Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy volunteers have planted 300 white pine seedlings in areas that have been damaged by invasive plants or over-browsed by deer.
The seedlings, each about 20 inches tall, were obtained for Mt. Lebanon from the Pennsylvania Game Commission by White Buffalo, the group that conducted Mt. Lebanon’s archery hunt last year. These bare-root seedlings have been produced by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery since 1954 to serve as wildlife food and cover on state game lands. They are certified as disease-free by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Paul Kamenar, a Successful Bowhunting instructor for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, assisted in the coordination of Mt. Lebanon’s archery hunt. He says the archers arranged for the donation of the trees, which typically are sold for about $8 each, because they recognize “that hunting is just one part of the conservation effort; without proper habitat management, there would be no wildlife or wild ground for people to enjoy.
“This being the 10th year that Mt. Lebanon has met the requirements for Tree City USA status, I thought what a perfect opportunity for these hunters to give something back that will benefit all wildlife in the area,” says Kamenar.
Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy President Tom Schevtchuk, along with members Ron Block, Jonathan Farrell, and Chris Gregory Phillips are working with Public Works Director Rudy Sukal to select sites for the planting, which will take place on slopes with good light such as those bordering Bird Park’s Doctor Field or areas of Twin Hills Park.
“We appreciate the combined effort by archers, the Game Commission and our local volunteers to help keep our community’s green space healthy,” says Municipal Manager Keith McGill.