Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Registration Now Open For PA Environmental Educators Conference In Philadelphia March 18-19

The PA Association of Environmental Educators is now accepting registrations for its 2019 Conference to be held March 18-19 at the Renaissance Philadelphia Airport Hotel.
The Conference theme is-- Cityscapes & Greenscapes-- which highlights how environmental education intersects and/or spans varied landscapes, urban, suburban, rural and green spaces in between.
Over the years, the environmental education space has grown from just "greenscapes," to now becoming a foundation for outdoor recreation, conservation initiatives, "green" city planning, STEM education and more; so, it's time to highlight these methods of connection through presentations at the Conference.
Each year our membership delivers high-quality workshops that give attendees experiences to take back and apply to their practices, programming, facilities, partnerships and staff.
Click Here to register or for more information.
For more information on programs, initiatives, resources and other upcoming events, visit the PA Association of Environmental Educators website.  Click Here to sign up for the PAEE newsletter (bottom of page, left).  Click Here to become a member.  Click Here to support PAEE’s work.
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DEP Accepting Grant Applications To Replace, Repower Or Retrofit Fleet Diesel Trucks, Buses, Other Vehicles

On January 22, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it is now accepting grant applications under the PA State Clean Diesel Grant Program to replace, repower, or retrofit fleet diesel-powered trucks, buses, and other vehicles and equipment through the Driving PA Forward Program.
The deadline for applications is February 28.
More than $2.6 million will be available due to the 2018 settlement with Volkswagen, relating to emissions cheating.
“Reducing emissions from diesel engines is an important tool for improving the air we breathe,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Whether it is a school district upgrading their school bus fleet or a private company repowering their delivery trucks, projects under the Clean Diesel Grant Program lead to cleaner air and lower emissions.”
Mobile source emissions in Pennsylvania from sources like diesel engines account for nearly half of nitrogen oxide pollution, which can lead to ground-level ozone formation and poor air quality. Children and elderly residents are especially susceptible to health impacts such as asthma from poor air quality.
Grants are available for both public and private entities, including school districts, local governments, and nonprofit organizations.
Feb. 4 Webinar
A webinar on the PA State Clean Diesel Grant Program will be held on February 4 starting at 10:00.  Click Here to register.
The application package, including guidance and application instructions, is available electronically on DEP's Driving PA Forward webpage or by contacting the Bureau of Air Quality by sending email to: ra-epvwmitigation@pa.gov or by calling 717-787-9495.
DEP will accept online applications only.
For more information on the program generally, visit the Driving PA Forward Program webpage.
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Keep PA Beautiful Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers In Blair, Clinton, Huntingdon, Lehigh, Perry, Washington Counties

