2023 Spring Growers Meeting

Planting, Growing, and Breeding Basics for American Chestnut
Saturday, April 1, 2023 (8:30 AM-4:00 PM)
603 Barron Innovation Hub
123 South Burrowes Street
State College, PA


Purchase your tickets in advance through our online store. Or call our office and RSVP by March 30. Box lunches must be purchased in advance by March 27.


Join us on Saturday, April 1, 2023 (8:30 AM-4:00 PM) for a grower-centric meeting focused on chestnuts. We will gather in 603 Barron Innovation Hub, located at 123 South Burrowes Street in State College, PA, for a coffee social, presentations, and lunch. After lunch, we will wrap up the presentations and tour the greenhouse, and orchard at Penn State, and visit our new Chapter office.
Three Ticket Options:
  • Box Lunch — ($25) Enjoy coffee and scones at our coffee social and choose from four Panera Box lunch options when they purchase their ticket. You must purchase this ticket by Monday, March 27. After this date, you can still attend but you will have to do the brown bag option.
  • Brown Bag  — ($10) Enjoy coffee and scones at our coffee social and pack your own lunch.  Purchase this ticket or RSVP by noon on Thursday, March 30. 
  • Virtual  — ($10) Unable to attend in person? We plan to stream the meeting live for those who want to attend remotely. Purchase this ticket by Thursday, March 30, at noon.  You will be sent a private link to attend online, in real-time, and submit questions to the speakers.  The tours and social segments of the meeting will not be streamed or recorded.

Everyone who purchases a ticket will receive a recording link to review the meeting presentations by Tuesday, April 4. The recording will be published on our YouTube Channel in October 2023.

Program Schedule

Presentation and Tour  Descriptions


Purchase your tickets in advance through our online store. Or call our office and RSVP by March 30. Box lunches must be purchased in advance by March 27.

Parking Options

Regarding Merchandise:  We will not be permitted to sell merchandise or do fundraising in the Barron Hub. We will have t-shirts etc, on hand to sell during the tour portion of the meeting.

The Chapter Office Has Moved!

Please note that the PA/NJ Chapter office has moved to a new location on Penn State’s University Park Campus. We are now located in 108 Research Unit A Modular Lab right across the parking lot from our old office space in the Forest Resources Lab (on the corner of Hastings and University Drive. The blue graduation cap below points to our new building. 



Volunteers Rock the Greenhouse in January

The 2023 volunteer season got off to a great start in January with two separate events. On January 13th 4 volunteers came to University Park to help wash and sanitize 2,500 D40 pots. Doing dishes is usually not high on the desirable jobs list in my house so it was greatly appreciated to have volunteers travel several hours to wash a seemingly endless pile of pots.

The freshly washed pots were restacked and piled on tables when some of the same volunteers returned a week later to fill pots with media and plant the first chestnuts for 2023. 1,500 more D40s were added to the 2,500 to plant 4,000 chestnut seeds of different varieties. Over half of these are replicates of a trial being done at the Meadowview to compare resistance levels of a different material. These include crosses between some of the best trees in the Arboretum B3F3 orchard at University Park, crosses of B3F3 trees with D58 material, Large Surviving Americans, and Chinese, American, and F1 controls. Be on the lookout for volunteer announcements in May for tree plantings & June when we inoculate the seedlings.

  • Greenhouse planting day. Left to right: John Yoder, Gene Eddinger, Brian Kolar, Steve Delp, & Beverly Auvil

Off to a great start at the PA Farm Show!

A team of 21 volunteers kicked off 2023 with a big bang at the PA Farm Show. Their outreach effort welcomed 29 new members. sold dozens of t-shirts, and shared the story of the American chestnut with thousands of attendees.

Many thanks to, Mike Aucott, Kimberly and Daniel Baldwin, Xander Beckett, Jay Brenneman, John Civitts, Ruth Chin, David Deaville, Steve Delp, Chris Ditlow, Tim Eck, Mike Fee, Rick Hartlieb, Peter and Juliet Lane, Bobbi Little, Don McCann, Judy Milliken, Rose and Mike Pavolko, Betsy Winch-Murtha.

Seeking Volunteers for Spring Outreach Events

The PA/NJ Chapter will have an information table at each of the events below. We count on volunteers to represent TACF at these events and share the story of the American chestnuts. To assist our volunteers we have a great interpretive display and factsheets to hand out. If you are interested in learning more contact Jean Najjar — mail@patacf.org | 814-863-7192

2023 Forest Landowners Conference
Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College, PA
March 24 and 25

This is a great conference for new and experienced forest landowners. We plan to have a table and would welcome your help sharing the story of the American chestnut if you plan to attend. Register today!

2023  Experience Codorus Outdoors (ECO) Event
Codorus State Park, Hanover, PA
Friday and Saturday, June 9 (4:00 PM to 8:00 PM and 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM)

2023 Earth Day at Core Creek
Middletown Township Parks & Recreation, Langhorne, PA
Saturday, April 29 (11:00 AM to 2:00 PM)

2023 Central PA Native Plant Festival and Sale
Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, State College, PA 
Saturday, May 6, 2023 (10:00 AM to 3:00 PM)
2023 Lancaster Native Plant and Wildlife Festival
Manheim Township’s Overlook Park, Lancaster, PA
Saturday, April 29 (8:00 AM to 1:00 PM)

To volunteer to represent the PA/NJ Chapter of TACF at any of these events, please contact Jean Najjar at mail@patacf.org | 814-863-7192



Targeted American Chestnut Conservation Missions

In order to help achieve our wild American conservation objectives, Chapter Board Member, Lake Graboski is setting up targeted “American Chestnut Conservation Missions”. Each mission will identify areas of special interest to our breeding program. We encourage individual hikers and local conservation groups to join these missions to help search for American chestnuts. 

Mission #1: Southwestern PA (Issued 6/3/2022)

Mission #2 Southern New Jersey

Outreach _ The Next Generation

Teachers and Chestnuts

Based on a couple of conversations at the PA Farm Show we are hoping to engage some middle school and high school teachers in an effort to formalize some lessons about the science of our American chestnut restoration mission. We don’t have a curriculum to promote. We would like to learn from you how we can bring our mission and research to young scientists. If you are a teacher interested in joining this discussion please contact Jean: at mail@patacf.org | 814-863-7192

American Chestnut Activity Sheet | Work from Home

Forest restoration is a multigenerational mission. It is critical that we educate the public about the history of this native tree, its significant role in our forest ecosystem, and our progress to restore it. We have some decent materials for adults but we want to do more to connect with children if we want to ensure three is the next generation to take up the work. We are seeking guidance from professional educators to develop targeted activities for a children’s activity sheet. We want to start with a 2-sided 8 by 14 sheet with activities for a variety of ages. Once we have content we will seek assistance from graphic artists to create an attractive layout.

We can work on this remotely over email and zoom as needed.
If you are interested please contact Jean: at mail@patacf.org | 814-863-7192