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Species Spotlight: Skunk Cabbage

March 9 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, PA Master Naturalists, Fessler IT Consulting and Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit are partnering to offer a new series of programs, at least once per quarter, called “Species Spotlight” starting from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 9, 2024, with a focus on Skunk Cabbage.

“Before we can ask people to be stewards for our natural resources, we need to connect with nature, to truly appreciate what we have in our own backyards, so to speak, and what better way than to do a deep dive into some of the most unique species our region has to offer?” said Riverkeeper John Zaktansky. “Skunk cabbage is a springtime rite of passage, and many people may associate with its weird smell, but it has so many other weird, almost alien-like characteristics that are just so cool. We are excited to share those with the public in this class — to experience and appreciate skunk cabbage in ways you’ve probably never have before!”

The program will begin at 1 p.m. at the Montour Preserve’s Educational Center’s auditorium with an overview program about skunk cabbage and its unique qualities. The group will then break up into three groups and rotate through the following stations:
  • Group A: Touch (Participants will explore the plant’s ability to generate its own thermogenic heat using MWEE technology equipment including infrared cameras and thermometers to record data on just how much heat they produce).
  • Group B: Sight and Sound (Participants will look into the unique colors of the plant’s springtime bloom and the types of pollinators it draws … listening for the sounds of the buzzing bees and flies it brings in. Will include creative element utilizing the plant’s coloration.)
  • Group C: Smell and Taste (Participants will explore the plant’s strange smell, what causes it and the purpose behind it and also discuss the plant’s taste and some of the plant’s defense mechanisms to being eaten.)

The program is free, but donations are encouraged where possible to help defray cost and allow for future programming. Pre-registration is required as space is limited for this program. Please use the form below to pre-register. If you have any questions specifically about the Species Spotlight: Skunk Cabbage program, email John Zaktansky directly at [email protected]

Future Species Spotlight sessions will be announced soon, and will likely include a deep dive look into things such as cicadas, cattails and other species with unique qualities and multiple special uses.


March 9
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Montour Preserve
374 Preserve Road
Danville, PA 17821 United States
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Vernal School
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