Powdermill Nature Reserve

Education Programs & Exhibitions

Sunday Lecture Series

Creek Join us in the Parker Room of the nature center on the second Sunday of every month at 1 p.m. for a seasonally relevant nature talk. Weather permitting, each lecture will be followed by a brief foray into the field for an interpretive hike.

Climate Change: The Science Basics

August 16
Get the facts about the science behind climate change. Learn about its causes, effects, and about what we’re doing to help.


September 13
“Madness, rage, fury.” Come learn about rabies, one of the oldest known and most highly fatal diseases and about its vectors in Pennsylvania.

The Autumn Color Show

October 11
Pennsylvania is an incredible place to observe one of nature’s most beautiful displays. We’ll talk about why leaves turn color in the fall and leaf senescence as a survival strategy.

A Great Migration

November 8
Along with colorful leaves, autumn also brings us the year’s second great bird migration. Learn about migratory birds’ great southern trip!

Storytime Arts and Crafts

Join us at Powdermill Nature Reserve for Storytime Arts and Crafts the first Sunday of the month at 1 p.m. Children ages 3 to 9, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to discover the wonders of nature through a picture book reading and themed arts and crafts project. Reading and craft activities are followed by a short hike through the forest, weather permitting.

Please register for this free activity no later than 4:30 p.m. the Friday before so we can plan accordingly. Contact Kellen Calinger, Naturalist and Senior Environmental Educator, by phone at 724-593-6105 or email at CalingerK@powdermill.org to register.

Monarch and Milkweed by Helen Frost and Leonid Gore

September 6
This beautifully-illustrated story tells of the “friendship” between Monarch butterflies and Milkweed plants over the course of one year.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson

October 4
What is happening to Fletcher’s favorite tree? Autumn has arrived and Fletcher the fox discovers how trees change with the seasons.

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies

November 1
Night has fallen, and a colony of book-loving bats explore a library filled with literary adventures!

Research News

The Powdermill Avian Research Center has joined efforts with The National Aviary, The American Bird Conservancy, Chatham University, the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh, and The Wildlife Center at the Animal Rescue League to form BirdSafe Pittsburgh, a bird collisions monitoring program in the city of Pittsburgh. The monitoring program will provide us with baseline bird-window collision data for the area, allow us to test our scientific protocols before expanding the research area, raise public awareness of bird-glass collisions, and rescue birds injured from collisions (http://www.wqed.org/birdblog/2014/04/04/help-make-pittsburgh-birdsafe/).

Schools & Groups

Powdermill offers a variety of interdisciplinary, hands-on, environmental education activities at the Nature Center. Enhance your environment and ecology curriculum in our natural setting. In addition to our standard activities, we can also design field trips to meet your curriculum needs. For information about school field trips, call 724.593.6105 or email Kellen Calinger.

Summer Camps

The Powdermill 2015 Summer Camp programs are now available for registration. Click here to see the available offerings.

Bird Banding

The museum's bird banding station at Powdermill Nature Reserve has been in operation for more than 50 years, and, after calling ahead, you can observe the trained staff as they identify, measure, weigh, and band the more than 200 bird species that have stopped for a rest during their long migration. Banding is seasonal and weather dependent, but is usually in operation on weekends. To schedule a visit, call 724.593.7521. To learn more about our bird migration research, visit http://www.powdermillarc.org.

Educational Improvement Tax Credit

Support from area businesses through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program supports all aspects of our programming. Click here to learn more about how your business can help.

Adopt A Bird Band 

hummingbird The Adopt A Bird Band program invites nature lovers of all ages to become personally involved in supporting the vital biodiversity and conservation research at the core of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's mission. Adoptions make great gifts for bird lovers, budding naturalists, and conservation enthusiasts, or anyone who wants to celebrate in a unique and special way. Click here to explore the adoption website! 


Powdermill programs are supported by the Mudge Environmental Education Program and the Martha Edwards Lazear Foundation.