Powdermill Nature Reserve

Education Programs & Exhibitions

Sunday Lecture Series


Join us in the Parker Room of the nature center on the second Sunday of every month at 1 p.m. for a seasonally relevant nature talk. Weather permitting, each lecture will be followed by a brief foray into the field for an interpretive hike.

Vernal Pools
April 12
You won’t believe the amount of life supported by a temporary puddle in the forest. A vernal pool is an ephemeral ecosystem!

Wild Edibles and Medicinal Herbs
May 10
The forests of Pennsylvania hold an unseen bounty of subdued and unadulterated produce. From trees to forbs to fungi, learn about the uses and seasonality of some familiar plants as well as plants you’ve probably never noticed before.

Plant and Animal Invaders of the Northeast
June 14
Pennsylvania is host to many non-native and invasive plants, insects and animals. Learn how these invaders disrupt our native ecosystem, and how to identify and responsibly slow their spread.

Summer Woody Plant ID
July 12
A leafy continuation of the wintertime hit “Bare Tree ID”! Even in the summertime, identifying trees can be challenging. We’ll offer some helpful tips and tricks to help you become a more confident observer.

Children's Story Time

Join us at Powdermill Nature Reserve for Children's Story Time the third Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. Children ages 4 to 9, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to discover the wonders of nature through a picture book read-aloud and themed arts and crafts project. Indoor activities are followed by a short hike through the forest, weather permitting.

April 19, And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano (Register by 4:30 p.m. on April 18)

May 17, An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston (Register by 4:30 p.m. on May 16)

Please register by sending an email to Larry Long, longl@carnegiemnh.org, with the total number of family members attending so that we may plan accordingly. There is no fee for registration.

Research News

The Powdermill Avian Research Center has joined efforts with The National Aviary, The American Bird Conservancy, Chatham University, the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh, and The Wildlife Center at the Animal Rescue League to form BirdSafe Pittsburgh, a bird collisions monitoring program in the city of Pittsburgh. The monitoring program will provide us with baseline bird-window collision data for the area, allow us to test our scientific protocols before expanding the research area, raise public awareness of bird-glass collisions, and rescue birds injured from collisions (http://www.wqed.org/birdblog/2014/04/04/help-make-pittsburgh-birdsafe/).

Schools & Groups

Powdermill offers a variety of interdisciplinary, hands-on, environmental education activities at the Nature Center. Enhance your environment and ecology curriculum in our natural setting. In addition to our standard activities, we can also design field trips to meet your curriculum needs. For information about school field trips, call 724.593.6105 or email LongL@carnegiemnh.org.

Summer Camps

The Powdermill 2015 Summer Camp programs are now available for registration. Click here to see the available offerings.

Bird Banding

The museum's bird banding station at Powdermill Nature Reserve has been in operation for more than 50 years, and, after calling ahead, you can observe the trained staff as they identify, measure, weigh, and band the more than 200 bird species that have stopped for a rest during their long migration. Banding is seasonal and weather dependent, but is usually in operation on weekends. To schedule a visit, call 724.593.7521. To learn more about our bird migration research, visit http://www.powdermillarc.org.

Educational Improvement Tax Credit

Support from area businesses through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program supports all aspects of our programming. Click here to learn more about how your business can help.

Adopt A Bird Band 

hummingbird The Adopt A Bird Band program invites nature lovers of all ages to become personally involved in supporting the vital biodiversity and conservation research at the core of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's mission. Adoptions make great gifts for bird lovers, budding naturalists, and conservation enthusiasts, or anyone who wants to celebrate in a unique and special way. Click here to explore the adoption website! 


Powdermill programs are supported by the Mudge Environmental Education Program and the Martha Edwards Lazear Foundation.