New Book Tells Story of Wetlands Improvement Project

Saint Vincent Archabbey Publications announces the release of Emma’s Wetlands Adventure, a picture book which tells the story of the Monastery Run Improvement Project Wetlands at Saint Vincent. The wetlands are a passive abandoned mine drainage purification system located next to the Gristmill along Beatty Road in Unity Township.

Authored by Father Philip Kanfush, O.S.B., the book was developed in collaboration with the Saint Vincent College Environmental Education Center.

Rich with color photography, the book explains the history, science, flora and fauna of this wetlands system. Seen through the eyes of a child, the book takes “Emma” and her father on a homework assignment/scavenger hunt through the wetlands, with each stop providing educational information about how the wetlands system works.

Cierra Smith, daughter of Skip and Cher Smith of Hillside, served as the model for “Emma.” Her parents and her sister Maia appeared in the book as Emma’s family members.

Father Philip, a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, received a Catholic Press Association Award for his first book, Renewed Each Morning: Reflections from the Rocking Chair. A member of the Education Department faculty at Saint Vincent College, he is a doctoral student in special education at West Virginia University and holds a post-graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Pennsylvania State University. A veteran teacher, he holds current Pennsylvania Teaching Certifications in the areas of Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Business, Computers and Technology Education; and Special Education. Additionally, he is certified as a Reading Specialist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is a nationally-certified Behavior Analyst.

The book is appropriate for grades four and up. It is available for $12.95 from Archabbey Publications, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650, or online at the Saint Vincent Store.