“It’s an awesome story and it took so many of us to get it going,” Board Member Don Koval remembers. “Year after year, it got better and better.” Not every winter has delivered such smooth conditions for sled riding though. “One winter we had snowfall for only one week in January, and that was it,” Koval said.
Kids, parents, grandparents, and people of all ages rode their sleds down the quarter mile-long Luzerne Path on everything from snow tubes to snowboards. They were towed back up to enjoy hot chocolate at the Ranger Station before their next ride down. To see more Slide ’n Ride photos, check out the Stackhouse Park Facebook page.
Did you know that the population of Monarch Butterflies in North America has declined by 90% since the 1990’s? In fact, the Monarch is currently being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act. According to the U.S Fish & WIldlife Service, the disappearance of milkweed, due to the increased use of herbicides and pesticides (like Round-Up) by farmers and homeowners, is one of the the main contributing causes. Common milkweed is a native plant that serves as the Monarch butterfly’s food source, nursery, and home; they cannot survive without it. In a national effort to restore the Monarch butterfly population, people are reintroducing milkweed into backyards, parks, and other natural areas.Be a part of this effort by joining the Johnstown Garden Club and Stackhouse Park on April 25th in the establishment of a Monarch Meadow next to the Elk Run Trail pond in Stackhouse. Light refreshments will be provided by Macaroni Kid.
To read more about how you can help attract Monarchs to your own backyard, visit www.monarchwatch.org
2015 Outdoor Programs & Events
Unless indicated otherwise, programs begin at the Fireplace Pavilion at thebottom of Luzerne Path and are free/open to the public. Rain or shine.
Saturday, April 25th 10 am – Planting for the Monarch Meadow
Join the Johnstown Garden Club and Stackhouse Park to celebrate Earth Day. Kids of all ages are invited to come out to plant milkweed for monarch butterflies and learn about the relationship between these native plants and insects. They will also learn about the life cycle of butterflies, the migration of the monarch butterfly, and the impact of weather and seasons on this insect. Meet at the Ranger Station.
Sunday, May 17th 2 pm – Spring Flower & Bird Walk
Spring is the time for brilliant wildflowers and colorful birds. Bruce Robart, UPJ Biology Professor, and Charlie Voytko will take you on a walk to find these jewels of the park that adorn the branches and forest floor of Stackhouse only during the spring season. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!
Sunday, May 24th 2 pm – Macro Photography Workshop
Come and join the Greater Johnstown Camera Club for a Spring Macro Photography event. Learn how to take beautiful photographs of Spring flowers and other things that compose the “small world” that we often overlook. A DSLR camera is helpful for this event but not required. Club members will help you to capture that perfect photo of springtime in the park.
Sunday, June 7th 2 pm – All About Salamanders
Have you ever found a salamander under a rock or log? With names like the Tiger Salamander and Slimy Salamander, Johnstown’s amphibious creatures are fascinating to say the least. Walk through the Park with UPJ biologist Luis Bonachea and get an up close and personal introduction to the salamanders of our area.
Sunday, June 14th 2 pm – Leave No Trace Awareness Workshop
Participants will receive introductory training in the skills and ethics of ‘Leave No Trace,’ which teach us how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. This is a great educational workshop for those of all ages interested in learning how to best conserve and reserve our natural resources while visiting, hiking, and camping in our local parks.
Monday, June 22nd – Friday, June 26th 1-3pm
SLEP Environmental Day Camp
The Summer Learning Education Program (SLEP) is a wonderful opportunity for 3rd through 6th graders to study wildlife while on their summer vacation from school. The topics that will be covered are Ornithology, Nature Art, Microscopy, DNA and sense of smell. The cost is free, but is limited to 20 students per day. Each student or group of students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. To register, contact Bruce Robart at 814-269-2911 or email@example.com.
Saturday, June 27th 8 am – 4 pm – Spring Wild Turkey Clinic
The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) & National Rifle Association (NRA) will feature Tom Hindman and Mike Horst. Mary Jo Casalena will present, “What Turkeys Smell and Taste”. This clinic will focus on scouting/hunting tactics, ethics, safety, calling tips, and bow hunting wild turkeys in the classic approach. Bring along your turkey calls for a tune-up. The cost is $15 per person and FREE for those under the age of 18. The fee includes the textbooks, materials, and lunch. To register, Call Tom Hindman at 814-525-2303.
