The Penn State Extension Lehigh & Northampton County offices are now accepting applications for the 2016 Master Watershed Steward Program. Applications are due by January 8.
The program, now in ten Pennsylvania Counties, is designed to provide people who are enthusiastic about the environment with the information and skills necessary to share their experience and knowledge with others.
Master Watershed Stewards receive 40 hours of training on topics including water quality, stream health, native plants, recreational resources, and groundwater. After completing the training session, students fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service.
In subsequent years, Master Watershed Stewards can maintain their status through 20 hours of volunteer time to watershed projects or programs, and attending a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education training.
Examples of projects and programs include designing and installing demonstration rain gardens or streamside plantings, teaching children about stream ecology, and organizing educational workshops that address such topics as backyard conservation or homeowner storm water management.
The 2016 Master Watershed Steward training program starts March 9th and continues on subsequent Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:30pm through mid-June. The course also includes three handson Saturday field trips.
Classes will be held at partnering environmental organizations throughout the Lehigh Valley.
The fee for the program is $100, which helps offset the costs for program materials and professional guest speakers. Scholarships are available for those with financial hardships.
Two information sessions will be offered. One will be held on January 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lehigh County Agricultural Center. The second will be held on January 27 at Illick's Mill in Bethlehem from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The 2016 Master Watershed Steward Program is a collaborative effort of Penn State Extension, the Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley, Northampton County Conservation District, Appalachian Mountain Club, the Wildlands Conservancy and the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.For more information about the Master Watershed Steward Program or to request an application for the 2016 training program, contact Erin Frederick by telephone at 610-391-9840 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.