LOCK HAVEN - Hyner View Trail Challenge 2009 will be held Saturday, April 18, and it's possible 800 people will compete in what has become, in just two years, the second largest such challenge in the East.
In addition, the steering committee for the annual Bald Eagle Mountain Megatransect Endurance Hike/Race, set this year for Saturday, Oct. 10, has agreed to increase its registrations to the new limit of 600.
"These events have been successful because a lot of local people stepped up," Bonnie Hannis, chair of the Clinton County Tourism Promotion Committee, said Thursday. "They certainly have earned us a good name in the recreation world. We need to encourage this volunteerism."
April 18 also is the first day of trout fishing and youth spring gobbler seasons, so fire company members may be pursuing other outdoor sports that day and forestry staff may be stretched to the limit, Sproul District Forester Doug D'Amore said at the tourism meeting.
This means the need for volunteers may be greater than ever.
Everyone interested in helping with the Hyner View Trial Challenge is invited to contact Craig Fleming at Haven Shoes, Hannis said.
DATES TO NOTE
Jan. 31 - Millbrook Playhouse Casino Night
Feb. 11 - Piper Aviation Museum spaghetti supper
April 18 - Hyner View Trail Challenge
May 16-24 - Millbrook cruise to the Caribbean
Sept. 19 - Millbrook Brews in the Barn
Oct. 10 - Megatransect Endurance Hike/Race
The hemlock woody adalgid is moving north, the district forester said. The insect targets the sap of a hemlock tree and after four or five years, ends up killing the tree, he said.
"It has pretty much eliminated the hemlock" in the Pine Creek area, Tiadaghton District Forester Jeff Prowant said.
White cotton-ball-like masses at the base of the needles indicates the bug's presence, D'Amore said.
Spraying is planned this spring, he said. A black bug the size of a pepper grain is the natural antidote to hemlock woody adalgid out West, he said, but he doesn't know of any plans to import that insect here.
Residents can save the trees in their yards with insecticidal soap, he reported.
"Our oil and gas programs are moving along at warp speed," Prowant said, referring to the great interest in drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation.
The large amount of water needed for the shale fracturing process should not cause great concern, he said, considering the West Branch of the Susquehanna River's large water flow in this area. And there should be few, if any, other environmental concerns, he said.
"We've been drilling wells in Pennsylvania for 150 years," he said.
Prowant also announced the area's Forestry Resource Management office will be moving to Waterville.
In other Sproul State Forest news, D'Amore reported the two ATV trails are open for the season and Lick Run Bridge between Carrier and Richie roads is scheduled to be replaced next summer.
The Clinton County commissioners will see a lease agreement for the North Bend boat access at their Jan. 29 meeting, Community Planner Greg Smith reported. The access is just down the road from Tripp's convenience store, he said.
Phase I of the Erie Avenue streetscape improvement project in Renovo is now completed, he said, and initial problems with the lighting have been fixed. Phase II will take the improvements down the avenue and include the wall along the railroad tracks.
Phase I of Castanea Township's park project is 90 percent complete, Smith said.
Greenways trails planning continues, he reported, with potential campsites for canoe paddlers and kayakers to be identified from Pine Creek to above Keating, as well as walking paths at historical sites.
The Millbrook Playhouse Board of Directors has hired Mary Kate Burke as the 2009 artistic director, Jim Berkebile, board member and vice chair of the tourism committee, reported.
The 45th summer season also has been tentatively slated, he said, with "High School Musical" the musical "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," the comedy "Noises Off" and a third musical, either the classic comedy "Once Upon A Mattress" or "All Shook Up" based on Elvis Presley's rock 'n roll, on the main stage and "The Nerd," "Deathtrap," the musical revue "All Night Strut" and "Shirley Valentine" in the cabaret.
Season ticket coupon booklets are now available at the Allstate office, West Main Street, Lock Haven.
Tickets also are available for $25 for the popular fundraiser Casino Night, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Elks Club in Lock Haven, Berkebile said. A ticket bought in advance gives the purchaser more game power than a ticket bought at the door. The game night includes prizes and free food.
Cabins are still available for the Caribbean cruise that benefits Millbrook, he reported. The cruise from New York City is slated for May 16 to 24.
The popular Brews in the Barn event will return this year and is set for Saturday, Sept. 19.
High school students are working on Millbrook's archives for this milestone year, he added.
The Piper Aviation Museum also has a student intern working on archives, this one from the Pennsylvania State University, board member Dr. Russ Nelson reported.
Tickets are now on sale for $6 for a spaghetti supper Wednesday, Feb. 11 at the Sons of Italy Hall in Lock Haven to benefit the museum, Nelson said. Spaghetti will be served from 4 to 7 p.m., with take-outs from 4 to 5 p.m.
The museum will host Girl Scouts on Saturday with another group coming in March, Nelson reported, and the flight simulator will soon have a new computer.
The museum achieved a milestone last month, he said, paying off two of its three loans. However, the grant money it expected to receive Dec. 1 from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has yet to arrive.
Lou Bernard, Clinton County Historical Society curator, said the society is in the same boat with its grant but has received word that the funding should arrive in the near future.
The Heisey Museum on East Water Street, Lock Haven, is open only Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the winter, until April, he said, but geocachers are still quite active in the cold weather and are passing the museum's "travel bug" around the Northeastern United States.
The Barton Street School Museum in the city now has its own geocache, he noted.
Records from the 1930s and '40s of the Clinton County Tuberculosis Society are a new acquisition, he said. They were discovered by Liberty Tax staff in the rafters of their new office in the flatiron building at Bellefonte Avenue and First Street, and the business graciously donated them to the historical society.
Heritage Days in Renovo in May will see Bucktail Area High School students offer a walking tour of the town, Rich Wykoff reported. Folk musicians and artisans also are being invited to participate, he said, and the event could feature the dedication of the first Civilian Conservation Corps statue in Heritage Park. Kraig Brady is the sculptor.
A video of Civilian Conservation Corps alumni is in the planning stage, Wykoff added, and all the CCC camps in this area now contain geocaches.
An exhibit on post office art which refers to the New Deal-era mural in the Renovo post office is now on display in the state museum in Harrisburg, he said, and he and JoAnn Marcinkevage are organizing a bus trip to see it.
Lock Haven University students will conduct a poll on more diversity of merchants in Lock Haven's downtown.
Dr. Marlene Jensen, marketing professor, said the students' first step will be to stop people on the streets of the central business district, as well as on campus, and ask them what they would like to see downtown.
The responses will help them create an online poll, she said, and the results should aid the local Merchant Diversity Committee, created last fall at a Community Summit on marketing the downtown.