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News for Immeidate Release: Keeping Fruit Healthy

News for Immediate Release
Sept. 4, 2012
DCNR: Next South Mountain Lecture to Focus on the Challenges of Keeping Fruit Healthy

Harrisburg Efforts to keep fruit healthy in the orchards around the southcentral region will be the topic of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Penn State University Fruit Research and Extension Center at 290 University Drive, Biglerville, Adams County.

The brown marmorated stink bug has caused considerable crop losses for fruit growers at the same time populations of native pollinators have significantly declined.

At 1 p.m., David Biddinger, biocontrol specialist and researcher at the PSU Fruit Research and Extension Center, will discuss some of these challenges, followed by a tour of the FREC outdoor research facility.

“Fruit growers are constantly encountering new invasive species and diseases that threaten the health of the numerous orchards that dot the South Mountain area,” said Allen Dieterich-Ward, an associate professor of history at Shippensburg University and the chair of the South Mountain Partnership committee on the speaker series. “Participants will find out how scientists and growers combat these threats to the South Mountain fruit belt, and learn more about research programs during a tour of the center’s grounds.”

Light refreshments will be served. 

Dieterich-Ward added that Biglerville is a great starting point for the Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail ( 

“Participants should consider arriving in the area early or staying after the event to explore the fruit markets, restaurants, vineyards and beautiful scenery of Adams County’s fruit belt,” he said.

This is the third year for the South Mountain Speakers Series, envisioned as a revival of the talks given by Joseph Rothrock in the late 19th century as part of his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania’s forests and natural landscape.  Rothrock, a Pennsylvania native, was a pioneer in forest management in the United States and is often referred to as the state’s “Father of Forestry.”

This event is sponsored by the Penn State FREC, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Penn State Mont Alto campus, Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail and the South Mountain Partnership.

The South Mountain Partnership, made up of private citizens, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, works to protect and enhance the region’s landscape.

The partnership was sparked by DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiative, an effort to engage communities, local partners, state agencies and funding opportunities to conserve the high-quality natural and cultural resources while enhancing the region’s economic viability.

The series will continue at the Go Local For Health Summit with keynote speaker Gina Calhoun of the Copeland Center. The summit is Sept. 18 in Gettysburg. Calhoun will discuss the link of mental health to healthy eating, exercise and access to the outdoors.  Registration is required.

For more information about the speaker series, visit or call the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.

Some of the earlier lectures in the speaker series can now be found on Youtube at

Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101