Carnegie Museum of Natural History

For more information, contact: Leigh Kish
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
412.622.3361 (0), 412.526.8587 (C)

April 26, 2012


Get Hooked on Your Local Nature Reserve on Saturday, May 12, at Powdermill Nature Reserve

Rector, Pennsylvania....Take a trip to Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, to Get Hooked on Your Local Nature Reserve on Saturday, May 12. Explore the premier location to study and experience the nature in our region with behind-the-scenes laboratory tours of the bird banding station and bioacoustics lab, nature hikes, demonstrations by scientists and educators, hands-on opportunities, live insects, kid-friendly activities, and more!

Get Hooked on Your Local Nature Reserve is a free event, with drop-in activities taking place all day between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The activities take place outdoors and indoors, rain or shine, so dress for the weather. Activities are designed for families and for adults. No registration is necessary. Get Hooked on Your Local Nature Reserve is presented by Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems, and is being held in conjunction with Trout Unlimited’s Laurel Highlands Trout Trail Festival. 

Nature activities for all ages
Get Hooked on Your Local Nature Reserve is an opportunity for nature lovers and enthusiasts of all ages to experience Powdermill side by side with the museum’s renowned scientists and naturalists for whom Powdermill is a world-class resource for ecological studies.

Free activities for May 12 Get Hooked on Your Local Nature Reserve include: 

  • Behind-the-scenes laboratory tours of the bird banding station and bioacoustics lab
    See first-hand how museum scientists gently capture migrating birds, record information that helps researchers understand migration patterns and bird populations, and then carefully release the birds back into the wild. Bring your camera! For the safety of the animals, bird banding may end by 10 or 11 a.m.; be sure to come early for the best viewing opportunities. 
  • Demonstrations of field techniques for turtle trapping and identification.
  • Wildflower and stream walks.
  • Up-close examinations of specimens from Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s insect and botany collections.
  • Opportunities to explore the solar powered house.
  • Taxidermy demonstrations.
  • Exploration stations with touchable objects and specimens, staffed by knowledgeable museum educators and volunteers.
  • Hands-on activities including nature drawing, creating caddisfly jewelry, and trout fly tying.
  • Activities for kids and families, including free take-home insect specimens and silk screen printing.
  • Free shuttle, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., to downtown Ligonier where you can participate in Trout Trail Festival activities presented by the Ligonier YMCA, Ligonier Library, Compass Inn Museum, Fort Ligonier, Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, and the shops of Ligonier.

Activities are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Group size for some activities may be limited to ensure an enjoyable experience for participants. Check posted schedules at the event, and come early for best participation.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Visitors may also pack their lunches. Picnic facilities are available around the property. In addition to the scheduled activities, Powdermill’s hiking trails, butterfly garden, and the exhibitions located at the nature center will be open. Visitors are encouraged to explore these areas on their own.

For the safety of visitors, staff, museum specimens, and live animals associated with demonstrations, it is requested that visitors leave their pets at home. 

Powdermill Nature Reserve is located 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Rector, Pennsylvania. A full itinerary of events can be found on the day of the event by picking up information at the nature center at Powdermill.

Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems 

Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems engages scientists from collaborating institutions worldwide to understand, manage, and sustain the health of local and global ecosystems. It utilizes the museum’s vast collection and the environmental research center Powdermill Nature Reserve as a living laboratory for ecological research and as a site for visiting researchers and educators studying the mid-Appalachian ecosystem. The Center creates interdisciplinary research and educational projects that address some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time: questions regarding changes to the environment—past, present, and future—and how these changes affect nature and human cultures. The Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems launched in January 2011 and is under the direction of John Wenzel.


Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,