Attend an Event

Registration is now OPEN for
The Upper Merced River Watershed Council-
A story of nonprofit resilience
A Conversation Cafe Wednesday, June 14, 2023 at 6 PM

It’s not an unfamiliar story: a passionate group of volunteers rallies to address an imminent threat, citizen engagement efforts flourish, grant funding to secure an executive director is secured, followed by one or two more staff, partnerships are developed to implement restoration projects and create environmental education programming around the most prominent issues and threats. Until…the threat is defeated, funding priorities change, community interest wanes, board leaders age out or founders syndrome limits innovation.

And yet, there remains a small group of dedicated board volunteers who manage to keep a small flame of the mission burning while struggling to regain the organization’s former footing. And then an opportunity to help fan that flame presents itself- now what? How does the organization take full advantage and create something sustainable that can meets the current needs of the water resource, the local communities, and be able to adapt to the future needs as well? How can it reintroduce itself to partners, new funders, and community members?

This is the story and the journey the Upper Merced River Watershed Council (CA) still finds itself traveling. Perhaps it sounds a bit like your story?

POWR invites you to attend this webinar to learn a little more about the Upper Merced Watershed’s story (and its mascot!) but, more importantly, to explore the future- theirs and yours. What can we all learn from each other as we seek to create a new watershed organization, reinvent one, or re-ignite the passion, the efforts, and the successes of our current one. What are your key challenges? What lessons can you share from your successes?

Don’t miss this engaging peer-to-peer learning, sharing, and teaching opportunity!


Recordings Available for Past Webinars

By now you are likely aware of the critical role that riparian, or streamside, buffers play in improving and maintaining high quality waters in our rivers and streams.  Yet, this is only part of the story.

Meadows and forests adjacent to waterways also serve as important habitat and migration corridors for many of Pennsylvania’s native land (and air) based animals! Knowing and understanding these additional benefits can help you engage and inspire more people in your community by tapping into the issues and creatures they may care most about.

Contact for a recording of this webinar where staff of the PA Game Commission and volunteers of Bird Town Pennsylvania shared their expert knowledge about mammal and bird species that use these habitats to feed, breed and raise young, take cover from predators, and migrate seasonally from their summer to winter homes.

If you missed this presentation on volunteer management best practices including volunteer engagement methods, best online tools for tracking time and activities, volunteer coordinator job descriptions, and why tracking volunteer participation matters for donors and stakeholders, contact to request the recording. 

Missed the presentation about managing the fast-growing, pervasive, and invasive Japanese Knotweed using goats?

Contact to request a link to the recording

POWR hosted staff of Resource Media to answer your questions about Instagram and help you get started using it.

To request a link to the recoding, contact

POWR hosted Brenda Costa, Executive Director of the French Creek Valley Conservancy for a Lunch and Learn webinar.

Brenda shared outreach and marketing tips, ideas, and tools that can be used and applied by any organization to more effectively engage new and existing members, volunteers, and donors. 

Not only do organizations benefit from increased public support, but our waterways and watersheds do, too.

What can effective, targeted, creative marketing and outreach do for you? Listen to the recording and find out!

 Please email

POWR hosted a two part webinar on Green Parking Lots and how to encourage your local municipality to support and implement them.  Topics covered included: Green parking lot design, benefits, species selection, municipal ordinances, and case studies.

The recording for Part 1 is HERE

Part 2 is HERE


POWR hosted this Conversation Café about efforts and challenges related to sharing water quality data in a meaningful and useful way with local government officials. Contact Tali MacArthur for the recording if you missed it.

Resources and Links from the Conversation Café: A peer learning opportunity on meeting the challenges of local government engagement


During the Café attendees had the opportunity to hear and share a current experience, challenge or opportunity related to engaging with state or local government officials, or with a policy, plan, or initiative. Participants asked questions and shared advice, ideas, and resources. Topics discussed included working collaboratively with Bird Town PA, understanding the impacts and adverse affects of light pollution and how to minimize them, effectively (and patiently) introducing council to the idea of an EAC, and much more.

Click HERE for links to many resources, articles, ordinances, and a documentary about climate change created by one of the café attendees.

That's a Wrap! 2022 Regional Workshop for Watershed Organization Leaders and Volunteers Have Been Completed.

Thank you to all of you who attended a watershed workshop in your region and to all who volunteered time to present and share resources. Below you will find PDFs of many of the presentations- whether you want to review content you already heard or see what you missed, if you were unable to attend.

Again, we thank our workshop supporters:


A Brief Introduction to Continuous Instream Monitoring in the Susquehanna River Basin: Click HERE 

Stream and Floodplain Restoration in Bull Run Watershed: Click HERE

Pennsylvania DEP’s Environmental Justice Policy: Click HERE

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Funding Programs: Click HERE

Successes, Impacts, and Opportunities of the Allegheny WINs: Click HERE

Erosion and Sediment Control/Water Encroachment: Click HERE

Thank you for attending the
Statewide Watershed Conference

Watershed Connections:
Adaptability, Resiliency, and Innovation

You can still watch recorded sessions on Facebook 

Featured conference image is a photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program.

Copies of the full program with session descriptions and speaker bios can be purchased for $5 each. Contact Tali MacArthur to request that a copy be mailed to you.

POWR thanks these Sponsors: 

Reception and Luncheon Sponsor: Pennsylvania American Water 

Watershed Leader: PA Environment Digest

Watershed Advocate: Appalachian Region Independent Power Producers Association (ARIPPA), ARM Group LLC, BEG Group LLC, Chesapeake Legal Alliance, Ernst Conservation Seeds,  Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Ecotone Ecological Restoration

Carbon Offset/Sustainability: American Dairy Association North East

Nonprofit Friend: American Rivers, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Stroud Water Research Center, Trout Unlimited, Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER, and Lower Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER

We would also like to thank our supporters: The Pennsylvania Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the Campbell Foundation, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.

You also can still access many of the presentations from POWR’s 2019 conference 

POWR’s Training and Learning Webinars

Throughout the year, POWR hosts webinars at lunch or in the early evening on a topic of interest to CWOs. To date these have included presentations on geology, volunteer management, water quality reports, the stream redesignation process, river histories, conservation tools, POWR’s insurance program, and more.

Missed one of our webinars? Watch the recording on POWR’s YouTube channel. Videos are “unlisted,” so please click on the titles below to access the recorded webinar.

Volunteer Motivations, Management, Recruitment, and Retention

Connecting River Histories to Current Conservation Efforts

Stream Redesignation Evaluations and Water Quality Designations

Attracting Media Coverage for Your Activities and Initiatives

Fundamentals of Drinking Water for Watershed Organizations

Integrated Water Quality Report and Mapping Application Webinar 2019

Databases for Watershed Group Volunteer and Member Management

Conservation Opportunity Area Tool Webinar

POWR's General Liability Insurance Program

Linking Stream Hydrology/Geomorphology to Restoration

Learn More