Barn Preservation and Mayflies in Pennsylvania

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, August 23, 2018:

Barns are a significant part of the rural Pennsylvania landscape. In Adams County alone, over 2,000 barns reflect the rural culture of the state and are representative of Pennsylvania to many people.

However, over the years, barns have slowly moved away from their original agricultural functions, like housing livestock and storing grain. Now, many structures are used for storage or remain vacant. The barns eventually deteriorate if they are not used.
What would Pennsylvania look like if barns were not part of the landscape? The Historic Gettysburg Adams County (HGAC) organization works to preserve historic and architecturally significant buildings. Their barn preservation program is one several efforts to preserve and protect Pennsylvania barns.

Barn preservation program designer Curt Musselman, and preservation specialist David Maclay, HGAC, appear on Thursday’s Smart Talk, along with Jonathan Slade, producer of the documentary Barns of the Susquehanna Valley which airs Thursday, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m. on WITF TV.

Also, they are a summer nuisance and, while they may seem excessive, an abundance of mayflies is a great indicator of improved water quality.
On the flip side, mayflies do bring an unwanted danger on bridges. Vehicles are at risk of sliding on the buildup of dead mayflies, causing accidents. An accident two years ago on the Route 462 bridge between Wrightsville and Columbia was caused by piles of the insects. They are attracted to light, so as they die, the carcasses pile up under the lights of the bridge. John Wallace, an entomology professor at Millersville University, has partnered with Wrightsville Borough to study ways to reduce the number of mayflies on the bridge.
Dr. Wallace will discuss mayflies Thursday and be joined by Wrightsville Borough President Eric White.