” said Allan. “The festival is designed to provide children, families and wildlife enthusiasts of all ages a chance to talk to the state’s leading scientists and get a front-row seat to view Pennsylvania’s non-game animals and plants.”
DCNR’s Wild Resource Conservation Program has organized six past festivals at other state parks. They are: Bald Eagle State Park, Centre County, 2005; French Creek State Park, Berks County, 2006 and 2007; Moraine State Park, Butler County, 2007; and Presque Isle State Park, Erie County, 2008 and 2010.
“We are very proud of the many prominent naturalists, botanists, biologists and other speakers who will be introducing park visitors to our wealth of outdoors riches,” said Wild Resource Conservation Program Executive Director Greg Czarnecki. “We’ll be offering demonstrations and activities unique to Point State Park that are geared to the entire family.”
Many of the festival speakers have been involved in Wild Resource Conservation Program-supported projects in recent years, studying mammals, inventorying plants and banding birds.
“The festival will provide children, families, and wildlife enthusiasts with a chance to talk to the state’s leading scientists and get a front-row seat to view our state’s animals and plants,” Czarnecki said. “Visitors also can see and talk to living history re-enactors demonstrating how natural resources were harvested and used at the Point during the 18th century.”
Visitors are invited to bring “mystery insects” for identification; join guided walks to identify trees and other vegetation; try fishing in the nearby rivers, with bait and tackle provided, and without license requirements; imitate biologists tracking wildlife via radio telemetry; make “fish print” T-shirts; and enjoy face painting.
Also featured will be electro-fishing and other demonstrations by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; live animals displays, including owls, fish, rattlesnakes, and endangered species; and demonstrated techniques used by scientists to capture animals for research and conservation. Educational programs also will be offered throughout the day by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pittsburgh Zoo, Fort Pitt Museum, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, River Quest, and many conservation groups and universities.
For a full list of festival activities and exhibitors, visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/conservationscience/wrcp/2011festival/index.htm.
Located at the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle,” Point State Park commemorates and preserves the strategic and historic heritage of the area during the French and Indian War (1754 – 1763). The park is home to the Fort Pitt Block House, which was built in 1764 and is the only surviving remains of Fort Pitt — the most extensive British fortification in the American colonies. The Fort Pitt Museum is built on the site of the Monongahela Bastion, one of the five bastions of Fort Pitt.
The festival will showcase major renovations at the park that include widespread building, electrical and landscaping enhancements; increased outdoor seating capacity; a private cafÃ© opening; and renovations to the Monongahela and Allegheny wharf areas. Scheduled next is renovation of the park’s iconic fountain, with kickoff expected late this fall.
Housed within DCNR’s Office of Conservation Science, the WRCP conserves Pennsylvania’s non-game wildlife and native wild plants through research, restoration projects and public education. It has reintroduced river otters to Pennsylvania’s waterways and ospreys to its skies, while awarding grants to projects studying and protecting plants, birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and other species.
To learn more about WRCP, Point State Park and Pennsylvania’s other 116 state parks, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
Media Contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources