Join us for these upcoming events at Buffalo Creek Nature Park, located at 154 Monroe Road, Sarver, 16055.To register, click on the links below or call (412) 963-6100.

Owl Prowl, Saturday, December 3, from 7:00-9:00 pm

Learn about our local owls, then take a naturalist led walk on our trails to search for these exciting nocturnal birds. Registration required: $8 (member), $12 (non-member)

Winter Plants & Berries for Birds, Saturday, December 10, from 2:00-4:00pm

We will discuss how we can help to sustain birds during the harsh winter months using bird-friendly native woody plants. Registration Required: Free (members), $5 (non-members).

Fly Tying Series, Tuesdays, February 7, 14, 21, & 28; 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Join Trout Unlimited, Arrowhead Chapter and Audubon on Tuesday evenings during February to learn how to tie flies. Participants will learn to tie two or three flies at each session, beginning with easy ones and building their way up to more difficult ones. Beginners welcome! Appropriate for adults and interested youth, age 10 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Tools and materials will be provided; you’ll end the series with 8-12 new flies! Materials cost for entire series, $10 per member, $15 per non-member. This program is offered free of cost (besides materials) by ASWP and the Buffalo Creek Coalition with support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Environmental Stewardship Fund.

Other Buffalo Creek Area Events

Buffalo Creek Valley Christmas Bird Count, Saturday, December 17: includes Todd Nature Reserve

Did you know that Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count is over 100 years old? Join in the tradition and help to document the amazing diversity of birds in the Buffalo Creek Important Bird Area (IBA). Can’t get outside that day? You can still take part through a feeder count. Please contact George Reese at g.reese@gaiconsultants.com for more information.

Buffalo Creek Water Quality Monitoring Update, Thursday, January 26, 6 – 8 pm – Online program

Join Audubon and Duquesne University online to learn more about water chemistry sampling and fish survey results from across the Buffalo Creek Watershed. This data is being collected to establish a baseline understanding of the sources and types of pollutants impacting water quality and habitat in the watershed. This program is offered free of cost by ASWP and the Buffalo Creek Coalition with support from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Fund.

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Looking for a great place to hold your next event? Buffalo Creek Nature Park has indoor and outdoor spaces for parties, holiday gatherings, and business events! Call to learn more: (724) 295-3589. 

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Winter is here! How Rock Salt can impact nearby streams

While the winter brings lots of fun outdoors with sledding, skiing, and picturesque landscapes, it can also be harmful to our roads, cars, and our local streams. When the roads and sidewalks get slick, we can sure be quick to grab that bag of rock salt or ice-melt. Our choices in rock salt/ice melt and snow shoveling practices can have negative impacts on local waterways and overall watershed health.

Many of the options for ice melt are composed of inorganic salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride. Rain and snowmelt move these salts and mobilize harmful substances into nearby bodies of water. High concentrations of salt in waterways can cause chloride toxicosis, impact larval development, increase malformations, and reduce immune system response among others in fish and amphibians (Beasley, V. R. 2020).

Tips to Reduce Negative Impacts to Local Streams and Creeks:

  • Shovel early: This can prevent ice from forming and reduce the need for rock salt and ice melt. Shovel before using salt and make sure you pile your snow in areas where it can melt and infiltrate the soil first rather than be immediate runoff. If possible, do not pile snow near storm drains or on impervious (non-porous) surfaces such as driveways.
  • Salt responsibly: Follow the use and storage instructions on the packaging. More salt will not speed up the process of melting. Many rock salts and ice melts have a “Melts to” temperature on the packaging. If the temperature outside exceeds it, it most likely will not work. You can try ice-melt alternatives such potassium acetate and calcium magnesium acetate, which have been reported to have less impacts on the environment.
  • Use Watershed-Friendly Deicers: There are a variety of products such as magnesium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate that effectively melt ice and snow but are much safer for our local waterways. Read more from Penn State here.

As the winter months continue, consider the impacts that rock salt and ice-melt have on your waterways and on the organisms that inhabit them. Following some of the recommendations above help to support clean streams and healthy waterways for fish, birds, and people.

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PS – our nature store at Buffalo Creek Nature Park is open for all of your bird feeding (and holiday gift buying!) needs: Tuesday-Sunday from 9 am – 5 pm.

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Join us for Birds & More Naturalist-led Walks take place every Tuesday at Buffalo Creek Nature Park; Wednesday at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve; Thursday at Succop Nature Park; and Friday at Todd Nature Reserve. Walks begin at 9 am. Visit our events calendar for more information on the walks and all of our upcoming programs.

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Holidays with Audubon – Click link