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Mechanicsburg Area School District

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Trails & Trees Environmental Center » Rules & Regulations

Rules & Regulations




Hours of Operation

Trails and Trees Environmental Center is open from dawn to dusk. No admittance after sunset. School groups have priority for scheduling and use of the environmental center as specified in policy and AR-707.3-2.

Camping, Overnight and After- Hours Use of Facilities

Any group wishing to use the center after sunset shall receive prior written approval through the Recreation Department. No person or persons without a special permit shall be allowed in the environmental center except between the hours of sunrise and sunset.


Listen to the weather forecast and be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. School-based activities require long pants and comfortable shoes. Clogs, flip flops, sandals and open toed shoes are not permitted.   Shoes and clothes may get dirty or muddy. Students have more fun if they don’t have to worry about their clothes and shoes. If the weather forecast is calling for wet or cold weather; bring a jacket, raincoat or warm clothing.

Code of Conduct

When you arrive at Trails and Trees Environmental Center students will be provided a wealth of information important to the quality of their experience. Group participants should receive an orientation to the “Four R’s” and what they mean.

  • Respect for yourself
  • Respect for others
  • Respect for equipment and facilities
  • Respect for Trails and Trees Environmental Center and the natural environment.
All school policies and regulations including the Code of Student Conduct shall apply while visiting Trails and Trees Environmental Center.

General Guidelines

  • No littering. Discard waste items appropriately
  • No glass bottles
  • No Tobacco, Drugs and Alcohol
  • No fires
  • No unleashed pets. Pets are not permitted in buildings.
  • No riding bikes off designated bike trails.
  • No organized sports play
  • No hunting or trapping
  • Weapons, including but not limited to air soft guns, bb/pellet guns, paintball guns, look-a-likes, etc. are strictly forbidden.
  • No posting of signs, banners, advertisements, etc without the permission of MASD.


Site Policies

Trash Free Facility – Trails and Trees Environmental Center observes a “Carry-In /Carry-Out” trash policy. Please bring a trash bag to take waste and recyclables with you when you leave. We ask students, chaperones, teachers and community groups to pack “trash free meals” and plan a “trash free visit” by using reusable containers for sandwiches, chips and drinks, plastic or aluminum drink containers that can be reused, even a cloth napkin.

If you do have trash, place it in a trash bag and take it with you upon departure from the environmental center.


Bring This Not That
Reusable Water Bottle Bottled Water
One Big Container of Snacks Many Individually Wrapped Snacks
Recyclable Container Non-Recyclable Container
Lunch Box Brown Paper Bag/Grocery Bag


  • Bring a water bottle and use water available at the site.
  • Buy in bulk and skip the individually wrapped packages.
  • Use items that come in recyclable containers and do not go to the landfill.
  • Bring a reusable lunchbox that can be used over and over again.
  • Styrofoam cannot be reused and cannot be recycled. Plastic Flatware cannot be recycled.
  • Please consider environmentally friendly alternatives.


Protecting Our Resources

The following activities are prohibited except with written permission of the School District:

  • Cutting, picking, digging, damaging or removing a living or dead tree, shrub, wildflowers or plant.
  •  Damaging, defacing, cutting or removing rock, shale, sand, clay soil or other mineral products, natural object or manmade.
  • Planting a seed, tree, shrub or plant.
  • Feeding wildlife.
  • Releasing an animal that was brought into the environmental center.

Emergency Communications

Staff must have cell phone for emergency use. The environmental center’s address, 1731 South York St., Mechanicsburg is posted at each first aid station.

First Aid and Medical Emergencies

Teachers and chaperones should familiarize themselves with the emergency resources prior to the start of any activity. Staff must have cell phone for emergency use.

The following items are located in the lobby of the environmental center:

  • First Aid Kit
  • AED
  • Weather Radio and air horn for alerting students of lightning or weather Emergencies.
  • Emergency Operations Flip Chart


The following items are located in the farm house:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Operations Flip Chart


The following item is located in the pavilion storage room:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Operations Flip Chart


Times when school is in session there is a nurse at MMS, Upper Allen Elementary and Shepherdstown Elementary School. Students may be taken to the Health Room for minor injuries. Medical emergencies requiring an ambulance should be obtained by calling 911.


