Detailed Description of Activities

Macoskey Center & Harmony House Tour

Created in 1990, the Robert A. Macoskey Center is Slippery Rock University’s hands-on sustainability education center. The Harmony House is a completely refurbished and LEED Silver certified model for eco-conscious construction and sustainable living. Students will learn about the passive solar, insulation and thermal performance, geothermal heating and cooling, and woodstove features of the house, as well as tour portions of the 83 acre Audubon Sanctuary surrounding the Center. The tour will include demonstrations and lessons on composting, sustainable farming/ permaculture, organic gardening, energy conservation and alternative energy systems. For more information about the Robert A. Macoskey Center, please visit their website.

Acid Waste Mine Tour – Jennings Environmental Center

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the abandoned coal mines in the park, how the acid mine waste is being treated using natural systems, and the adverse impacts of using non-reusable natural resources. Students will take part in determining pollution types and the varying effectiveness of pollution treatment and control used at the site. For more information about this activity, click here.

Eastern Prairie Tour – Jennings Environmental Center

Named after Dr. Otto Emery Jennings, one of Pennsylvania’s most famous botanists, the Jennings Environmental Education Center is home to one of the richest combinations of eastern prairies and forests in the state. The 20-acre prairie ecosystem is home to a species of endangered rattlesnake and many flora species. Currently, it is the only public and protected prairie in the state. Throughout this tour students will receive an overview of this unique ecosystem and learn about methods used to manage the prairie (e.g. conduct a vegetation survey in areas managed by winter cutting vs. late spring cutting, prescribed fire, etc.)”  For more information about the Center, please visit their website, or view this publication.

Geology Hike – McConnell’s Mills

Located in Lawrence County, McConnell’s Mills Sate Park is comprised of over 2,500 acres of the ancient glacial lake country of the Slippery Rock Creek Gorge.  The national landmark site encompasses a 19th century gristmill that is the heart of the park.  Students on this hike will explore the science and history of the bedrock that formed over 300 million years ago, the overall topography of the park formed during the Ice Age, the impact of glaciers on the landscape, and the mineral resources of the area.  For more information, visit their website.

Nature Hike – Moraine State Park

Land that was once covered by ancient continental glaciers, then became the site of historic coal and natural gas industries, has now been reclaimed and restored into the magnificent Moraine State Park. Home to successfully reintroduced osprey, bald eagles, waterfowl, and countless fish and mammal species, students will have the chance to see the deep forest of Moraine through a naturalist-led hike. The park contains seven loops of hiking of various length and difficulty, including portions of the famed North Country National Scenic Trail that stretches from New York to North Dakota.  For more information visit their website.

Canoeing – Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park

As one of the recreational activities during the week, students will have the chance to partake in canoeing on Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park in Portersville.  Enjoying over 42 miles of scenic shoreline from the ten boat launches will surely be a highlight of the day’s activities.

Nautical Nature Pontoon Boat Tour – Moraine State Park

The Nautical Nature Pontoon Boat Tour at Moraine State Park is one of the most premier attractions in a state park in Western Pennsylvania. Students on the 37 passenger enclosed pontoon boat will be guided through Lake Arthur by Moraine Captains and First Mates as they discuss park history, scenery, and the flora and fauna of the park.

SRU Sustainable Features Campus Tour

Named one of Princeton Review Guide’s “Green Colleges” and committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2037, Slippery Rock University boasts countless green initiatives that students will focus on during this on-campus tour.  Led by faculty that are immersed in the University’s sustainability curriculum and efforts, students will have the chance to learn about the LEED certified buildings on campus, the multiple rain gardens and green roofs, the wind-powered lake aeration system, and other sustainable features.

Leadership Development Center

While under the direction of highly trained and qualified staff at Slippery Rock’s Leadership Development Center, students will have the opportunity to create community within their small groups as well as work on individual and group leadership skills, decision making processes, and strategic planning skills.  Elements such as the leadership trail, the leadership reaction course, Susie’s woods, and exercises such as ice breakers and trust activities will encourage participants to step out of their comfort zones and into newfound leadership positions.