Thursday, March 21, 2019

DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Jodi Sulpizio, York County Watershed Steward

Jodi Sulpizio’s love of nature and the environment began as a child, roaming around the surrounding forests, fields, and streams of her grandparent’s farm
After college, she worked at the Nixon Park Nature Center for York County Parks, where she furthered her passion for conservation. The opportunity helped her see how all things are connected in fragile ecosystems, and that our natural resources aren’t infinite and must be protected.
Now, as natural resource educator for Penn State Extension York County and head of its Master Watershed Stewards Program, she shares that passion through an inspiring show of stewardship and education of others about stream health and water quality.
Jodi is constantly out and about in York County with her stewards and trainees, designing and planting rain gardens, doing stream restoration work and health monitoring, working at water quality exhibits during public events, and so on.
In her role, Jodi stays informed about the scientific research on stormwater runoff pollution and best methods to protect drinking water and watersheds, and makes that knowledge understandable to just about any resident of the county.
She develops materials and attends opportunities to educate everyone from elementary school students, to homeowners, to government officials about the importance of stream health and water quality.
A large part of her responsibility is providing others with the knowledge and skills to carry out projects to improve stream health through the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program.
Volunteers complete 40 hours of training on watersheds, groundwater, stream ecology, invasive species, stormwater management, and more.
They then volunteer by offering educational programming and completing stream restoration projects in their communities. The program is established in 13 counties and will start in five more counties in 2019.
York County launched the program in 2016 in partnership with the York County Conservation District and the Watershed Alliance of York.
There are now 53 trained Master Watershed Stewards in York County, and 21 new volunteers in training this spring. The volunteers work on projects such as:
-- Designing and planting rain gardens
-- Planting trees on streambanks (riparian buffers)
-- Invasive species control
-- Stream monitoring and cleanups
Jodi also works with the Penn State Extension’s Forest Steward and Master Well Owner Network programs, as well as with DCNR as a county coordinator for the Gypsy Moth Program.
“Everyone plays a part, and everyone can make a difference,” says Jodi. “Any volunteer or work experience you can acquire, the better,” she says.
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.
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 March 20 DCNR Resource newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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