News for Constituents


Tree of Heaven Not So Heavenly for PA

An aggressive battle is being waged across the Commonwealth just as the Spotted Lanternfly prepares to feast on the invasive plant species, Tree of Heaven, according to the PA Departments of Agriculture and of Conservation and Natural Resources

The Tree of Heaven or Ailianthus Altissima, is the meal of choice for the Spotted Lanternfly.  Recommendations call for removal of 90 percent of the Trees of Heaven, leaving 10 percent of the trees on your property to prevent the Spotted Lanternfly from feasting on your other trees, shrubs, and flowers. 

The Department of Agriculture recommendations also include tree banding, responsible to-date for killing 1,065,258 Spotted Lanternflies.  Report your findings to the PA Department of Agriculture at or 1-866-253-7189 to assist PA with efforts to eradicate the costly invasive pest. 

PA Boating Safety Course Requirements Include Personal Watercraft Operation 

Personal watercraft operation in Pennsylvania requires the driver to successfully complete a PA Fish and Boat Commission approved boating course and be 12 years of age or older to obtain a Boating Safety Education Certificate.  Individuals born after January 1, 1982 and intending to drive boats powered by engines greater than 25 hp are also required to take an approved boating safety course. 

Two internet-based boating courses and one home-study, video-based course for distance learning are available through the PF&BC.  Check the schedule for a local course or call the toll free Boating Course Hotline at 888-PAFish1 (888-723-4741) for a convenient location. 

Whether a novice or an Old Salt, the 2018 PA Boating Handbook is helpful to staying on top of boating regulations and safety information.  Consult the list of Frequently Asked Questions for a quick review. 

Use PA One Call to Prevent an Emergency Call

One call to Pennsylvania’s 811 system can make the difference in preventing a call to the 911 emergency system, according to the PA Public Utility Commission

Pennsylvania’s landscape safely conceals the important pipes and lines that deliver fresh water, electricity, phones, and internet into our homes and businesses.  More than 3,000 underground line hits have occurred over the last five years; an average of over eight line hits every day. 

Small or large, protect your next project with a call to 811.  Be prepared to provide the details to include design, excavation, or demolition information. 


Lyme Disease Preventative Precautions Urged

The return of warmer temperatures brings the return of the Deer Tick and fears of acquiring Lyme Disease, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Recommended precautions include: 

  • Wear light-colored clothing;
  • Spray tick repellent on clothing;
  • Wear long pants;
  • Tuck you pant legs into your socks;
  • Stay on the trail;
  • Execute a thorough inspection of your children and yourself;
  • Conduct a flea check of all accompanying dogs;
  • Shower after completing the above tips; and
  • Launder and dry clothing in an electric dryer on high heat.

Engage children in Lyme Disease prevention from preparation for an outdoor adventure through their return home.  Upon return from an outdoor adventure, conduct a tick check on any accompanying canines. 

Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in Lyme Disease cases, with every county included in the growing incidence.  

Join the 2018 Great American Cleanup of PA

The 2018 Great American Cleanup returns to Pennsylvania following a very successful 2017 campaign.  Find an event in your area or register your own to be eligible for free work gloves, safety vests, and trash bags, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the PA Department of Environmental Protection

Nearly 133,000 volunteers participated in 7,280 cleanup events, tackling more than 5.3 million pounds of trash.  Volunteers cleared over 11,000 miles of PA roads, shorelines, and trails, including nearly 21,000 tires.  Pennsylvanians also planted some 16,437 trees, shrubs and flowers. 

Litter cleanup costs the U.S. more than an estimated $11.5 billion annually.  Municipalities’ annual cleanup costs exceed $790 million, while counties annually spend $185 million on litter collections each year. 

Be Ready to Attract the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird upon Its Returns to PA

The ruby-throated hummingbird returns to Pennsylvania like the swallows return to Capistrano.  With your help, their journey could include your backyard, according to the Penn State Extension

Pennsylvania’s smallest bird, weighing in at less than 0.02 ounces and 3 to 4 inches long, faithfully returns to the same area and to the same feeder, if it continues to be available.  Its May arrival necessitates the feeders be prepared and hung 5-10 days prior to their anticipated return.  Prepare four parts hot, not boiling, water (no red dye) to one part white sugar and partially fill the feeder while preserving the mix for up to two weeks in your refrigerator. 

The ruby-throated hummingbird follows the blooming of early-season flowering plants including azaleas, rhododendrons, and columbine along its migratory path.  Habitat hits with hummingbirds are routinely red, orange, and pink flowers, tubular in shape, and perfect for their long beaks and tongues. 


Vietnam Veterans Mobile Memorial Wall to Visit Harrisburg During PA Tour

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, begins a Pennsylvania tour outside the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg from 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 through Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 2 p.m. 

The Wall That Heals,” will be on display in Brockway, PA from June 28 through July 1 and in McKeesport, PA between August 9 and August 12. 

First unveiled in 1996, the mobile Memorial is now a chevron-shaped, half-scale replica of the original Memorial Wall dedicated in 1982 on the East Mall in Washington, D.C.  The transport vehicle transforms into The Mobile Education Center, highlighting the chronology of the Vietnam War, a map, letters, and memorabilia.