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#

Voting Begins for Pennsylvania’s 2016 River of the Year

DCNRKeystoneLogoLuzerne –The public is invited to again vote online for the 2016 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among five waterways nominated across the state.

Nominated rivers include the Kiski-Conemaugh River, Lackawanna River, Lehigh River, Ohio River and the Susquehanna River – North Branch.

“In all of these nominated waterways there are showcased so many unique natural resources, recreational opportunities and incentives boosting local economies,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “They demonstrate just how blessed Pennsylvanians are with a wealth of major rivers and streams and how so many are willing to support them.” “The online public selection process continues to be increasingly popular as it enters its sixth year,” Dunn said. “This spirit of good-natured competition rallies community support around our deserving waterways and puts them in the public limelight across our state.”

Nominations were based on each waterway’s conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans should the nominee be voted 2016 River of the Year. In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices is overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

The public can vote for their favorite state waterway beginning November 13, 2015 through 5 p.m. Monday, December 14, 2015. Visit www.pariveroftheyear.org to vote and learn about the nominated waterways and the River of the Year program. Voting will be managed through Woobox, an online contest application that restricts voting to one vote per email address.

POWR, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, administers the River of the Year program with funding from DCNR. Presented annually since 1983, this year’s 2015 designation was awarded to the Conewango Creek in northwest Pennsylvania.

“This is a wonderful and unique opportunity for residents across the Commonwealth to show support for their local river by taking part in the voting process for the 2016 River of the Year,” said Janet Sweeney, Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers.

“Being PA River of the Year and engaging in our ROY activities gave the Conewango Creek Watershed monumental exposure to a wide audience from multiple states, and helped put our watershed in rural Northwest PA on the must-do list for future recreationalists, environmentalists, and travelers.  And Warren being the host city for the PA Trails Conference made our name even more recognizable,” said Ron Keeney Board Member Conewango Creek Watershed Association.

After a waterway is chosen for the annual honor, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a paddling trip, or sojourn. The organization nominating the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund their River of the Year activities.

POWR and DCNR also work with local organizations to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.

The River of the Year sojourn is just one of many paddling trips supported by DCNR and POWR each year.  An independent program, the Pennsylvania Sojourn Program, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. These 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 sojourns, visit www.pawatersheds.org.

To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us (click on “Conserve,” then “Waterways”).

To learn more about the River of the Year program, visit www.pariveroftheyear.org.

Media contacts:

Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-772-9101

Janet Sweeney, POWR, 570-718-6507

2016 “River of the Year” Nominations Open

Public to Vote on Pennsylvania’s Best River…Nominations From September 25, 2015 Through October 23, 2015

Luzerne – Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations are invited to nominate waterways for the “2016 Pennsylvania River of the Year.”

The nomination period is open through October 23, 2015 and then selected nominations will be voted on by the general public beginning in early November.

“These nominations demonstrate how so many waterways groups and individual supporters know and respect the many unique natural resources and recreational opportunities our wealth of stream and rivers represent,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “They demonstrate just how willing Pennsylvanians are to support, protect and enhance them.”

For more information about the River of the Year program or to nominate a river, visit pariveroftheyear.org. Nominations must be made by Friday, October 23 at 5 p.m.

All Pennsylvania Rivers are eligible for nomination, with the exception of winning rivers since 2011.  Link to nomination form below.

About the River of the Year Program

The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) administers the River of the Year program with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pennsylvania’s River of the Year is an honor designed to elevate public awareness of specific rivers and recognize important conservation needs and achievements. River of the Year designations have been presented annually since 1983.

Pennsylvania’s 2015 River of the Year is the Conewango Creek in northwest Pennsylvania.

“Once again, Pennsylvanians get the chance to push for their favorite waterway in friendly competition with others across the Commonwealth.  With over 83,000 miles of rivers and stream in the state from which to choose, it is always fun to see folks come forward and advocate for their selection,” said Pennsylvania Environmental Council President, Davitt Woodwell.

After a waterway is chosen, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a paddling trip, or sojourn. The nominating organization of the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund their River of the Year activities.

The River of the Year sojourn is just one of many paddling trips supported by DCNR and POWR each year.  An independent program, the Pennsylvania Sojourn Program, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers.