On January 22, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced it has given 2018 Outstanding Volunteer Awards to winners in Blair, Clinton, Huntingdon, Lehigh, Perry and Washington counties.
The winners, nominated by local Keep PA Beautiful affiliates, are--
-- Girl Scout Troop 61, Lehigh County: Girl Scout Troop 61 has coordinated cleanups, helped with the City of Allentown Halloween parade and started a plastic bag-recycling contest with the Trek Company.
“I met this troop at the beginning of the year, and they have shown me in this short time, how much they want to give back to their community. I will be working with them to make their plastic bag contest a citywide effort,” said Kristin Baringer, Keep Allentown Beautiful and Education Manager for the City of Allentown Recycling.
-- Larry Claar, Keep Blair Beautiful, Blair County: Larry Claar, a senior at Hollidaysburg Area High School, first volunteered in spring 2015 and continues to help move heavy appliances at special collection events and sling tires at cleanups.
“Larry has been an invaluable asset to our affiliate the past few years and has even helped teach recycling programs to the public, youth, and his peers. He is personable with the public, ready to pitch in anywhere needed, and is dedicated to keeping our community clean and beautiful,” said Katrina Pope, Keep Blair Beautiful. Larry is also active in the Hollidaysburg Senior High School’s EcoAction Club.
-- Donald Lysle, Clinton County CleanScapes, Clinton County: After retiring, Don’s desire to get back outside led him to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s cleanup events.
“I’ve attended over 200 community cleanup events around the state and there is always a sense of accomplishment, a common purpose, and you’re surrounded by people who share a common interest in nature.  But Clinton County CleanScapes events are unique.  They’re my favorite because the people who show up are so diverse, yet they work together effortlessly.  It’s so uplifting,” explained Lysle.
“This year, CleanScapes is honored to nominate one of the most inspirational volunteers that we have had the pleasure to know and to work beside, Donald Lysle of Mechanicsburg, PA,” said Elisabeth Lynch-McCoy, Clinton County CleanScapes. In 2011, Don Lysle was also named “Volunteer of the Year” by Clinton County CleanScapes Advisory Board Members.
-- Wayne Campbell, Keep Perry County Beautiful, Perry County:  Wayne Campbell has been an active member of Keep Perry County Beautiful since the winter of 2016 and is a loyal volunteer to the electronics recycling collections and Tire War events.
“Wayne is a very community-oriented individual whose efforts reach way beyond our Keep Perry County Beautiful events, but he is one of the few that is always willing to go above and beyond the anticipated expectations of a volunteer. He has a great sense of humor and always seems to be in the right place at the right time,” said Kristie Smith, Keep Perry County Beautiful.
-- Donna Riggle, Keep Washington County Beautiful, Washington County: Donna Riggle has been with Keep Washington County Beautiful since it started in 2009.  She focuses on recruiting groups and individual volunteers to help with cleanups, such as the Buffalo Creek Watershed Association. Donna also helps distribute educational materials at various outreach events including the Washington County Fair, Ag Days, and the Sportsmen's Show.
“Donna is the true spirit of the environment and we are so happy to honor her with this award that is long overdue! On behalf of the Washington County Affiliate of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, we thank Donna for her hard work and efforts!” said Laurie Popeck, Keep Washington County Beautiful.
-- Mark Kepner, Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful, Huntingdon County: Mark Kepner has been volunteering with Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful’s annual Tire War event for six years.  He is a retired teacher from the Huntingdon County Career and Technology Center.  
“Each year, Mark not only volunteers at the event, but he brings students and friends to volunteer with him.  Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful thanks him for his service and for making the Tire War event a fun event each year,” said Celina Seftas, Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful.
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is indebted to our local affiliates and volunteers across the state. I would like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our volunteers of the year and thank them for keeping our communities clean and beautiful,” stated Shannon Reiter, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful President.
Click Here for photos and more on each of the winners.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website. Click Here to become a member.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.
Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean and KPB’s Electronics Waste website.
Sign up now for the 2019 Great American Cleanup of PA and volunteer or set up your own cleanup and beautification event runs March 1 to May 31.
(Photo: Girl Scout Troop 61.)

PennDOT, Lebanon Transit Open CNG Transit Fueling Station

On January 22, the Department of Transportation, Lebanon Transit and Trillium CNG mark the opening of a Compressed Natural Gas transit fueling station at 200 Willow Street in Lebanon.
Under the program, Lebanon Transit will convert eight buses to CNG. The authority estimates saving roughly $50,000 annually based on current diesel costs and their diesel usage of roughly 35,000 gallons per year.
Through the $84.5 million statewide P3 project, Trillium is designing, building, financing, and will operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites through a 20-year P3 agreement.  Thirteen fueling stations are now open.
“This innovative program is helping transit agencies save on fuel costs while allowing them to move to a cleaner burning fuel,” Governor Wolf said. “These are important steps to helping us improve the quality of life across Pennsylvania.”
Other stations will be constructed over the next several years, and Trillium is also making CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities.
“Pennsylvania is now a leading producer of natural gas, and this initiative aims to take advantage of that new, cleaner burning fuel source,” said PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Jennie Granger. “PennDOT is excited to partner on this program that will bring benefits for the state, transit agencies, and the public for years to come.”
Click Here for the complete announcement and list of CNG facilities.
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RiverStewards Blog: Bringing The Environment, Other Than Biology, Into Classrooms Is Vital For Our Future

