2019 NDS-Banner

Nature Discovery Series 2019

At the Ned Smith Center, we believe education is for everyone.

We have developed a series of programs that connect people of all ages with the natural world.  Whether it’s watching waterfowl on the Susquehanna River, taking a spring bird walk with expert guides, or enjoying an informative and entertaining lecture, we have an affordable way for you to enjoy nature with your family.
We can’t wait to discover nature with you!


September 5, The Fires of Penn’s Woods
Join author Mike J. Klimkos as he discusses his book The Fires of Penn’s Woods. This book is a detailed historical account of how fires impacted Pennsylvania and shaped what is today a sustainable forest that has re-grown from the Great Pennsylvania Desert – the land that was left after industrial logging virtually cleared the state of its trees by the beginning of the Twentieth Century.
Pre-registration suggested.
Admission $5 per person ages 6 and up.
Time: 7 – 8 p.m.

September 21, Hunter Trapper Safety
This training course is required by law for all first-time hunters and trappers before buying a license and is open to anyone age 11 and older. There will be a certification exam at the end of the course. Course manuals are available at the Ned Smith Center gift shop during regular hours (Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.). Lunch will be provided. To register, please visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website (pgc.pa.gov), click on “Education,” and search for this class by name and location. There is no charge for the course, the manuals or lunch.
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

October 17, A Day in the Life of a Modern Meteorologist: “But My App Said…”
Marisa A. Ferger, lecturer in meteorology and member of Penn State’s Weather Communications Group, will be here to discuss the science of weather forecasting. How are observations taken? What role do balloons play? How are computer models generated? We’ll dig deep into the atmosphere to answer your weather forecasting questions. Pre-registration suggested.
Admission $5 per person ages 6 and up.
Time: 7 – 8 p.m.

November 8, An Evening with Owls
Experts on night-time raptors will explore the facts and shatter the myths about these beautiful creatures. This program features live owls from ZooAmerica. Certified bird banders from the Center’s Northern Saw-Whet Owl Banding Project will provide owl banding demonstrations and discuss efforts to gather more information on the tiny birds that migrate through Penn’s Woods on cold fall nights. Pre-registration suggested.
Admission $5 per person ages 6 and up.
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.

November 23, Cruisin’ the Cosmos: Measuring Pluto’s Atmosphere
Join the Center and its partners for a fun-filled evening of star gazing and a presentation, by Roxanne Kamin, on everyone’s favorite dwarf planet, PLUTO! Simply pack your snacks, bring a bit of curiosity and join us for an evening of delightful discoveries! If you have a telescope, please bring it along! Star Party leaders and their telescopes will remain on-site until 10:00 p.m. or until all attendees have left. Program will run rain or shine. Weather permitting we will head out to view the night sky. If the night is overcast the program will continue indoors with a lesson on telescopes. Presented in cooperation with Astronomical Society of Harrisburg and Millersburg Borough.
Pre-registration suggested, but not required.
Free admission, donations accepted.
Time: 7 – 10 p.m.

December 7, Basket Weaving
Join basket maker Teena Beutel in weaving a 6 inch berry basket using natural rattan. You will learn basic basketry skills by weaving a square basket, building a handle and adding a rim. The backdrop is natural rattan reed but there will be several colors and sizes of reeds to use in personalizing the basket to your decor and style.
Admission $45 per person ages 16 and up. Space is limited, Pre-registration suggested.
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Ned Smith Center