To celebrate the fall season in Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources experts will be available to serve as regional advisers on fall foliage, offering tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn in a variety of ways across the Commonwealth. With that in mind, there will be weekly “Leaf Peeper Reports.”
Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks beginning in October across Pennsylvania. Starting Thursday, September 24, weekly fall foliage reports can be found online on the DCNR website and will be updated every Thursday. Save this link to click on it as the season progresses.
“Throughout the state, our foresters and park personnel look forward to recommending both the best times and locations to glimpse our autumn woodlands in all their splendor,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “With 121 state parks and more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland, Pennsylvanians truly are blessed with an abundance of prime fall-foliage viewing areas.”
NATURE NUGGET: Why do leaves change color? The simple answer is chlorophyll breaks down. In the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”