Sunday, June 28th 2 pm – Lizards, Turtles, & Snakes!
Get to see lizards, turtles, and snakes up close, and hear about their unique lifestyles. IUP biology graduate Erik Vogel will discuss the natural history of these exceptional creatures. You may even get to touch one!
More 2015 Program & Event Dates
Sunday, July 12th 2 pm Tree Identification Walk
Sunday, July 19th 2 pm Introduction to Orienteering
Wed., August 5th 11 am Family Yoga in the Park
Sunday, August 9th 2 pm Smell the Flowers
Wed., August 12th 11 am Family Yoga in the Park
Saturday, August 22nd Run the Park 5k/10k & Annual Picnic Jamboree
Sunday, August 23rd 2 pm Late Summer Flower Walk
Why I Love Stackhouse Park: Alexandria Miller
Growing up in old Westmont as a child, I played in Stackhouse Park almost every day. My neighborhood friends and I spent most of our time around Crystal Path by the spring, flipping rocks beneath the flowing water, spotting salamanders and crayfish.
As I grew older, I ventured away from the familiar Crystal Path close to my home and started to hike the other trails in the park. I would love to try and cover as many trails in one day as possible, but I would sometimes also casually stroll down familiar paths, admiring the sun peaking through the trees, the squirrels and chipmunks chattering, and the birds singing.
My most recent and favored memory of Stackhouse happened this past June when I had my baby shower in the Tioga Pavilion. Everyone that came to my shower had to walk down a lovely tree lined path before approaching the pavilion. It was as if you were leaving the real world and walking into a storybook. My baby shower’s theme was “enchanted woodland,” and the pavilion was decorated with flowered garland, red and brown balloons, and toadstool centerpieces. For desert we served toadstool-decorated cupcakes, s’mores, and acorn shaped cookies made by ‘A Piece of Cake’ Bakery. The shower was oriented towards being outdoors, so there was a rock throwing contest, a water balloon toss, and we gave away bird houses as gifts.
Someone from the park came down with firewood and helped start a fire. It was fabulous to warm up next to it after getting wet during the water balloon toss. The shower itself was, in a way, magical. I can’t wait to share my memories of Stackhouse with my family hiking throughout the park in the years to come.
– Alexandria Miller
We want to know why people in the Johnstown community love Stackhouse Park, so we’re asking. Email us stories about your favorite childhood memories and moments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Runners ‘Hit the Ice’
for 24 Hour Dream Run
Nearly 70 people came out to brave the ice and frigid temperatures on January 17th for the 3rd annual 24 hour Dream Run hosted by The Powell Stackhouse Park Trail Runners. A total of 560 miles were logged by runners who ran the trails by day and/or night. Stephan Caputa and Nick Ramirez hammered it out all day, but Stephan persevered with an extra six miles for a total of 58.08 miles. Nick wasn’t far behind with 52.08 miles. The record of 62 miles run in a 24 hour period, set by John Messina, still stands.
Top Right: (L to R): Scott Hunt, Nick Ramirez, Stephanie Caputa, Stephan Caputa, & Ben Rex take a short break for a picture. (Photo by Ed Shrift)
Bottom Right: Joe Nibert, along with Gabby, Alexis and Joseph Nibert, Tish Phillips, and Mark Voelker take a break to warm up in the Ranger Station during the 2015 Dream Run.
Park Visitor Discovers
It’s easy to see the trees that give way to the steep Stackhouse Park landscape or to old age as eyesores and obstacles, but regular park visitors, such as Dan Robertson, see them as art. Robertson, a resident of Brownstown, carries a hand saw with him on his walks through the park in case he comes across any fallen tree limbs that he can use to craft as hiking sticks. He creates handles so that they are easier to use and carves different designs into them. The hiking sticks are truly functional works of art.
Right: Dan with dogs, Blaze, Roxy, and the late Bandit,who sits in his jacket. He carries one of the hiking stick that he has carved.