The Penn State Montgomery County Master Watershed Stewards are currently accepting applications for the class of 2017. The deadline for applications is February 15.
Master Watershed Stewards receive extensive training on water resource stewardship and then put their expertise to use helping and leading projects to protect and enhance water quality.
Applicants need not be expert in environmental studies, but should have some familiarity with water needs and a desire to learn. A strong commitment to volunteer service is a must.
Class size is limited to 25 individuals. Interviews will take place in late February-March to select the final candidates. Training sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings (and two Saturday mornings) from April 5 through June 21 at various organizational partners’ sites.
The training program covers a wide variety of water issues, including stormwater runoff, creek health, rain gardens, macroinvertebrates, wildlife and many other issues that are dependent on clean water.
Upon completion of all classes, Master Watershed Steward candidates must pass a comprehensive closed book final exam.
Within the first year after classroom study, trainees are required to volunteer 50 hours in the community. At the completion of this volunteer service, trainees receive the official Master Watershed Stewards certification.
The cost of training is set at just $100 dollars, and there are no continued costs for staying in the program or receiving additional training.
Apply today before all spots are filled! Download an application form.
For questions, please call Penn State Cooperative Extension- Montgomery County at 610-489-4315 or send email Krista Scheirer at: email@example.com.
Penn State Watershed Stewards Program
The Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program was established to help address nonpoint source pollution, which remains one of the biggest challenges facing surface water quality in Pennsylvania.
In 2016, with support from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Master Watershed Steward Program, was offered in 13 counties across the state, including: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Wyoming, and York.
There are now 150 Master Watershed Stewards and they reported 3,662 volunteer hours, valued at $85,690.
They directly educated 9,693 Pennsylvania residents about environmental stewardship practices through offering workshops, providing programming in 47 schools, and staffing information booths at over 43 community events.
They also connected with over 100,000 residents indirectly through newspaper articles, newsletters and social media.
Across the state, the Master Watershed Stewards assisted 53 community partners with environmental education and restoration projects.
They also helped install and maintained 10 demonstration rain gardens, helped to plant 351 trees, sampled 7 streams, assisted 5 municipalities and built 61 rain barrels!
If you live in the participating counties or would like to establish a program in your county, contact Erin Frederick at 610-391-9840 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the program generally, and an application form, visit the Penn State Master Watershed Stewards Programs webpage.
(Photo: Montgomery County Master Watershed Stewards class at a Natural Lands Trust preserve for training.)
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