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Roger or Margaret Higbee at

September 2018 Meeting

Tue, September 4, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Blue Spruce County Park Lodge
Speaker: Mike Shaffer, Environmental Education Specialist, Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks


Mike Shaffer will present “The History of McConnells Mill State Park” a tour September meeting. McConnells Mill, nestled in Lawrence County in western Pennsylvania, encompasses 2,546 acres of the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. The gorge was created by the draining of glacial lakes thousands and thousands of years ago. The gorge with its steep hillsides is littered with huge boulders and the area is designated as a National Natural Landmark. Most known for its historic grist mill built in 1852 that once harnessed the water power of the Slippery Rock Creek to grind grains into flour, this park now offers a wide variety of activities from hiking, whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, picnicking, and exploring the scenic overlooks, forests, and spectacular waterfalls. Join Mike Shaffer, Park Naturalist, from McConnells Mill for an in depth look at one of the most beautiful state parks in Pennsylvania.

Michael T. Shaffer, who is no stranger to our group, is currently with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Bureau of State Parks, where he serves as an Environmental Education Specialist. First at Yellow Creek State Park from 2000 to 2015, he is now at Moraine and McConnells Mill State Parks. As an Environmental Education Specialist, Michael develops, coordinates, and implements environmental and park education programs. Prior to working with DCNR, he worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Tionesta Lake for three summers as a Park Ranger. He graduated from Butler County Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Parks & Recreation Management and received a Bachelor's of Science Degree at Slippery Rock University in Park & Resource Management. He is an avid hunter and outdoorsman, and his passion is white-tail deer hunting with bow and arrow. He is a father of Zoe, the greatest 18-year-old daughter, who attends Robert Morris University for Nursing. He served in the U.S. Army as an infantry paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division for four years after high school and also served in the Pennsylvania National Guard for nine years. During his 13 years of military service, he conducted two tours in Iraq. Mike grew up in southern Clarion County between the towns of East Brady and Rimersburg and currently lives out in the country near Belknap in Armstrong County.

Acorn Woodpecker, Madera Canyon, AZ, 7/19/2014, Marg Higbee

Upcoming Events

Tuesday Yellow Creek Outing

  • Tue, November 20, 1:00 am
  • Yellow Creek State Park Office

Blue Spruce Park Outing

  • Sat, November 24, 8:00 am
  • Blue Spruce County Park

Niagara Frontier Outing

  • Fri, November 30, 12:00 midnight – Sun, December 2, 11:59 pm
  • Niagara Frontier

December 2018 Meeting

  • Tue, December 4, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Blue Spruce County Park Lodge

Indiana Christmas Bird Count 2018

  • Wed, December 26, 2018, 12:01 am – Thu, December 26, 2019, 11:59 pm
  • Indiana County