Statewide Conference

REGISTER TODAY for the 2023
Statewide Watershed Conference
October 29-30, 2023 in Altoona, PA

Watershed Connections:
Engaging Communities and Restoring Our Watersheds, Together

REGISTER TODAY and join your watershed colleagues and friends at the 2023 Statewide Watershed Conference at a new location- Altoona, PA- l for two days of inspiring, engaging, and meaningful presentations and conversations. 

You will have the opportunity to learn from fellow watershed organization leaders as they share restoration and education project success stories as well as their journeys toward effective strategic planning and  people-centered- leadership.

Explore how urban youth and underserved youth are connecting with local farmer to learn about best practices to protect water and about new efforts to train landscapers to identify invasive species and select natives instead! 

And as always you’ll hear all about the science of water quality monitoring and watershed restoration- from  understanding and interpreting your data to improving buffer installation outcomes to restoring floodplains and reduce flooding impacts. 

New this year: an optional half-day interactive workshop on Sunday morning at 10 AM, “Effective and Impactful Media Engagement and Communication.”

The purpose of this workshop is provide an introduction to working with the news media and the experience of interviewing. Learn how to prepare for a media interview, stay on YOUR message, and maximize the opportunities for positive outcomes. This workshop will help enable participants to communicate, promote, and celebrate accomplishments as well as overcome the challenges in adversarial situations with various audiences and stakeholders.

There will be an additional $10 fee for this workshop in addition to regular conference registration. Participation is limited to the first 15 people who register. 

Workshop will be presented by Bob Oltmanns, public relations/marketing communications counselor and advisor, and President of OPR Group, LLC.

Also happening Sunday morning at 10 AM: Optional Field  Trip and private tour of the  Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Altoona

Altoona is one of five museums throughout Western Pennsylvania that the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, affectionately refers to as SAMA. SAMA was established in 1976 to provide a cultural resource for the region’s underserved rural population and to promote local artists in their respective areas and bring new eyes to our wonderful collection of American art.

Field trip participants will be led on a guided private tour of the museum and galleries (before it opens to the public at noon) by the museum’s curator, including the incredibly distinctive George A. and Herbert T. Wolf Gallery, designed to invoke the feeling of rail travel with a similar shape and feel, where the artwork acts as the railcar windows. 

Field trip is free and participants will gather in the hotel lobby to carpool to the museum. If you are  interested, please select this field trip as part of your conference registration to assist with logistical planning efforts.

Announcing our Keynote Address Speaker:  POWR is thrilled to announce Victoria Prizzia, Founder and Principal of Habitheque as our Keynote presenter at the conference. Victoria has provided senior management and creative direction in the creation of new interpretation programs—serving the public interest at the intersection of cultural assets, storytelling and innovation. Victoria’s work aims to engage the public with nature-based solutions to some of the planet’s most critical challenges. She brings together artists and scientists to demonstrate how we can build a more just and sustainable future for all living things.

Her work includes Window on the Watershed, a ten-day installation at the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show that illuminated the ecological lessons and stories of the Delaware River Watershed through the endless cycle of water movement and filtration downstream, flowing across different but connected ecosystems; River Alive, a new, 4,000 square foot exhibition focused on the wonders and challenges of the Delaware River watershed, our place within that system, and the increasingly sophisticated science we use to understand the watershed’s complexity; the Mussel Hatchery and Living Laboratory, an installation that demonstrates the ecological benefits of freshwater mussel restoration within the Delaware River watershed, and provides a facility for rearing mussels to be released in the river; and most recently POOL, A Social History of Segregation, a multi-award winning installation located at the Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia that weaves together history, site-specific artwork, storytelling, scholarship and place-based learning.

Hotel and Venue Details

This year’s conference will take place at the Altoona Grand Hotel  located at 1 Sheraton Drive, Altoona PA 16601.

A block of rooms has been reserved at a discounted rate of only $80.00 per night, plus applicable taxes. Call 814-946-1631 and mention that you are reserving a room in the POWR Room Block. ” You must reserve a room before September 12 to receive the discounted rate.

Conference Program At-a-Glance: Click HERE to view a pdf of the tentative conference agenda. You may need to view it at a larger scale; there’s a lot here! 

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

This event is not possible without the generous support of our sponsors. 

Sponsor support enable us to offer discounts and honorariums to conference attendees and speakers to help meet the goal of increasing diversity an ensuring inclusive and equitable access to the event. It also and helps implement sustainable solutions including offsetting our carbon footprint. Pennsylvania is home to hundreds of community-based watershed organizations that strive to protect and provide critical oversight of the streams, rivers, and lakes in their communities despite being small, non-profit organizations with little or no professional staff, supported by active and passionate volunteers.

View the Sponsorship Opportunities to learn how you can showcase your services, programs, and resources while supporting this event and water and watershed protection in Pennsylvania!

POWR thanks these current 2023 Sponsors: 

Major Supporters: PA American Water, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Campbell Foundation, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Watershed Advocate: PA Environment Digest,  Appalachian Region Independent Power Producers Association (ARIPPA), ARM Group, Chesapeake Legal Alliance, Ernst Conservation Seeds, Land Studies

Carbon Offset/Sustainability: American Dairy Association North East

Watershed Friend: Murrysville Area Watershed Association, Matt MacDonald, BEG Group, LLC

Nonprofit Friend: American Rivers, Bird Town Pennsylvania, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Stroud Water Research Center.

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