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Hands-on decorating for holidays

Trim-A-Tree Naturally program allows adults and children to make own creations for the Christmas season.

BUTLER TWP. – The Trim-A-Tree Naturally program, held at Nescopeck State Park Saturday, provided two dozen adults and children with a safe haven from the commercial realities of the holidays while allowing them to create their own unique holiday decorations.

Using everything from pine cones to milkweed pods and grapevines, participants were able to infuse themselves back into the holidays.

“I love nature. And I enjoy giving handmade gifts, and I especially like the idea of giving gifts from the heart instead of something store-bought,” said Wendy Narcum of Orange, who was busy helping her 10-year-old son Ben, a fourth-grader at Dallas Elementary, deglue his hands, the results of an overzealous glue gun.

Ben had used the glue to make a pine cone owl, which he gave a hoot about. “My aunt will like it, because I made it by myself and because I made it for her,” he said.

Narcum’s friend, Dorian Jolley of Dallas, was there with her son, Luke, and daughter, Alisa, carrying on a family tradition.

“We always make handmade decorations, and we do it somewhere differently every year. One year it was at a museum. This year, it’s at this beautiful park on this wonderful day.”

Amy Shull, environmental educational specialist at the park, says programs such as these allow people “to see some of the wonderful things nature has to offer, and to use those things in a useful and creative way.”

Shull said children seem to enjoy making milkweed pod and grapevine “creatures” while the adults were specializing in wreaths, swags and a lineup of pine cone characters. And the only guns in evidence were on the shoulders of the hunters walking past the Environmental Center door.

Upcoming programs at Nescopeck State Park include “Knee High Naturalists Explore: Squirrels,” at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Intended for children aged 3-5 it includes stories, crafts and activities. “All About Owls” is the featured movie for Family Movie Night at 6 p.m. Dec. 15.


To get to the park from the Wilkes-Barre area, take state Route 309 south. After passing under Interstate 80, travel 0.75 miles and turn left on Honey Hole Road. Travel 6 miles to enter the Lake Frances Day Use Area.

For additional information, call Park Manager Dave Madl at (570) 403-2006 or e-mail nescopecksp@state.pa.us.

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