2021 Summer Elk Camp
In 2019, KECA’s Conservation Education Department proudly offered our first Summer Elk Camp and it was a huge success. Over 60 children ages 8-12 arrived at the Elk Country Visitor Center eager and excited for their day full of elk and outdoor activities. The day was filled with interactive activities like antler scoring, scavenger hunts, walking stick making, and a mock elk calf capture!
Since Summer Elk Camp was such a great hit, the following year we offered two sessions of Elk Camp on separate dates. The Elk Camp dates for the summer of 2021 are now scheduled for June 30th and July 7th. This year’s Summer Elk Camp will be 10$ per participant. The child will need to bring their own lunch. The day will be filled with interactive and educational activities. Click the link below for the sign-up sheet.
KECA/Seneca Resources Company LLC Scholarship
Environmental Education Scholarship provided in partnership by the Keystone Elk Country Alliance and Seneca Resources Company, LLC.
Students who reside in Pennsylvania who are currently in their senior year of high school will have the opportunity to earn a $1,000 scholarship provided by the Keystone Elk Country Alliance and Seneca Resources Company, LLC. The amount of $1,000 is awarded once to the scholarship recipient. In order to be eligible for this educational scholarship, students must be accepted to attend a college or secondary vocational/trade school. They must also be majoring in or pursuing a career in an environmental field. (including but not limited to: Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Earth Science, Education, Environmental Engineering, Forestry, Botany, Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Sustainability, Parks and Recreation)
Applicants are required to submit a portfolio that includes:
– A typed essay (300-500 words) written in paragraph format about personal experiences and accomplishments in their lives that have inspired them to pursue the environmental field of studies, attributes they possess that will benefit them to be successful working in the environmental field, and the importance of this field of study to our future. Include a cover page with name, address, phone number, and high school attended.
-A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s former or current high school teacher.
-A copy of the letter of acceptance from the college/secondary education school that will be attended by the applicant.
This student portfolio should be submitted electronically to the Keystone Elk Country Alliance Education Department at KECAConEd@windstream.net
The recipient of this scholarship will be chosen by a panel consisting of KECA staff, KECA educational committee members as well as representatives from Seneca Resources Company, LLC.
Applications will be due by June 30th and the recipient will be selected by August 1st.
Ben Porkolab, KECA (Keystone Elk Country Alliance) Conservation Education Coordinator adds, “Seneca Resources Company, LLC. has been a significant partner of KECA and key supporter of our conservation education department for many years. With monies from both the Keystone Elk Country Alliance and Seneca Resources Company, LLC. this scholarship will be awarded to a deserving Pennsylvania high school senior each and every year. Students who pursue careers in conservation are passionate about the well-being of our natural world. KECA believes in supporting those who embrace conservation and the enhancement of Pa.’s elk country for future generations.”
KECA is a 501©(3) non-profit Conservation Organization headquartered at the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, PA. More information can be found at ExperienceElkCountry.com
Seneca Resources Company, LLC explores for and develops natural gas and oil reserves in California and Appalachia, including the Marcellus and Utica shales, and has provided Pennsylvania energy and jobs for more than 100 years. Additional information about Seneca Resources is available at www.nationalfuelgas.com/seneca
Contact: Ben Porkolab, Conservation Education Coordinator
2020 Scholarship Recipient
Congratulations to our 2020 Conservation Education Scholarship recipient Bryce Byers, from Tionesta, PA. Bryce is attending PSU Behrend- majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering. The Keystone Elk Country Alliance and Seneca Resources Company, LLC. partnered to award a deserving Pennsylvania high school senior continuing their education in the field of conservation, wildlife, science, or education a college scholarship of $1,000. We look forward to continuing this scholarship for many years come.
MAY 2020- Conservation Education Department Receives Stackpole-Hall Foundation Grant
The Keystone Elk Country Alliance’s (KECA) Conservation Education Department will be improving their already successful Distance Learning Program with help from a recent Stackpole-Hall Foundation Grant. This grant will be used to purchase Green Screen Technology Equipment that will share Pennsylvania’s Elk Country programs with thousands of students annually. KECA developed this program in 2013 to meet the geographic and funding constraints that many schools and other groups face that discourage them from visiting the Elk Country Visitor Center. Since then, schools and other organizations from 45 PA counties and 7 other states have taken part in this great educational opportunity. In 2019 alone, KECA’s educators taught 3,640 students through this one of a kind program.
The program uses Zoom and Skype to provide students who are unable to visit the Elk Country Visitor Center with a multi-sensory environmental learning experience right in their classroom. The Distance Learning program is developed to meet Pennsylvania State Education Standards so it can blend seamlessly into classroom curriculums. Additionally, KECA ships an elk trunk that contains an elk pelt, elk antler, bison horn, elk jaw, elk skull, deer jaw, and other materials to participating schools. This trunk allows students to have a hands-on learning experience even though KECA educators are not physically in the classroom. Thanks to generous sponsors this educational elk program is provided at no cost!
Using the new Green Screen Technology Equipment students will gain a bird’s eye view of the Elk Country Visitor Center, experience exciting elk behavior, and better understand elk ecology and the importance of habitat and wildlife conservation during the Distance Learning Program.
To set up a Distance Learning program, please email our Conservation Education Coordinator, Ben Porkolab, at KECAConEd@windstream.net or our Conservation Education Specialist, Russell Wheeler, at KECAConEdSp@windstream.net. They may be reached via phone at 814-787-5173.