By Kyle Steffish, Millersville University Student

While environmental issues-- whether they are as regional as the health and stability of local waterways or as large as the global climate-- affect all life, their study and discussion remain confined primarily within the realm of scientific inquiry. As a result, these discussions are seemingly disconnected from the public’s daily concerns.
Even on college campuses, environmental issues remain locked in science classrooms. Yet, increasingly, discussions of environmental issues and environmental advocacy are making their way into other college departments-- including the humanities.
Dr. Justin Mando, a professor at Millersville University of Pennsylvania with a Ph.D. in rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University, teaches the newly offered Environmental Advocacy Writing course within Millersville’s English department.
A large portion of this class entails students learning about and advocating for environmental issues related to the Susquehanna River.
Mando’s interest in environmental writing and advocacy began while studying rhetoric of place while in grad school.
“I was interested in how people use places in arguments, especially in deliberative arguments in local politics.”
This interest led him to the fracking debate and how people engage with it on a local level.
“As I learned about it, I discovered a lot more about how people advocate for environmental issues.”
This sparked an interest in environmental rhetoric, writing, and advocacy. After moving to the Lancaster County area, Mando, an avid fly fisherman, saw the Susquehanna River as a focal point for a class on environmental advocacy.
“When I moved here, and I started to get onto the Susquehanna River a lot… I felt, wow, there’s something really important going on here,” Mando said. “The initial idea was to focus on the Susquehanna in some way and get students informed and engaged with river issues.”
It was, in part, with the support of non-profit organizations like RiverStewards that Mando was able to realize his concept for an Environmental Writing Advocacy class.
RiverStewards has been a really engaged organization that has been as supportive as can be to me.” Mando said.
RiverStewards helped Mando develop connections with other organizations and individuals working on river issues, leading to a class visit from Kristen Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Chesapeake Bay Coordinator.
But humanities departments and their students can give back to non-profits, too. After meeting with some local nonprofit organizations, Mando found that even more than scientists do, organizations need people with the skills to engage the public and raise awareness about issues facing the Susquehanna River and the progress these organizations have made.
“There’s a future for students who are able to write about [environmental] issues,” Mando says.
Nonprofits that work on environmental issues attract plenty of people with technical backgrounds but have a need for individuals who can communicate these issues to a variety of audiences-- a task the skilled writers and communicators of Millersville’s English department can tackle, Mando believes.
At the heart of Mando’s class is RiverStewards’ Susquehanna Stories initiative-- a multi-part, cumulative project that challenges students to explore (including a class kayak trip on the river) and critically engage with the Susquehanna River.
The project allows students to tell stories of the river, highlighting key issues it faces. These stories may take the shape of articles, poems, and even mini-documentaries-- all communicating the struggles of maintaining a healthy, vibrant river ecology.
While this project currently involves only Millersville students, Mando hopes it will grow into something much larger by getting additional colleges and their students involved. This will lead to significant and positive impacts for the Susquehanna River while highlighting the need for a broader, multidisciplinary approach to environmental science that connects the humanities with other fields.
“I would like the Susquehanna Stories project to spread to other universities, so that what we’re doing here connects to what students are doing all up and down the river,” Mando says.
He believes in the tremendous value of students throughout Pennsylvania going out and exploring local environmental issues. He would also like to see a multi-disciplinary approach to environmental issues advocacy, combining components of Environmental Advocacy Writing with other classes like biology, geography, or even history classes.
Aside from its focus on the Susquehanna, Mando’s class encourages students to engage with the many ways environmentalists, both past and present, communicate their message to a variety of audiences.
Students read and discuss works by William Cronon, John Muir, and Rachel Carson, among others.
Strong writers and skilled communicators within the humanities are ideal candidates for advocating for both local and global environmental issues. Creating clear, accessible, and compelling environmental communication is becoming increasingly more vital as we stand upon a critical crossroads in our relationship with nature.
“A technocratic society is not the best society – where we say, ‘the scientists take care of those problems; we’re over here doing different things,’” Mando says. “These issues we’re facing are not just scientific problems – they’re problems that need addressed from multiple angles. People in the humanities have a lot to offer in addressing these types of issues.”
Dr. Mando encourages students and professors interested in expanding environmental advocacy into the humanities, building multi-disciplinary support for environmental advocacy, and/or supporting the Susquehanna Stories Project to contact him by sending email to: Justin.Mando@Millersville.edu.
Stories Invited
If you are a college professor located at an institute of higher learning within the Susquehanna River watershed and would like to have your students involved in Susquehanna Storytelling, please contact Jessica Aiello at RiverStewards by sending email to: jessica@riverstewards.info.
RiverStewards is a consortium of educational institutions, private sector companies, non-profit organizations, communities, government agencies and individuals working to conserve one of our most significant ecological, economic and recreational resources in central Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River.
(Photo: Dr. Justin Mando, Millersville University.)

