Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Cumberland County Master Watershed Stewards Offer Training; Open Houses Set For Jan. 13 & 19

Cumberland County Penn State Extension is accepting applications for its second class of Cumberland County Master Watershed Stewards.  Applications are due January 31.

This program, launched in Cumberland County in 2020, trained 24 volunteers last spring, and will be hosting another training in spring 2021. Statewide, the MWS program is making a difference in nearly 20 other counties in Pennsylvania and engages more than 400 volunteers.

The MWS program recruits community volunteers with an interest in water quality and natural resource conservation. Training involves formal (virtual) classroom sessions, and ideally includes field trips and a hands-on component sometime in the future. 

Training topics include environmental resources, stream ecology, water chemistry, stormwater, native and invasive plants, wildlife, geology, education and more. 

To become a certified MWS, a 40-hour training program and 50 hours of volunteer service is required the first year. Certification is maintained in subsequent years by contributing a minimum of 20 volunteer hours and 10 hours of continuing education annually.

Once trained, stewards are then engaged in watershed restoration, education, and research projects throughout Cumberland County.

Examples of Steward projects include installing rain and pollinator gardens, participating in streamside or community habitat enhancement projects/plantings, conducting stream clean-ups, organizing educational workshops that address such topics as backyard habitat or homeowner stormwater management, writing newsletter articles, developing educational materials, and working with schools to provide meaningful watershed educational in-class and field experiences.

The new 12-session training program will begin in March 2021. Classes will be held virtually statewide, with County specific sessions. Field experiences will be arranged and scheduled when it is safe to do so.

Open Houses

Cumberland County Extension will hold open house information sessions for prospective Master Watershed Stewards on January 13 and 19 starting at 6:30 p.m.

Click Here to register.

For more information, visit the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards Cumberland County webpage.  Questions should be directed to coordinator Holly Smith at 717-240-6505 or email

[For more information on this program in other counties, visit the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards webpage.

[How Clean Is Your Stream?

[DEP’s Interactive Report Viewer allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.]

(Photo: Master Watershed Stewards help maintain a riparian buffer along LeTort Spring Run in Cumberland County.)

Related Articles - Watershed Stewards:

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-- Master Watershed Steward Program Invites You To Support A Local Watershed Steward Now And During Dec. 1 Giving Tuesday

-- New Watershed-Friendly Property Certification Now Available From Penn State Extension

-- Riparian Buffer Professionals Available + New Training Opportunities In PA; DCNR Buffer Workforce Survey

-- Master Watershed Stewards In York County Plant Riparian Forest Buffer In Park

-- Storm Drain Art Brings Awareness To Stormwater Pollution In The City Of York

-- Master Watershed Stewards From 4 Counties Help Purge Plastic From The Susquehanna River

-- Water Tests For Households Using Public Water Supplies

Related Articles - Water:

-- DCNR Highlights $400,000 Investment To Improve Recreation, Help Restore Codorus Creek In York County; New Grant Round Opening Soon 

-- Trout Unlimited: Protecting Streams From Assessment Through Regulation

-- PA Park Maintenance Institute Hosts Online Benefits Of Including Green Stormwater Infrastructure Into Parks & Recreation Facilities Shop Talk Dec. 3

-- Trout Unlimited Offers Online STREAM Girls Outdoor Ed For COVID Times Training For Girl Scouts Program Dec. 3

-- PAEE: Meaningful Watershed Education Experience In PA Accepting Nominations For 2 Award Programs

-- EPA Awards PA $4.8 Million For Section 319 Grants To Cleanup Water Quality Across The State 

-- Bay Journal: EPA Fights Lawsuit Forcing It To Act On Pennsylvania, NY Cleanup Plans

[Posted: November 25, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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