School activities require that the student follow the Medication Policy. Parents need to coordinate any medication needs with the teacher and school nurse prior to visiting Trails and Trees Environmental Center.

Safety, Supervision & Security

Student safety is our highest priority. Supervision by staff and chaperones, maintaining a well-trained staff, and providing access to medical needs are ways Mechanicsburg Area School District helps keep students safe and comfortable.

The staff shall ensure that students are properly supervised and accounted for at all times. Students are required to stay in designated activity areas and must be with their group at all times. Students are not permitted to go off on their own.

All Staff and Chaperones will wear identification badges. Students are encouraged to tell their teacher if they see an adult without a name badge.

The individual in charge of the event is responsible for ensuring all equipment has been returned, the site is clean and facilities are secured prior to departure.

Weather Emergencies

In the interest of public safety, storms producing lighting, high winds and heavy rain will require sheltering students and staff. An air horn and weather radio are located in the lobby of the main building. The teacher should signal everyone to take shelter by using three long blasts, approximately 3 seconds each, from the air horn. Everyone must shelter for a minimum of 30 minutes following the last visual sighting of lightning.

It is extremely important that your group understand the sheltering procedures.

Vehicles and Parking

All vehicles must park in designated parking spaces. Vehicles are not permitted to park on the grass, restricted areas, driveways and/or in fire lanes. Overflow parking is provided in the parking lot to the left of the middle school. This parking area is accessed from South Market Street. A walking path will guide you from the parking area to the environmental center.

No person may operate any recreational vehicle within the Trails and Trees Environmental Center. “Recreation vehicle” shall mean any hot-air balloon, mini-bike, dirt bike, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), off road vehicle (ORV) or other forms of motorcycles and snowmobiles.

Memorials – See District Policy 707.1

Facility Lease Information

  1. Any group desiring to schedule the use of the environmental center shall schedule such use with and obtain a lease agreement from the MASD Business Office.   Please refer to Policy 707.3 for information on leasing the facility.
  2.  Any individual or group of individuals using the environmental center with the exclusion of others without a lease agreement shall remove themselves from the facility upon request by a properly scheduled and permitted user or a MASD Parks and Recreation Department staff person or school official.
  3. No permit will be issued for a use that violates Mechanicsburg Area School District regulations regarding the use of the environmental center facilities. The Mechanicsburg Park and Recreation Department and the School District reserve the right to revoke any lease agreement if those using the environmental center pursuant to the lease agreement violate the rules and regulations. The Mechanicsburg Park and Recreation Department and the School District further reserve the right to limit the number of permits issued if the capacity of the facilities is exceeded.
  4.  When possible, School District residents shall be charged lesser fees than non-residents for the use of the environmental center facilities and for participation in recreation programs.


The environmental center is an environmental habitat for many species of wildlife and plants. Please keep this in mind and do not engage in activities that are more appropriately suited for an athletic field or other venue.

  1. Activities shall only take place in areas designated for such. Individuals or groups using the environmental center, with or without permission, are responsible for any damage done to turf or equipment.
  2. No person shall use the environmental center for the purpose of a golf driving or practice range.

The MASD Parks and Recreation Department shall exercise general supervision over persons occupying or using the environmental center and over the care, maintenance and replacement of property and equipment and shall keep such property and equipment in a clean and sanitary condition. In addition, MASD School Officials, MASD School Police and the Upper Allen Township Police Department are authorized to enforce the Rules and Regulations of the Trails and Trees Environmental Center.

Trespassing on Residential Lands

There shall be no trespassing on adjacent residential lands.


The Board of School Directors may from time to time, by resolution, adopt a schedule of fees and charges and other use regulations for school facilities.

Additional Rules

The Director of Parks and Recreation shall have the right to promulgate additional regulations as the need arises.

Violations and Penalties

Any person violating the Rules and Regulations of the Trails and Trees Environmental Center may be excluded from future use of the environmental center and issued a No Trespass notice by the Mechanicsburg Area School District. Anyone who violates the laws of this commonwealth will be referred to the Upper Allen Township Police Department for prosecution.