DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program

The DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Program provides reimbursable grants to organizations to establish riparian forest buffers.

Guidelines for the pilot Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program

Eligible Applicants: Local governments in Pennsylvania, non-profits and educational organizations

Eligible Activities: landowner outreach, buffer design, site preparation and buffer installation, plant materials and tree shelters, and short term maintenance (approximately 3 years).

DCNR will consider a variety of forest buffer project types, including conventional riparian forest buffers and multifunctional buffers. The multifunctional buffer concept has been successfully established in many areas across the nation but is a fairly new idea for Pennsylvania. The multifunctional buffer concept was designed to appeal to a broader set of landowners, provide greater program flexibility, address long-term maintenance issues, and allow landowners to reap a modest income from their buffers. Additional specifics about the concept are provided in links below:

Multifunctional Buffer Fact Sheets

Project Requirements: All buffers, whether conventional or multi-use, must include a minimum 15-foot-wide no-harvest zone next to the streambank of native tree and shrub species. Applicants are strongly encouraged to implement an average buffer width of at least 35 feet. Applicants who undertake a buffer project must be willing to enter into a landowner agreement with each participating landowner for a minimum of 25 years. The agreement will address maintenance requirements among other considerations.

Grant Details: Minimum grant award is $50,000. All grants required a 50/50 match. Match can be cash or non-cash, such as in-kind staff, volunteers, equipment use, etc. DCNR reserves the right to negotiate with applicants on the final award amount, acreage and scope of work. DCNR service foresters will be available to provide technical assistance and advice on communications and outreach efforts, buffer design and species selection, and maintenance practices; they can also participate in partnerships and watershed-level projects.

Additional Assistance: Interested applicants can reach out to DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation’s Regional Advisors for more program information. DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry Service Foresters are also available to discuss this program and provide assistance with buffer design, methodology, cost estimates etc.

Click here to start this Grant Program

Deadline: September 15, 2016.

Sunrise to Sunset Paddle on the Susquehanna

This video features Steve Barber the Pennsylvania State Director for the ACA visiting Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and attending the Sunrise to Sunset on the Susquehanna Event to raise awareness about the Susquehanna River. The event was spearheaded by the Riverkeeper Carol Parenzan and attended by local boaters. It was a fantastic event and one that the ACA wants to further encourage and support. Special thanks to all the volunteers who made the event smooth and sponsors who gave generously. Visit sunrise-sunset-susquehanna.org/ for more information, americancanoe-pa.com/, americancanoe.org/, paddlehappy.com/

River of the Year Susquehanna Sojourn


Photo Credit: Chuck Haupt

June 17-19, 2016 Shickshinny to Sunbury, PA

Register by June 1, 2016

It’s time to break out your paddles, tent, and campfire tales and join the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership in exploring 46 miles of the Susquehanna River.

Whether you want to camp with all nights, or simply paddle with during the day – there is something for everyone. This trip is popular with families, friends, scouts, and paddlers of all abilities.

This 3-day educational canoe/kayak trip is the final leg in a three-part series taking place this summer to celebrate the Susquehanna as PA’s 2016 River of the Year. This is your last chance, don’t miss it!

Along the way local experts will give exclusive access to the area’s history, abundant wildlife, and conservation efforts.

Full Sojourn registration includes:

  • Professional river guide service from Canoe Susquehanna
  • Campsites
  • All meals
  • Safety and insurance
  • Sojourn t-shirt
  • Scheduled programs and entertainment

Full registration is $195 for adults and $99 for kids 12 and under. Partial registration is $65/day for adults and $33/day for kids 12 and under.

Find registration forms here.

Summer Sojours

unnamedCheck out some of the sojourns coming up this summer!

May 13 – 15, 2016

Heritage Sojourn

Host: Endless Mountains Heritage Region

Questions: Hillary Robinson, Program Coordinator hrobinson@emheritage.org  (570) 265-1528

Stay Tuned: http://endlessmountainsheritage.org

May 19th – 22nd, 2016

The 19th Annual Canoe Sojourn

The course for this year’s sojourn has been updated and there will be a some new educational programs to make the weekend a enjoyable time for all to be a part of.  We hope to see you and don’t forget to invite family and friends to join us on this unique experience.

The sojourn planning committee would like to thank Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds &  Rivers & Watersheds for their continued support of the Alle-Kiski-Connie Sojourn.  If you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring this year’s sojourn please call the Armstrong Educational Trust at (724) 543-2599.

If you are interested in being a part of this year’s sojourn, please complete the event application on our website and send it to the Armstrong Educational Trust at 81 Glade Drive, Kittanning, PA 16201 or fax it to (724) 545-6127.

