The Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) is a land trust devoted to conserving and enhancing the lands and waters of Northcentral Pennsylvania to support the environmental well-being and recreational needs of local communities.

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By Susan Sprout Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata) is a spring-blooming, native plant growing from Pennsylvania to Georgia and west to Oklahoma. A member of the Iridaceae or Iris Family, which is named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, it is considered an herbaceous perennial. “Herbaceous” because its soft, green stem does not become woody and dies back after the growing season. “Perennial” because … Continue reading Underfoot: DWARF CRESTED IRIS »


By Susan Sprout Virginia Bluebells, or Virginia Cowslips, are ephemeral – here in the spring and gone during summer. Look for them blooming now with nodding but showy, blue trumpet-shaped flowers. They arrive early, eager for the higher amounts of unhampered sunlight before the trees above them leaf out to block it. As the name suggests, their bright blue flowers hang in loose clusters like … Continue reading Underfoot: VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS »

Underfoot:  HOBBLEBUSH

By Susan Sprout Ever been hiking off trail in the woods and get your foot caught by a shrub with drooping branches that had become rooted in the ground? You may have had a run-in with Hobblebush AKA Tangle-legs! If you can remember where you got entangled, hike back in for positive identification now because Hobblebush is in bloom from late April into May with … Continue reading Underfoot:  HOBBLEBUSH »

Forest Bathing

By Alexa Radulski Have you ever heard of the term “forest bathing”? Contrary to its name, forest bathing requires no nudity or water! Forest bathing is a form of ecotherapy, but it is not reserved only for the nature lover. Forest bathing originated in Japan and is known as shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of relaxation in nature. Forest bathing is a very simple way to … Continue reading Forest Bathing »


By Susan Sprout Going out and about, you have probably noticed our wonderful Eastern Redbud blooming now in Central Pennsylvania. So attractive and conspicuous with those magenta blossoms decorating all the branches! They certainly stand out whether they are growing along a country road or in people’s yards. A closer look reveals that the flowers have appeared before the leaves and are coming straight out … Continue reading Underfoot: EASTERN REDBUD »