Purple Lizard Scotia Map soon to be released!!!

As you all may or may not know, we are very lucky to have amazing recreational opportunities surrounding State College.  On top of that we are very lucky to have organizations like Clearwater Conservancy working hard to conserve these lands so they can be enjoyed by the public, as well as businesses like Purple Lizard Maps making incredible maps that are like gold when you are out in the wilderness.

Well, these two forces have combined to make a long awaited trail map of the Scotia Barrens, an area known to mountain bikers, hikers, bird watchers, cross-country skiers  and other outdoor enthusiasts.  This map will be released tomorrow, 7/28 and the event is open to the public.  Please read on for more info, get out and enjoy!!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            June 22, 2012

 Public invited to unveiling of Scotia Barrens recreation map June 28

ClearWater Conservancy and Purple Lizard Maps will introduce new map

 ClearWater Conservancy invites local residents to a celebration of a new map of the Scotia Barrens, a popular local hunting and outdoor recreation destination, on Thursday, June 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in State College.  The event includes presentations by ClearWater conservation biologist Katie Ombalski and Purple Lizard Map’s cartographic designer/owner, Mike Hermann.  The map is a collaboration between ClearWater and Purple Lizard. Local historian Bob Hazelton will also speak on the history of Scotia.  This event is free and open to the public; doors open at 6:30.

Known as State Game Lands (SGL) 176, the Scotia Barrens is popular with hunters, birders, hikers, mountain bikers, and cross-country skiers—though its 13+ miles of trails can be confusing.   The new map, designed and distributed by Purple Lizard Maps, an independent publisher known locally for its maps of Rothrock State Forest and other outdoor attractions, is more than just a trail guide, though:  it’s an educational resource.  On the flip side of the trail map is an historic map that presents information about the now-lost town of Scotia, which back in the late 1800s was a major center for iron mining operations.

An additional highlight of the map dedication ceremony on Thursday will be the display of an historic scale model of the former town of Scotia, created by the region’s first historian, Harry Williams.

“You’ll see what the town looked like at the height of the iron ore processing industry,” says Hazelton.

ClearWater’s Ombalski says the new map has been several years in the making.

“Besides encouraging more people to get out and experience Scotia, “ Ombalski says, “the map will also help protect the resource by presenting educational information about why the place is so special.”

 If the Scotia Barrens is rich in history, it’s also rich in biological resources.  One of Pennsylvania’s largest pine scrub/oak “barrens,” SGL 176 and surrounding properties protect a critical groundwater recharge area for Bellefonte’s “Big Spring” and provides important habitat for migratory birds–an island of green in a wave of development.

Besides mapping the SGL 176 and adjacent public lands, the ClearWater Conservancy is also working to protect it, through its Scotia Barrens Conservation Project, which sets priorities for conservation easements and creates a wildlife corridor that prevents the area from becoming isolated by development.

The map was made possible through grants from the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Centre County Commissioners, Centre County Community Foundation, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.  Funding was also provided through sponsorships and in-kind technical services from several local businesses and dedicated ClearWater Conservancy members and volunteers.

Maps can be purchased for $12 online at www.clearwaterconservancy.org or www.purplelizard.com or locally at ClearWater Conservancy’s office, Wiscoy, Appalachian Outdoors, The Bicycle Shop, Freeze Thaw Cycles or the Centre County Historical Society.

For more information contact: Katie Ombalski at (814) 237-0400.

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ClearWater Conservancy of Central Pennsylvania, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), Centre County based land trust and environmental conservation organization formed in 1980 with the mission of promoting the conservation and restoration of natural resources in central Pennsylvania through land conservation, water resource protection, and environmental outreach to the community.  For more information about ClearWater Conservancy’s conservation, restoration, or education projects or to view an upcoming schedule of events, visit www.clearwaterconservancy.org.

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