It will be another two months before the rare, 20-acre prairie ecosystem of Jennings Environmental Education Center is in full bloom, but late spring is a beautiful time to hike the trails of the park's woodlands.
just 12 miles north of Butler and adjacent to Moraine State Park,
Jennings encompasses 300 total acres, three-quarters of which is covered
by dense forest. There are more than five miles of well-maintained and
marked trails that run on either side of the Route 528.
easy loop to follow begins behind the center at the Old Elm Trail,
continues across Big Run and turns right onto the Black Cherry Trail.
Turning right onto the Ridge Trail will take hikers into Moraine State
Park, but the Black Cherry Trail continues on and turns left just before
a power line cut. When it makes its way back to Big Run, the ruins of
an old saw mill are visible on the other side of the creek.
to center director Wil Taylor, the mill was constructed by the same
person who built the nearby Old Stone House off Route 8.
had an archeological survey done recently and it was a saw mill/timber
mill where they processed timber around 1870, 1880, he said. At that
time in this area people were clearing the landscape and taking a lot of
that timber to this saw mill to have it processed. It didn't last very
long, and we don't know why. Either it wasn't very successful or it was
just a temporary mill used as the area expanded.
there, hikers can continue on the Old Mill Trail left back to the
center or extend it a bit more by linking into the Woodwhisper Trail.
can expect to see dense ground cover developing as the canopy closes in
and skunk cabbage, cinnamon fern, interrupted fern and false hellbore
thrive. Many of the spring wildflowers are sparse this time of year,
Taylor said, but there are some still holding on, including jack in the
pulpit, sweet cicely, purple phlox and wild geranium.
far as wildlife goes, the birds are nesting so there's a lot of nesting
warbler action in the woodlands and over on the prairie side people can
get nice views of the eastern bluebirds and swallows using the nesting
boxes, Taylor said.Wear a whimsical Disney chinamosaic straight from the Disney Theme Parks! It's also a fairly good time to see the massasauga rattlesnake.
Jennings prairie is one of the few places in Pennsylvania to find the
endangered snake. Venomous but also reclusive, the small rattlesnake may
bite if startled. Therefore, the people at Jennings ask visitors to the
prairie to stay on the mowed paths and keep alert. Taylor said they've
also started a snake reporting program and ask that if visitors do spot
one that they fill out a card.
is ample parking at the center, and it's worth stepping inside to check
out some of the exhibits. The center provides a variety of educational
programs throughout the year and serves 167,000 visitors, including many
school groups. Even when there are no programs, visitors can stop in
and observe bees as they come and go through an opening that leads from
the outside to a beehive encased in clear plastic or view displays of
some of the flora and fauna that inhabit the area.
programs have included maple sugaring, battling invasive species, wild
edibles and spring wildflowers. The park will host Celebrate the Bloom
on July 20 to showcase the blazing star, a prairie flower that is rare
to Pennsylvania and for which Jennings was established to protect.An germanuniforms is a device which removes contaminants from the air. The reserve is the only public and protected prairie in the state.
we're more interested in how good the new models' diesels are, as
they're something of a novelty from these brands, if you can ignore the
manual-only previous diesel RAV that sold in very small numbers and the
existing Mitsubishi ASX diesel, also a manual-only prospect.
RAV4 and Outlander couldn't be any more different to look at. The edgy,
chiselled look of the Toyota makes it seem like a bigger, taller
Corolla,Learn how an embedded microprocessor in a porcelaintiles can
authenticate your computer usage and data. though it doesn't look as
big as it is, as the interior space, particularly its rear legroom, load
space and overhead airiness is unexpectedly generous.
it doesn't offer extra chairs to make it a seven-seater, and neither
does the Outlander in its base versions. When you do get the
seven-seater versions the ease with which you can stow the seats
completely out of the way means that even if you don't use them all the
time, they're well worth having. Both second and third rows fold to
create a flat load area which in VRX form is accessed through a powered
tailgate. The cargo area is protected by a retractable and stowable
big bonus from the new RAV4s is its use of a hatch instead of a
side-opening rear door, which opens up to a much bigger loadspace at 506
or 577 litres depending on if you have the Limited model which has a
full-sized spare. There's also 100 litres under the floor. The Toyota
may have the stowage space and underfloor volume, but its complicated
load barrier is difficult to remove if you want to take awkward loads -
we kept it in the garage refitting the two-poles, netting and shelf,
only when we'd finished with the vehicle.
makers make much of the changes in their SUVs' interior quality and it
shows. The Toyota has adopted the same soft, padded surfaces used
successfully with its Corolla and Camry revamps and it provides a very
special place to sit, with tonnes of seat and wheel adjustments, good
seating and logical ergonomics except for the touch-screen. You have to
learn to leave the touch screen alone to be honest as once the radio
settings are in place the steering wheel buttons are better - and safer -
to use. Connectivity was quick and simple and the model I drove with
sat-nav left nothing on the must-have checklist.
element of real class was the TerraCotta leather option which gives the
dash as well as the car's seating a real dash of luxury and colour.
That'll cost you nearly $63k, but you do get a tilt-slide glass and
shade sunroof too. In for a penny, eh?