News for Constituents

Leaf Peeping to Return in Full Fall Color

Biking and hiking bring leaf peepers up close and personal with Pennsylvania’s blaze of fiery fall color, according the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Throughout the weeks of leaf peeping, leaves change color first in the northern portion of the state.  The Fall Foliage Report will tell you where the best changes and colors can be seen across Pennsylvania.

Paved, natural, or gravel, Pennsylvania’s urban trails wind their way through woods, across bridges, and along waterways, passing historical sites and manmade creations.  Those preferring to leaf peep from the comfort of their vehicle will find satisfying fall scenic driving tours, including the Northern Loop and the Southern Loop, to take in the beautiful colors from the ridges and valleys. 

Fall Gardening Guide

Don’t let the chill in the air and the fading summer flowers curtail your gardening just yet.  According to the Penn State Extension, trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials should be planted at least six weeks before the first frost allowing the root system to establish itself in the new soil. 

When cool fall temperatures arrive, planting hyacinth, narcissus, and tulip bulbs will brighten your landscape next spring.  Planting should occur during cool autumn temperatures but before the first hard frost. 

Warm-season vegetable growers are encouraged to improve soil quality by growing grain or legumes as cover crops during the off-season.  Cover crops help with erosion, soil compaction and organic soil enrichment. 

Filling in bare patches, over-seeding, or planting a new lawn are recommended for late summer to early fall to escape hot summer days. 

Autumn Driving Precautions

Autumn in Pennsylvania brings more than cooler temperatures and beautiful colors illuminating the landscape.  According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the sun’s angle shining in motorist’s eyes alters autumn driving. 

Combine general driving safety tips with PennDOT’s fall driving tips for a safe autumn: 

  • Increase following distance;
  • Let tailgaters pass;
  • Ensure operation of headlights, taillights, and turn signals;
  • Use headlights as sunlight fades;
  • Confirm the vehicle’s heating and wiper systems are working; and
  • Use tires with sufficient tread depth.

Motorists should anticipate morning dew collecting on road surfaces following cool nights and warmer days and the potential for an unexpected icy glaze covered by leaves.  Bears preparing to hibernate, deer breeding, and hunting season increase the potential for encountering wildlife during your drive. 

Simplify Emergency Planning with Checklists

Pennsylvanians watching the wrath of recent storms are encouraged to prepare for possible emergencies, according to the PA Emergency Management Agency

The Pennsylvania Emergency Preparedness Guide provides numerous checklists for simple preparations: 

  • Make a Family Emergency Plan – p. 6
  • Home Emergency Kit – p. 7 and 8
  • Children, Adults and those with Special Needs and Older Residents – p. 9 and 12-15, 21-23
  • Managing Important Documents – p. 9
  • Vehicle Emergency Kit – p. 10

Before the next emergency, let ReadyPA help you prepare to weather the storm during and after an emergency with a minimum of three days of supplies.  Extra precaution is encouraged with regard to medicine, with recommendations for at least a one-week supply.  

Department of Aging Provides Support to Caregivers

The Department of Aging provides both resources and support to caregivers.  The Caregiver Support Program eases the stresses of caregiving by focusing on the well-being of the caregiver and providing reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket costs.

The program provides several services including care management, benefits counseling, education and training.  Applicants must meet criteria to be eligible for these benefits.

This program is administered through your Area Agency on Aging. 

Weatherproofing for Winter Months Ahead

Early fall temperatures offer perfect conditions for weather-proofing your home, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

The heat loss due to a quarter-inch gap at the base of a three-foot wide exterior door is equal to the loss through a three-inch hole in the wall of your home.  Prepare Now to conserve energy and money later with the following resources: