Black Bears, Cowans Gap State Park

Black Bears, Cowans Gap State Park

Friday May 26th, 2023 * 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Join the park naturalist as we explore the black bear.
During the program you will learn about reducing the chances of a bear encounter and what to do if you should come across one.
Stay for the Family Friendly Movie following the program at 8:30 PM
Cowans Gap State Park | 6235 Aughwick Road, Fort Loudon, PA 17224-9801
Appalachian Trail Hike Series, The Institute

Appalachian Trail Hike Series, The Institute

Saturday March 26th, 2023 * 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Part of a series of monthly trail hikes on the last Sunday of the month, January through April 2023.
Hike with us along a portion of the legendary Appalachian Trail!
Led by an Institute naturalist, the hike will explore some of the wonders to be found in the woods and along the byways.
Meeting point for the hike provided on registration.
Make sure to dress warmly for the weather.
This event is FREE (donations accepted).
Enrollment is limited and pre-registration is required; register via email at
NOTE: Children must be age 7 and up
 Part of The Institute’s Naturalist Discovery Series, this program is underwritten in part by Naturalist Discovery Series sponsors Pam & Bruce Rowland, and by Marge Kiersz, Lucinda D. Potter, CPA, and SEK CPAs & Advisors.
Additional support from The Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; Marge Kiersz; Alma W. Oyer; and the Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin.
Fill in the registration form here!
Owl Walk for Age 15 & Up, The Institute

Owl Walk for Age 15 & Up, The Institute

Thursday February 2nd, 2023 * 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Naturalist Dave Graff conducts a winter walk to areas of Pine Hill Park likely to attract owls. 
The activity is free (donations accepted), but registration is required and limited to 16.
Spaces fill up quickly for this popular event, so anyone wishing to join the walk should register soon.
To register, call 717-762-0373 or email to
You can also register online, Here
Graff will first present a brief introduction to owls.
He will then lead the group along trails in the park.
During several stops, the group will pause and listen for various owls, including the great horned owl, the barred owl and the screech owl.
Patience is required when trying to find owls.
Participants must stand quietly for short periods of time to watch for owl flight and listen for owl calls.
“Owls may or may not be present,” Graff said, “so the group will also investigate how the park changes after dark.
U/V lights will be used to look at trees, leaves, and insects to see how their appearances change under different light.”
The activity is free.
Space is limited to 16 participants, and registration is required.
Pine HIll Recreation Area
12684 Mentzer Gap Rd
Waynesboro, PA 17268
Family Owl Walk, The Institute

Family Owl Walk, The Institute

Thursday November 3rd, 2022 * 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Pine Hill Recreation Area!
Naturalist Lori Schlosser will conduct this outdoor walk in an area known to be a good location for owl watching.
A brief pre-walk informational talk will help participants learn more about these nocturnal creatures and the methods used to locate them.
Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. 
The entire program will be outdoors, so dress warmly and bring flashlights.
This event is free (donations accepted).
Enrollment is limited to 25 and pre-registration is required; register via email at
A storm date will be determined later if needed.
Check out the Owl “Track-tivity” chart Here
Naturalist Adventure Fundraiser Hike, The Institute

Naturalist Adventure Fundraiser Hike, The Institute

Enter our NEW RAFFLE for a chance to WIN a private Appalachian Trail Hike for up to five (5) people, led by Institute Naturalist, Pam Rowland (our Director of Education).
Hike the AT with Pam! Her knowledge and expertise will ensure that you discover unknown treasures along the trail.
Your guide will share a wealth of stories and information—learn about wildflowers, wildlife, trees and other plants and the magic of forest ecology.
After your morning of fun & adventure, enjoy a picnic-style, delicious, packed lunch from Café del Sol.
Enter by 4 p.m. on June 30! Drawing on July 4 at our Salamander Scramble 5K.
Entry fee: $20. Grand Prize includes the guided hike and lunch for five people, plus 1 set of hiking poles.
Enter the drawing Here.  More entries = more chances to win!
Mail a check for $20 per entry (multiple entries welcome!!), along with your name, email address & phone number, to:
The Institute • PO Box 971 • Waynesboro, PA 17268