Manada Conservancy is pleased to now be able to provide some of our programs and activities online for all to enjoy! Please see below for recent programs and guided hikes in Dauphin County’s natural areas. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for topics you would like to learn more about. Feel free to contact us at!

Conserving Your Forest
Learn more about the value of protecting your forest or woodland with a conservation easement. Manada Conservancy Board member Sally Zaino recorded this 50-minute presentation in March 2023.

The Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
Did you know can improve your hearth health, reduce your risk of cancer, and gain a better overall sense of well-being by spending time in the natural world? Shinrin-yoku (or forest bathing) is a traditional Japanese practice of immersing oneself in nature using all 5 senses. Read the notes from Dr. Matt Silvis’s October 18, 2022, presentation here.

Volunteers in Land Management: Lessons Learned and Reasons Why
The work of land trusts is increasingly relevant, important, and needed.  However, most trusts operate on a shoestring budget with little staff.  Volunteers fill that gap and perform important land protection and stewardship services that would go undone if it weren’t for their work.  Keith Williams of Lancaster Conservancy discusses the Volunteer Land Steward program he directs there, lessons learned, a few invasive plant management methods that have worked well with volunteers, and examples of why this work is so critically important. 

Rooted in the Past, Planting in the Present, Growing into the Future
Manada Conservancy’s Native Plant Initiative promotes the use of native plants to improve habitat for pollinators, birds, and other animals. Thanks to the annual native plant sale, Gardening for Nature consultant service, and education programs, hundreds of Dauphin County backyards, gardens, and commercial plots are now nurturing plants that support wildlife. This presentation, recorded in April 2021, looks at the Native Plant Initiative: its beginnings, focus and work, and how it has grown through the years. Four native plant experts will illustrate different aspects of the initiative, giving details on how they and their gardens have played a part.

The Perils of Plastic
Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans has been publicized widely; we’ve heard about the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Lesser known is the prevalence of microplastics in freshwater systems, which are conduits from land to the sea. Dr. Sherri Mason, cutting-edge plastic pollution researcher and Sustainability Coordinator at Penn State Erie, presents an overview of what plastic is, its proliferation in our society, and its emergence as one of the most prominent environmental pollutants. Additional information recommended by Dr. Mason: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Taking the Precautionary Approach to Microplastics and Nanoplastics by Anastasia Telesetsky, Susanne M. Brander, and Scott Coffin.

Mysterious Creature of Penn’s Woods: The Allegheny Woodrat
Join Manada Conservancy and DCNR Forestry Wildlife Biologist Aura Stauffer to learn about this tiny, secretive creature that lives in remote rocky habitat in Pennsylvania.  This presentation will discuss the natural history of the woodrat as well as efforts to study and conserve this threatened native woodland packrat.

Conservation and Health: A Vital Relationship
Our health is impacted by the natural world and the environment in which we live. Conservation, good environmental stewardship, and control of pollution can provide significant health benefits. Dr. Richard Zaino, retired medical doctor and current member of the Manada Conservancy Board of Directors, presented this education program on September 29, 2020.

Creating Wildlife Gardens
Declines in bird and pollinator populations can be depressing.  But they can also be used as a springboard to motivate more people to make simple efforts to conserve biodiversity.  One of the most productive ways to conserve biodiversity is to create or restore habitat with native plants. Join us as Ian Stewart of the Delaware Nature Society shares tips on using a variety of native plants to generate year-round habitat for all manner of wildlife on both small and large scales, showing that even one person can make a difference. 

Walk in Penn’s Woods – Stony Valley
Join us for this guided tour along the Stony Valley rail-trail also known as “stagecoach road.” Game Commission guide Steve Bernardi describes the natural history of the area and current forest management practices.

Virtual Wildflower Walk with Manada Conservancy
Join us on the Horse-Shoe Trail for this 20-minute exploration of early spring ephemerals along the Manada Creek in East Hanover Township, Dauphin County, PA. Guided by Sally Zaino, Conservancy President.