Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Tenacity Of Tree Planters Like Ann Wain Of Paxton Creek Watershed Assn. And PA Student Leader Lenka Platt Work To Improve Environment

The new
Fall/Winter Issue of Save The Bay Magazine from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation highlights the tenacity of tree planters like Ann Wain of the Paxton Creek Watershed and Education Association and Pennsylvania CBF Student Leader Lenka Platt.

Tenacity For Trees

It was cold and pouring rain on Arbor Day 2020 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The global COVID-19 pandemic was dampening spirits and plans. 

The official Lower Paxton Township celebration—complete with food trucks, music, awards, and games for kids—was canceled. 

But there were still trees to plant. 

So, Anne Ely Wain and eight other volunteers with the Paxton Creek Watershed & Education Association, taking care to stay distant from one another, brought some of the biggest saplings from their nursery to Centennial Acres Park, near the creek’s headwaters.

“The basketball courts, the tennis courts, the playground were all taped off, and the basketball court was locked,” Wain remembers. “We were all able and willing to do the work however we needed to do it. We decided to go ahead. It’s always a good thing to plant trees.”

Despite the surreal and difficult conditions, they put 30 trees in the ground. And while they may have been socially distant, they weren’t alone in this endeavor. 

The Paxton Creek Watershed & Education Association is a partner in the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, an initiative managed by CBF to improve water quality by planting 10 million trees in Pennsylvania by 2025. 

Collectively, partners planted 87 percent of the trees that were initially ordered from the spring tree drive.

When the partnership called Wain to confirm the planting was still on, taking delivery of the trees was an easy decision. 

She grew up in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania and says the forest was a big part of her childhood. She’s been a self-described tree hugger ever since and became an advocate for Paxton Creek after retiring to the Harrisburg area.

“One of the things we love about this area is the geography,” she says. “The Juniata and the Susquehanna, all the creeks, there are so many neat streams that feed into the Susquehanna. The waterways really connect people with nature here.”

Wain says the pandemic underscored the value of their work for a healthy watershed.

“People suddenly had time on their hands, so they started walking and going out canoeing and hiking,” she says. “Hopefully, it was opening their eyes to the importance of nature.”

Virtual And Valuable

Lenka Platt was the last group of students to spend time at CBF’s Fox Island Environmental Education Center, which recently closed due to rising sea levels.

Graduating senior Lenka Platt was not about to let a global pandemic derail the Third Annual Environmental Field Day at Halifax High School [in Dauphin County] last spring.

She took the great outdoor learning experience to the worldwide web.

Platt and seventh-grade science teacher Jess McGuire built a website and members of the Student Environmental Action Club (SEAC) at Halifax connected through online meetings to gather content and produce videos for virtual environmental field day in May.

Platt and McGuire formed the SEAC to educate students about environmental topics and organizations in the community and to advise students on how to take action.

CBF field educators in Pennsylvania provided some of the programming for the online field day.

Platt was President of CBF’s Student Leadership Council in Pennsylvania and helped advocate for the successful designation last year of the Eastern Hellbender as the Commonwealth’s official state amphibian. [Read more here.]

“I feel that some of the most valuable content on the website we created were the videos that SEAC members and teachers created,” Platt says. “SEAC members got to share their knowledge and students got to see their peers and teachers again in a fun way.”

Field day subjects included art, hiking and biking, hunting and fishing, virtual field trips, water activities, and ‘Be a scientist.”

Platt will be a freshman at Pittsburgh’s Chatham University in the Accelerated Master of Science in Biology Program.  She also plans to double major in environmental science and studies of sustainability.

Platt says, “Learning more about climate change and how it is affecting CBF’s Fox Island, the watermen and their livelihoods, and people in general” influenced her career choice.  

“It was inspiring to read the messages that previous students drew on the walls at Fox about climate change and taking action,” she says.

Purge Plastic From Susquehanna River

Also highlighted in the magazine was the first annual Purge the Plastic from the Susquehanna River cleanup event in Dauphin, Lebanon and Lancaster counties.  Read more here.

Click Here to read the entire Fall/Winter Save The Bay magazine.

For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.

Also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to learn how you can help clean water grow on trees.

CBF has over 275,000 members in Bay Watershed.

[PA Chesapeake Bay Plan

[For more information on how Pennsylvania plans to meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations, visit DEP’s PA’s Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan webpage.

[Click Here for a summary of the steps the Plan recommends.

[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.].

Resource Link:

EPA: New Benefit-Cost Analysis Procedures To Increase Consistency, Honest Accounting In Future Clean Air Act Rulemakings

Profiles In Leadership This Week:

-- Bart & Vivian Bartolacci Make Woods & Water Conservation Gift To The Future In Monroe County

-- The Miller Family's Farm, Stream Restoration Adventure - 4 Years Later In Berks County

-- Greg Wilson, Donegal Trout Unlimited - Another DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanian Improving Water Quality, Fish Habitat

-- The Witmer Family & Manada Conservancy Permanently Protect 89 Acres Of Woodland Along Kittatinny Ridge In Dauphin County

-- Farm Families & PA Farmland Preservation Program Permanently Protect 14,727 Acres Of Farmland In 2020

-- Farmers, Scientists In 15 Organizations Partner In New PA Soil Health Coalition To Achieve Water Quality, Farm Production Goals

-- 2 Chester County Townships Join Brandywine-Christina Watershed Pay-For-Success Water Quality Cleanup Initiative By i2 Capital, The Nature Conservancy

-- Volunteers, Landowners & Staff Of Lebanon Valley Conservancy Highlight 2020 Accomplishments & Goals

-- Volunteers In Darby Creek Valley Assn., Partners Cleanup Darby Creek Watershed In 4 Southeast Counties

-- Students, Adults Recognized By PA Resources Council As Winners Of 2020 Gene Capaldi Lens On Litter Photo Contest

-- Grateful For Our Volunteers - The Department Of Conservation & Natural Resources

-- Students Recognized At Westminster College Symposium On The Environment

-- Custodians Of Our Ecosystems - Women, Raptors And Unsettling Words Virtual Program Dec. 17, Lehigh Gap Nature Center

-- PA Architects Recognized In First Awards For Commitment To The Environment, