Friday, December 21, 2018

Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards Grew To 302 Members, Logged 11,696 Volunteer Hours In 2018

In 2018, the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program grew to 302 dedicated community volunteers that logged 11,696 volunteer hours across the state.
The Master Watershed Stewards made over 18,000 personal contacts with Pennsylvania residents and shared information on protecting our water resources at nearly 200 school and community events.
They also conducted water quality sampling on 56 sites along 29 streams and assisted in the planting of 2,540 trees.
In Montgomery county, MWSs took the lead on inspecting and maintaining stormwater basins, reforesting appropriate areas, creating nature trails, and educating residents in two developments.
The Bucks County program worked with the Bucks County Conservation District on a “Bank Erosion Monitoring” project, currently 12 monitoring sites along the Poquessing Creek, Neshaminy Creek, Little Neshaminy Creek and Cooks Creek to measure, record and share data with municipalities regarding streambank erosion.
Berks County MWSs have partnered with the Berks County Conservation District and Trout Unlimited-Tulpehocken to bring “Trout in the Classroom” to all 18 school districts in the county, free-of-charge.
The volunteers also worked with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and the Schuylkill Action Network to survey area streams for freshwater mussels, in preparation for mussel reseeding.
Five of the Chester/Delaware MWSs became members of municipal Environmental Advisory Councils and two of those EACs were established because of the Master Watershed Steward.
They also assisted Darby Creek Valley Association to design and install a native upland meadow at Meadow Run and assisted Stroud Water Research Center with DIY monitoring stations.
Monroe MWSs worked with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service doing live stake plantings at the newly-formed Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and will continue working on a restoration project of a tributary to Cherry Creek in 2019.
In the Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming program, MWSs assisted local conservation districts with implementing on-the-ground restoration projects, including a native planting at 3 stormwater basins in Dallas.
The Lehigh/Northampton program piloted a Junior Master Watershed Steward program, offering in-school curriculum on water quality. They also coordinated 3 rain barrel workshops and assisted the DEP with water quality monitoring.
York MWSs educated the community through presentations for various organizations, leading educational activities for libraries, 4H clubs schools, the York County Envirothon and more, leading rain barrel workshops and setting up educational booths at festivals and events.
With each passing year, the Stewards become more confident in their knowledge and their ability to make a difference. Community organizations continue to turn to them for assistance and support of new projects.
New Classes Forming
In spring of 2019, the counties of Berks, Bucks, York, Montgomery, Lackawanna/ Luzerne/Wyoming, Chester/Delaware and Monroe will be training new classes.
The Master Watershed Steward program offers 40 hours of training in environmental resources. After training, participants need to secure 50 hours of volunteer service to become a certified Master Watershed Steward.
In subsequent years, volunteers need to complete 20 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of advanced education to remain active in the program.
All the volunteer and training opportunities are shared by the County Coordinator and volunteers can choose what they would like to do based on time availability and interests. The programs also have social activities such as paddling trips, hikes and potlucks.
It is a great way to learn more, meet new people and have fun while giving back to the community.
There are currently active Watershed Steward groups in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Wyoming, and York counties.
Application information and specific county details can be found on the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program webpage. 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:
Other Related Penn State Extension Stories:
Related Story:

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner