Wednesday, February 5, 2020

DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Ross Snook, New Hanover Twp. Environmental Advisory Board

Ross Snook is the Chairman of the Environmental Advisory Board for New Hanover Township, in Montgomery County.
He also is a Penn State Master Watershed Steward who serves on the Advisory Committee for Montgomery County Master Watershed Stewards.
He is integrally involved in his community’s efforts to negate flood damage and maintaining water quality through effective stormwater management.
The Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward program provides extensive training in watershed management to volunteers who, in return, educate the community about watershed stewardship based on university research and recommendations.
It was established to strengthen local capacity for management and protection of watersheds, streams, and rivers, by educating and empowering volunteers across the commonwealth.
For Ross, the importance of green space in communities is obvious, and necessary.
Green space provides a comfortable living space for humans and wildlife, as well as helping to filter and hold stormwater.
“Our current open spaces that still have trees and wetlands are crucial in preserving the hydrologic cycle,” says Ross. “Our wetlands are the ‘kidneys’ of the cycle and must be preserved at all costs. The hydrologic cycle is nature's way of maintaining our water quality for the future.”
Ross has helped his township inventory all stormwater basins to address potential flooding. These older-style detention basins could be retrofitted for greater volume control of rainfall during rain events.
He also has addressed the use of sump pumps in his township with guidance from Pennsylvania’s DEP to deal with the additional runoff storms bring.
He says, “We have seen how important this is to engineer for at the beginning stages of land development and not at the back end.”
Ross volunteers many hours of work through the Master Watershed Steward program to help educate and promote the importance of water quality and flood control.
He educates residents about how they can help with stormwater management on a daily basis.
In small ways such as minimizing use of water, curbing pollution, cleaning up pet waste, installing rain gardens and rain barrels, communities can work together toward a goal of proper husbandry of clean water.
For Ross, the Master Watershed Steward program is integral to lifting communities up to take charge in protecting their natural resources.
“This program represents a tremendous opportunity for anyone interested in helping preserve our future resources to join,” says Ross. “We must all learn how to balance future development with the existing geology and hydrology of our lands.”
Know of a good natured Pennsylvanian who is passionate about outdoor recreation and/or conservation that we should feature? Contact DCNR by sending email to: to nominate someone.
[Learn more about Environmental Advisory Boards and Councils by visiting the EAC Network website.  Visit the Penn State Master Watershed Steward webpage to find out how to get involved in your county.]
  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

(Reprinted from the Feb. 5 DCNR Resource newsletter. Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)
[Posted: February 5, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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