June 12 – 17, 2016

River of the Year Susquehanna Sojourn – Upper Section

Host: Endless Mountains Heritage Region

Questions: Hillary Robinson, Program Coordinator hrobinson@emheritage.org  (570) 265-1528

Stay Tuned: http://endlessmountainsheritage.org

June 17 – 19, 2016

River of the Year Susquehanna Sojourn – Lower Section

Host: Susquehanna Greenway Partnership

Questions: Kassia Janesch, Program Assistant kjanesch@SusquehannaGreenway.org  (570) 522-7229

Stay Tuned: www.SusquehannaGreenway.org

Northeast PA Regional Watershed Workshop

Please join the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) for a gathering of watershed groups within the Northeast PA Region to share resource information, learn techniques to help build membership and network with other watershed organizations in your region. PEC is convening meetings across the state in every PA Department of Environmental Protection Region to help build capacity and identify technical resource needs. Invited guests include PA DEP staff, County Conservation District Watershed Specialists and those working in watershed conservation field.

We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, April 6 from 10am to 2pm at the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority facility in Scranton.  The $10.00 registration fee includes lunch.

For more information, please contact Susan Myerov, Watersheds Program Director – Pennsylvania Environmental Council at  smyerov@pecpa.org  or 267-479-6102.

Program Link: www.eventbrite.com/e/northeast-pa-regional-watershed-workshop-tickets-21726943874

Program Information: Invitation and Agenda

This project is being funded in part by a PA DEP Growing Greener Grant

Please feel free to bring photos, maps or other printed materials about your watershed organization to share with others.

When: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

Where: Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority – 213 South 7th Avenue, Scranton, PA 18505

Registration is Now Open for the 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful today announced that registration is now open for the 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA. This annual event is held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup and led by a coalition of non-profit, state agency and business partners such as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, Weis Markets, Inc., Wawa, Inc., Sheetz, ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer. Additional 2016 event supporters include: Steel Recycling Institute, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Giant Eagle Inc., Giant Food Stores, Inc., Republic Services and Wegmans Food Markets.

The 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA will begin on March 1st and end on May 31st. During this period, registered events can get free trash bags, gloves, and safety vests from PennDOT district offices, as supplies last. Events can be litter cleanups, illegal dump cleanups, beautification projects, special collections, and educational events and must be registered through the Great American Cleanup of PA website, www.gacofpa.org, to receive free cleanup supplies. As part of this event, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association are sponsoring Let’s Pick It Up PA – Everyday from April 16th through May 9th with the focus day on April 23rd. During this time, trash collected at registered events can be taken to participating landfills for free or reduced cost disposal.

Help make your community clean and beautiful and register an event at www.gacofpa.org. Questions can be answered by Michelle Dunn, Great American Cleanup of PA Program Coordinator, at 1-877-772-3673 ext. 113 or mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.  To see the flyer, click here.

“Connecting to the environment begins at home so what better way to make a difference than to take part in or organize a local cleanup in your own neighborhood, park or school,” Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley said.  “There are lots of resources available to help you organize a safe and successful cleanup.”

Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards added; “The Great American Cleanup of PA once again presents the perfect opportunity for PennDOT to partner with and provide support for those agencies and individuals who share our desire for a cleaner and safer Pennsylvania.”

“We are so grateful to our volunteers and sponsors who help make the Great American Cleanup of PA, Pennsylvania’s premier community improvement initiative, possible.” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “This year we hope to engage even more Pennsylvania’s to come out between March and May to make their communities clean and beautiful.”

All 67 counties in Pennsylvania were represented in the 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA. In total, there were 4,931 events with 128,157 volunteers. Volunteers collected 6,003,720 pounds of trash. They cleaned 11,943 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 6,422 acres of park and/or wetlands. Additionally, volunteers planted 13,050 trees, bulbs, and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.  A copy of the 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA final report can be downloaded at http://gacofpa.org/PhotosandResults.aspx.

About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful.  Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 121 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.  

About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. With a network of more than 1,200 affiliate and participating organizations, Keep America Beautiful forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. To learn more about Keep America Beautiful, visit www.kab.org.

Extension Educator Job Announcement

This individual will function as a team member of the Penn State Extension State Horticulture and Natural Resources teams, working directly with statewide faculty and staff. The individual represents Penn State University and the College of Agricultural Sciences in applying and disseminating the latest research findings in Consumer Horticulture and Watershed Protection.

Major responsibilities are coordinating the Master Gardener Program in Luzerne and Wyoming Counties and the Master Watershed Steward Program in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming Counties. This position is administratively responsible to both the Assistant Director for Horticulture Programs and Extension District 8 Director.

Click here for more information.

POWR announces 2016 Pennsylvania Sojourn Grants Now Available

DCNR-left-rgbLuzerne – The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) has announced the opening of the 2016 Pennsylvania River Sojourns Grant cycle. Grants are available on a competitive basis for single and multi-day paddling events on Pennsylvania Rivers. Sojourns must incorporate significant educational programming, and be open to all participants (i.e., private trips are not eligible). Applicants can request $900 per day for multi-day sojourns and $500 for a single-day sojourn.

Applications and instructions are now available here:

2016 PA Sojourn Grant Application

2016 PA Sojourn Instructions and 2016 PA Sojourn Budget Forms

Applications are due February 26, 2016 by 5:00pm.