To learn more about the River of the Year program, visit pariveroftheyear.org.

Past Rivers of the Year

2015 – Conewango Creek

2014 – Schuylkill River

2013 – Monongahela River

2012 – Stonycreek River

2011 – Delaware River

2010 – Lackawaxen River

2009 – Lower and Middle Susquehanna River

2008 – Youghiogheny River

2007 – Lehigh River

2006 – Three Rivers

2005 – West Branch Susquehanna River

2004 – North Branch Susquehanna River

2003 – French Creek

2002 – Delaware River

2001 – Juniata River

2000 – Kiskiminitas-Conemaugh River

1999 – Schuylkill River

1998 – Youghiogheny River

1997 – Lehigh River

1996 – Tulpehocken Creek

1996 – Clarion River

1995 – Upper Delaware

1995 – Juniata River

1994 – Allegheny River

1994 – Susquehanna River

1993 – Meshoppen Creek

1993 – North Branch and Main Stem Susquehanna River

1992 – Yellow Breeches Creek

1992 – West Branch Susquehanna River

1991 – North Branch Susquehanna River

1991 – Pine Creek

1990 – Catawissa Creek

1989 – Bear Run

1988 – West Branch Susquehanna River

1986 – North Branch Susquehanna River

1983 & 1984 – Clarion River

To Nominate a river for the 2016 River of the Year, please click on the nomination form and follow the directions: 2016 ROY Nomination Form

For more information contact Janet Sweeney, (570) 718-6507.

POWR Paint Creek Press Release

Pennsylvania-Environmental-Council-(Who-We-Are-Page)

The Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association (PCRWA) is one of four environmental conservation and education programs from throughout Western Pennsylvania that will share $20,000 from Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) for innovation and effectiveness in making a positive impact on the Western Pennsylvania environment.

PCRWA is one of four programs honored as recipients of the 2015 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards. These awards are presented annually to local organizations that demonstrate leadership, effectiveness, and results in making an impact on the environment. All four were chosen by a group of independent judges of environmental experts and PEC staff in response to a call for entries earlier this year.

With these awards, each winner will designate a $5,000 cash prize to be used in support of a nonprofit environmental program of their choice.

The other winners are the Environmental Charter School – Pittsburgh (Allegheny County); McKean County Conservation District – Smethport (McKean County); and Sustainable Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh (Allegheny County).

The Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards program is open to individuals and organizations that demonstrate a commitment to environmental excellence, leadership and accomplishment, and make significant contributions toward improving Western Pennsylvania’s environment. Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council sponsor the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards each year to encourage the community to emulate the achievements of the winning entries, thereby promoting innovative environmental efforts and enhancing the quality of life in Western Pennsylvania.

The winners were honored at the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel downtown.

Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association

PCRWA was formed in 2000 to combat abandoned mine discharges (AMD) and other sources of environmental degradation, educate the community about these issues, promote environmental recreation, and ultimately restore a healthy aquatic community to waterways within and downstream of its watershed.

The Paint Creek Restoration Plan prioritized areas of needed improvement and provided recommendations and potential solutions that would heal the watershed. Stemming from this plan, PCRWA hosted an annual Watershed Awareness Day, sought to treat the Jandy discharge, and created and distributed watershed fact sheets.

PCRWA partnered with the Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team to install flow measuring devices and collect monthly water samples from the targeted discharges. They secured funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener grant program to design and construct three treatment systems for four AMD’s along Weaver Run.

POWR Announces 2015 Pennsylvania Sojourn Grants Now Available

2014 Perkiomen Creek Sojourn POWRLuzerne – The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) has announced the opening of the 2015 Pennsylvania River Sojourns Grant cycle. Grants are available on a competitive basis for single and multi-day paddling events on Pennsylvania’s rivers. Events must incorporate significant educational programming, and be open to all participants (i.e., private trips are not eligible). Up to $900 per on-water day for multi-day sojourns and $500 for single-day sojourns in Pennsylvania.

Applications are now available online at our website (www.pawatersheds.org). Applications are due February 27, 2015.

As a nationally unique program, the PA Sojourns reach over 4,000 people, paddle over 500 rivers miles, offer more than 100 educational programs, and distribute more than $60,000 in grants across the state.

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, POWR, 570-718-6507