Kyle Steffish currently attends Millersville University and is majoring in Writing Studies with a minor in Business Management. When he isn't busy with school work, Kyle likes to travel, hike, explore the outdoors, and collect retro video games.
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(Reprinted from the RiverStewards Blog.)

PA Wilds Center Now Seeking 2019 Champion Of PA Wilds Award Nominations

The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. is now accepting nominations for the 2019 PA Wilds Champion Awards.  The deadline of nominations is July 1.
The prestigious PA Wilds Champion Awards are given out annually to individuals, groups, organizations, communities and businesses that in the last year have made significant contributions to help grow and sustainably develop the outdoor recreation economy and nature tourism in the Pennsylvania Wilds in a way that creates jobs, diversifies local economies, inspires stewardship and improves quality of life.
The Pennsylvania Wilds region includes the counties of Warren, Forest, Elk, Potter, McKean, Tioga, Clinton, Lycoming, Clearfield, Jefferson, Cameron and Clarion, Northern Centre.
The region’s 12 county governments, visitor bureaus and many local organizations participate in the effort, along with Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and Department of Community & Economic Development.
“Based on feedback we received, we’re excited to move this important event to later in the year, creating a longer window for nominations and planning. As the PA Wilds initiative grows, our partner network is growing. We have so many new leaders, businesses, youth, conservation movements, community revitalization groups and more involved in the work – we really needed the extra time in the calendar year to be sure we’re covering all these participants and that the public has ample time to nominate their champions. The PA Wilds initiative is and has always been a people movement,” said Ta Enos, Executive Director of the PA Wilds Center. “The PA Wilds champions represent the very best of our rural communities each year; their enthusiasm is contagious and inspiring.”
Award winners will be recognized at a special dinner on November 7 at the Dubois Country Club.
Click Here to make nominations or for more information.
For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. website.

Intern Wanted: Brandywine Conservancy Land Stewardship Intern

The Brandywine Conservancy in Delaware County is now accepting applications for a Land Stewardship Intern position.
This position will assist the easement management team with monitoring, administering, and enforcing the 486 conservation and agricultural easements held by the Brandywine Conservancy, as well as related projects.
Applicants should have an academic background in environmental science, ecology, land management, land planning or a related field. They should be organized, self-motivated, and able to work independently with little supervision, and should have a positive, energetic attitude.
Click Here for all the details.
Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume by email only to: lburke@brandywine.org.  Please include “Land Stewardship Internship” in the subject line. Please include availability. Position will remain open until filled.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Brandywine Conservancy website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Conservancy (middle of the webpage.)  Visit the Conservancy’s Blog, Like the Conservancy on Facebook and Follow them on Instagram.
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