The PA Sojourn Program is a nationally unique program that distributes more than $60,000 in grants across the state to support local organizations and their sojourn events. Each year, between 12 and 17 paddling events are supported under this program, encompassing over 500 river miles, 50+ on-the-water days, offering more than 100 educational programs and engaging over 4,000 people.

POWR, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, administers the Pennsylvania Sojourn program. POWR has been in place for over a decade and has sponsored trips on many of the Commonwealth’s rivers. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) is the prime sponsor of the program.

Media contacts:

Janet Sweeney or Angela Vitkoski, POWR, 570-718-6507

Susquehanna North Branch Named Pennsylvania’s 2016 River of the Year

DCNR-left-rgbEndless Mountains Heritage Region and Susquehanna Greenway Partnership to Receive $10,000 Leadership Grant

Susq. at Wapwallopen, photo by John ConsiglioHarrisburg, PA – Steeped in historical and recreational value, the freeflowing Susquehanna River North Branch in northeastern Pennsylvania has been voted the 2016 Pennsylvania River of the Year following a five-week public voting period.

The general public was invited to vote online Nov. 13-Dec.14, choosing from among five waterways nominated across the state. Results were announced jointly today by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pa. Organization for Waterways and Rivers (POWR).

Four other rivers were nominated finalists: the Kiski-Conemaugh River in the southwest; Lackawanna River, northeast; Lehigh; east; and Ohio, southwest.

“Shaping countless community lifestyles in the past while emerging as a recreational treasure of the future, the North Branch of the Susquehanna — like all waterways nominated for 2016 — highlights how Pennsylvania is blessed with a wealth of rivers and streams, and a core of dedicated folks who fight to protect them,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Through planned River of the Year celebrations, public awareness of the river’s value will be increased and major initiatives along this section of the river will be underscored. Economic revitalization of river-town communities will enhance access to the river; increase tourism; and provide additional land and water-based recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors alike.”

DCNR and POWR will work with the Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the Susquehanna River North Branch as the 2016 Pennsylvania River of the Year. EMHR, the applicant nominating the waterway in close cooperation with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund year-long River of the Year activities.

“The Susquehanna River North Branch is a national treasure in our own back yard and we’re grateful for this opportunity to raise awareness of the river’s historical and recreational value and environmental significance,” said EMHR Director Annette Schultz. “We’re making plans to celebrate the Susquehanna River’s newest designation throughout the year with educational kayaking sojourns, river festivals, educational forums, and River Town designations and support. This year will be a banner year for the river.”

“The Susquehanna connects us to one another and the natural world. Its waters rejuvenate us and provide us with power, and its landscapes inspire us to be better stewards,” said Susquehanna Greenway Partnership Director Trish Carothers. “This honor belongs to the river and the many people who care about this very special part of our heritage. We must conserve, connect and enjoy the Susquehanna to ensure a healthy future for our region.”

In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices also was overseen by POWR, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

“POWR would like to commend everyone across the commonwealth for their support for the nominated rivers,” said POWR Vice President Janet Sweeney. “The River of the Year program is a wonderful opportunity to showcase all of the nominated rivers and the great work being done in Pennsylvania communities on these valuable resources.”

A 15-mile stretch of the Susquehanna River North Branch flows from New York into Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, and continues south 166 miles to join the river’s West Branch at Shikellamy State Park in Northumberland County. The Susquehanna River North Branch is a prominent regional feature, running through Susquehanna, Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Colombia, Montour, and Northumberland counties. Once a major transportation corridor, the entire waterway still is navigable by kayaks and canoes, even during dry seasons.

POWR administers the River of the Year program with funding from DCNR. Presented annually since 1983, the 2015 River of the Year designation was awarded to Conewango Creek in northwest Pennsylvania.

The River of the Year sojourn is just one of many paddling trips supported by DCNR and POWR each year. An independent endeavor, the Pennsylvania Sojourn Program offers a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. The water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers. For more information about the sojourn program, visit www.pawatersheds.org.

To learn more about the River of the Year program, the nominated waterways, and past winners visit pariveroftheyear.org. To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit dcnr.state.pa.us (click on “Rivers”).

Media Contacts:

Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-772-9101

Janet Sweeney, POWR, 570-718-6507

Reminder: Volunteer Webinar Tomorrow!

unnamedJust a reminder that the PA Water Trails is offering a webinar on Volunteer Recruitment and Management tomorrow, Wednesday December 2nd at noon. I hope you’ll be able to join us.

On December 2nd at noon, the PA Water Trails Partnership will host a webinar to help you make the most of volunteer opportunities. One of the best things about working with volunteers is that they bring their passions and experiences to the “job”, and it is up to us as managers to make sure we keep them moving forward.  From recruitment to retention to building effective stewards, the webinar will give you some great approaches for making the most of those who offer their help. There will be about a 30 minute presentation with plenty of time for discussion and address specific needs you may have.

We will be using Gotomeeting to host our webinar. If you have not used the service before, please sign in a few minutes early to launch the application.

For the webinar, use this URL: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/920524221

For the audio portion, call 800-944-8766 and enter access code 75781#