March brings us spring. On the calendar specifically, March 20 hails the beginning of spring. As I write this column, the ground is snow covered, it’s 39 degrees and raining. Dirty, slushy slop is everywhere. Spring seems far away with one exception: longer days. The days have most assuredly lengthened, and I am certainly happy about that! Eventually, these longer days will have more light and warmth to them, and the green spring we all long for will emerge all around us.

In the meantime, we have some safe opportunities to get out and about in our community while it’s thawing out. This coming weekend, on March 13, The Celtic Martins are live in concert at The Stitch in Tamaqua’s Community Arts Center. This fabulous group features step dancing as well as Celtic music. Tickets are available at

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is alive with in-person and virtual activity this month. They have partnered with The Arts Barn to facilitate a Winter Artisan Series that features a polymer clay creatures class on March 13 and a wooden sign paint class on March 27. They’ve also planned a “Hawk Rising,” a sanctuary story time on March 25, a gardening for wildlife webinar on March 27 and Yoga on the Mountain on March 28. Go to for information and registrations for these cool events. As always, the sanctuary itself is open and covered with heavy, albeit melting, snow. Snowshoes are recommended as well as carrying a daypack and using walking sticks.

Walking, hiking and spending time outdoors does become more enjoyable as we continue to thaw out this month. Locust Lake State Park, Tuscarora State Park and Swatara State Park have excellent hiking trails open daily for our pleasure. As with Hawk Mountain, you should check them out ahead of time and be prepared for melting snow cover. Our Schuylkill County outdoors icon, Porcupine Pat, leads the popular Cabin Fever Hike at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park on March 13. You can register for this hike by calling 570-391-3326 or emailing Our beautiful county park is also having a tree planting workshop on March 14 and Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day on March 27.

Some more March events include children’s Silly Shamrocks Escape Room at Pottsville Free Public Library on March 16; The Walk In Art Center’s Mac & Cheese Fundraiser on March 19 with food from The Washington Hotel; Second Sunday Brunch at The Maid’s Quarters on March 14; Celtic Cross Mosaic at The Arts Barn on March 17; Peddler’s Alley Weekend at Benigna’s Creek Vineyard and Winery on March 20 and 21; Artisans of the Skook Craft Sale at the Fairlane Village mall on March 27; Easter Bunny Express on the WK&S Railroad on March 27 and Bark at the Moon in concert on March 27 at Tamaqua Community Arts Center.

If you’d like some information on Schuylkill County’s treasure trove of natural outdoor recreation gems, stop by the visitors center in Union Station and pick up the Schuylkill County Outdoor Recreation map, The Appalachian Trail map, The Schuylkill Area Greenways brochure and map, Weiser State Forest Map and Recreation Guide, Northeast PA Bike & Hike Trail map or the Schuylkill County Visitors Guide. Many of these resources are available online as well. For more information on events happening throughout March, go to the events tab at

Gargano is executive director of Explore Schuylkill.