Why take home a piece of the PA Wilds?
April 17, 2024 49 view(s)
Why take home a piece of the PA Wilds?

Why take home a piece of the PA Wilds?

There’s nothing quite like exploring the Pennsylvania Wilds! The 13-county rural region of Pennsylvania covers approximately 25% of the state’s land acreage in north central Pennsylvania, yet just 4% of the population. Once the former lumber capital of the world, the region is home to more than 2 million acres of public land, 50 state game lands, 29 state parks, 8 state forests, the only national forest in Pennsylvania, 2 National Wild & Scenic Rivers, abundant wildlife, hundreds of miles of land and water trails, some of the darkest skies in the country, and the largest elk herd in the northeast.

Some popular assets visitors love to enjoy are hiking through the Allegheny National Forest, taking a bike ride on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, experiencing thrilling heights at Kinzua Bridge, taking a leisurely drive on Scenic Route 6, seeing some of the oldest trees in the country at Cook Forest’s Ancient Cathedral, bugling with the wildlife at the Elk Country Visitor Center, learning about the universe and the stars at Cherry Springs State Park, or watching a game in Williamsport - the home of Little League Baseball.

Whether you’re from the PA Wilds region or are just visiting, these wild and wonderful experiences make us appreciate our beautiful natural world and the small-town communities.

After you’re back in your car and ready to head home, don’t you want to have something to remind you of the incredible memories you made in the PA Wilds?

Our physical PA Wilds Conservation Shops and online PA Wilds Marketplace focus on locally made and value-added products so you can take home a piece of the Pennsylvania Wilds while making a difference!

More than 90 percent of the products you see in the PA Wilds Conservation Shops were created by artists, makers, and other small businesses who live in the PA Wilds. That means that we are supporting and growing locally rooted wealth, as well as allowing these artisans to reflect our region’s natural assets by depicting and celebrating the places and experiences that can only be found in the PA Wilds. The PA Wilds Conservation Shops and PA Wilds Marketplace have a huge mission impact on how we are able to marry conservation and economic development.

What are some of our favorite souvenirs that help us remember our PA Wilds travels?

Britt Madera, Communications Manager for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship

Our refrigerator is absolutely covered with magnets from all of our travels. It’s an easy, small, inexpensive souvenir, but they’re all so unique to each location that we visit. I tend to travel light, so I appreciate something that doesn’t take up a lot of space in my bag. Then when I get home, it’s nice to relive the adventure when I find a place for the magnet on our fridge, metal desk, cabinet, or calendar board. Every time I grab a snack from the fridge or go to make dinner, the magnets bring a smile to my face and help me remember those moments.

LaKeshia Knarr, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Director for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship

When traveling, I often pick up little mementos that can go on my refrigerator, such as magnets and postcards. Jewelry and t-shirts are also favorites for me, as I enjoy the functional aspect and being able to wear things that reflect the natural assets and local culture, as well as my travels and love of adventure. I also have a pressed penny display book, so if I see an opportunity to get a pressed penny, it’s a must.

Libby Bloomquist, Sustainable Commerce Director for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship

I prefer to purchase unique pieces when I travel. As much as I love t-shirts, they will wear out over time, but a hand-crafted piece of pottery or a painting can last forever. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of the special moments. For many years I would buy charms for my mom’s charm bracelet or another fun piece of jewelry for her to wear and enjoy. 

Hannah Brock, Licensing Manager for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship

Whether it’s a short day trip or a cross-country adventure, my go-to is always stickers! They adorn all my water bottles and remind me of my adventures when I am back home in my everyday routines. I have even framed larger stickers so that I can add them to my wall as decoration. I try to find unique stickers that are made by a local or regional artist to better commemorate the experience. I like that I can have a souvenir that I can look at every day and remember a great trip! 

Ashley Fosbrink-Horrell, Value Chain Manager for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship

When traveling, I typically look for something small, easy to carry and pack up. This often leads to me coming home with lots of maps, postcards and pressed pennies. Maps are typically a utility and get reused for as many future adventures as possible, they’ve become an accidental collection. However, I’ve been purposefully collecting postcards and pressed pennies from all my travels from as early as I can remember. It’s incredible that these kinds of small items can grow into a sizable collection, seeing how much they’ve grown is a great reminder of how lucky I’ve been to go on so many wonderful adventures.

Megan Steele, Marketplace Manager for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship

It won’t take spending too much time in my house before realizing that my go-to souvenir is a mug. My cabinets are full of places I’ve visited, with my favorites hanging on hooks above my coffee pot. When visiting somewhere new, I love to purchase a coffee mug because it can be a daily, functional reminder of my trip when I go back to my normal life. Mugs are not only functional but some are pieces of art, handmade by artisans, that can be displayed in your kitchen as you would display artwork on your wall.