Again this year the Pennsylvania Game Commission will be helping Commonwealth school students learn about the vital role of trees in the environment through its "Seedlings for Schools" program, in which students will be able to plant a variety of tree seedlings at home, on school grounds or in their communities.

Orders will be accepted, beginning Monday until Sunday, April 1, through the PGC website at www.pgc.state.pa.us by clicking on "Seedlings for Schools," and all order must be submitted online.

There is no charge to schools participating in this project, as the seedlings are provided by the agency's Howard Nursery, and the cost of shipping seedlings is covered through the generous donations of Waste Management, Mealey's Furniture, Wildlife for Everyone Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Partners for Wildlife.

There are two levels of involvement based on the grade level, and the PGC has been working with the state Department of Education to get the word out about the availability of seedlings.

"Seedlings for Your Class" is primarily for elementary students.

As part of this program, the Game Commission provides a classroom or one grade level with enough seedlings for each student to take a seedling home to plant.

Seedling choices are silky dogwood or white pine, and a teacher's guide comes with the seedlings.

"Seedlings to Develop Habitats" is primarily for middle and high school students.

As part of this program, the Game Commission provides a variety of seedlings to students interested in planting seedlings on school or community grounds to improve habitat, plant along a stream, develop a tree nursery, or create an environmental area.

"Seedlings come in bundles of 25, and will be shipped directly to schools by UPS toward the end of April, depending on order receipt and weather," Howard Nursery superintendent Annetta Ayers said. "Once seedlings arrive, it is important to keep them moist.

Hand out seedlings with roots in plastic bags with moist shredded newspaper or plant them in juice/milk cartons for transplanting at home.

'How to plant' information and educational materials will be provided with seedlings."

**********

Required pre-registration is now open for a "Women in the Outdoors" program being held by the Blue Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Saturday, March 10, at Cabela's Hamburg store.

A nonprofit conservation organization, the NWTF works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $331 million to conserve 15.9 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

Since 1998, this NWTF's program has organized events designed especially for women. By providing expert instruction and hands-on education, the NWTF and its partners, including the Pennsylvania Game Commission, helps members develop outdoors skills and emphasizes the importance of wildlife management and the role of hunters in conservation.

"Our program is about encouraging women to try new outdoor activities in a safe environment that makes them feel at ease," NWTF "Turkey Call" television show Brenda Valentine said. "This event is also an opportunity for women of all walks of life singles, moms, daughters, young and old to spend a day outdoors, away from home, having fun and making new friends."

Through the combination of sponsorship, the NWTF is able to offer these programs at a low cost to participants. Registration cost of attending each event includes a subscription to "Turkey Country," the NWTF's full-color publication that includes stories about the Women in the Outdoors, the JAKES youth program, Wheelin' Sportsmen, NWTF outreach programs, conservation issues, turkey calling and hunting, education programs and much more.

"The Women in the Outdoors program allows the NWTF to reach an entirely new audience, one that has the potential to benefit conservation efforts," Valentine said. "It's an opportunity for women to find great satisfaction and enjoyment in the outdoors."

For information and registration, contact Leslie Smith by calling 484-634-0069 or emailing lsmith@nwtf.net. For information about the NWTF, access the website at www.nwtf.org or call 800-THE-NWTF.

**********

Planting food plots for deer and other wildlife will be the topic of a seminar to be held Monday, March 5, beginning at 6:30 p.m., in the Lewistown Valley at the Zion Church Social Hall, 491 Valley Road, Tamaqua.

Sponsored by Koch's Farm Service, the seminar is designed for those who want to enhance their property to attract wildlife and will feature some of the leading experts in the field. Scheduled to speak are Scott Rushe and Bob Chappel of Seedway Products, who will speak on what makes a good plot, the benefits of local mixes and thinking outside the box for food plot needs; Duane Miller of the Penn State Extension Service, who will speak on soil test interpretation; and Brian McAllister of Purina Mills, who will speak on nutrition.

For information and requested preregistration, call Owen Koch of Koch's Farm Service at (570) 668-3849.

**********

This week's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, Sunday, at 7 a.m. on 1410 WLSH and 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5, will feature Troy Dando, owner of Custom Gun Finishes, Cumbola.

**********

A trap shoot will be held, Thursday, March 1, beginning at 6 p.m., at Orwigsburg Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 443 East, Orwigsburg. For information, e-mail jafone@comcast.net.

**********

Schuylkill Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will meet, Thursday, March 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at 633 Hancock St., McAdoo. For information, call Kevin Titus at 570-668-5903.

**********

Schuylkill Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its annual banquet, Saturday, March 10, beginning at 5 p.m., at the Community Fire Company, Landingville. For information, call Jeff Post at 570-366-7783 or Mike Corbin at 570-929-1622.