Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Great Pennsylvania Outdoor Challenge

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 16, 2013 3:22 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Friday, May 17:

Family hauling canoe 300 x 170.jpg

Springtime weather is perfect for getting outdoors -- whether it's in the yard, hiking, biking, or just taking a deep breath of fresh air.

You may be surprised at the benefits of the outdoors.

In April, researchers at the University of Kansas reported a 50% boost in creativity for people who were in nature for a few days.

Even short periods of time outside are helpful.  A 2008 University of Michigan study found after just an hour of interacting with nature, memory and attention spans improved by 20%.

The mission of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation is to promote and support the natural and cultural resources of Pennsylvania's state parks and forests.

The non-profit organization is holding the fifth annual Great Pennsylvania Outdoor Challenge to do just that.

Learn how on Friday's Radio Smart Talk from foundation president Marci Mowery.


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  • Jim Foster img 2013-05-17 06:42

    A great way to experience the great outdoors is to go on a hike. May 25 to June 2 is PA Hiking Week, and Sat., June 1 is National Trails Day. Here are a couple of sites to find out more about hiking activities.

  • Scott LaMar img 2013-05-17 10:56

    I really enjoyed the conversation with Marci Mowery this morning. I can't believe I forgot to mention probably my favorite state park -- World's End in Sullivan County. It's a beautiful as a postcard. And then there's Little Kettle, Susquehannock, and Hyner View. I love these places. What about you? Do you have a favorite and why?

    • Marci img 2013-05-24 07:47

      Hi Scott

      All great parks...and the forests surrounding them are great, too. It is truly hard to pick a favorite, isn't it?

  • kaloh img 2013-05-18 07:06

    A very important comment on the listener who asked about the accuracy of whether a tick has to be attached at least 48 hours before infecting a person. Absolutely FALSE!

    The scientist who discovered the organism that causes Lyme Disease, Dr. Willy Burgdorfer (for whom the spirochete is named: b. Burgdorferi), reported years ago at a medical conference in Manhattan, that if the mouthparts of the tick are infected, infection can take place IMMEDIATELY!!!

    The myth that a tick needs to be attached for a set amount of time is responsible for the unprecedented number of Pennsylvanians infected with Lyme and a myriad of co-infections (Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Bartonella, to name just a few). By some accounts, Pennsylvania has THE HIGHEST infection rate of any state. One world-renown physician practicing out of NY state sees patients from all over the country and overseas. He reports that the patients who have the WORST devastating neurological symptoms come from Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, most physicians have been inaccurately trained to minimize the seriousness of the illness and are encouraged to undertreat.

    To locate a physician who is truly trained to treat Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses, patients should contact the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society at

    • Marci img 2013-05-24 07:52

      Thank you for the clarification. While Lyme disease is a concern, there are precautions one can take to enjoy the outdoors and not let fear put a stop to participation in outdoor activities.

      Wearing light colored long sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks will reduce chances of coming into contact with a tick. The light colored clothing makes it easier to spot them. Removing clothing outdoors and washing immediately reduces transport into the home. Also, after spending time outdoor, examine your body for ticks.

      Wearing insect repellent also helps, as does avoiding walking through tall grass or shrubby areas (stay on the trail, which is better for the natural world, too.)

      There are many great websites with additional information.