UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A field day event held recently by Penn State Extension gave youth 4-H members from across Pennsylvania an opportunity to explore their interest in wildlife and forestry.
The “Exploratory Tract” for youth ages 7-11 included hands-on wildlife and forestry educational activities and guest speakers. With a theme of “migration,” the event explored factors that cause wildlife species to migrate. Youth also examined the effects of migration on diverse wildlife species and forests. Activity stations focused on migration in relation to mammals, fish, entomology, invasive species, forestry and birds.
The “Science Tract” offered youth ages 12-18 a chance to participate in a series of educational sessions to increase their knowledge and skills related to wildlife and forest sciences. According to organizers, the sessions brought to life content from 4-H wildlife and forestry project books. The event was aimed at educating and inspiring participants to investigate these projects and potential career paths.
Teens hoping to attend national 4-H competitions in wildlife and forestry had the opportunity to compete in knowledge and skills tests. Top scorers can represent Pennsylvania at the 2022 National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program Invitational, July 31-August 3 in London, Kentucky, and at the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, July 24-28 in Weston, West Virginia.
The wildlife science competition resulted in:
— First place to Audrey Marko, of Somerset County.
— A second-place tie between Luke Sanner, of Westmoreland County, and Chaz Auker, of Juniata County.
— Third place to Carson Riley, of Huntingdon County.
— Fourth place to Elliot Heim, of Montour County.
Top achievements in forestry science included:
— First place to Sadie Palfrey, of Indiana County.
— Second place to Elizabeth Bruner, of Indiana County.
— Third place to Lily Palfrey, of Indiana County.
— Fourth place to Brandon Shrodo, of Lycoming County.
The event was a collaboration among state 4-H program staff, volunteers and council members; faculty in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences; Penn State Extension educators; and the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The Pennsylvania Forest Products Association helped sponsor this event.
–Alexandra McLaughlin, Penn State University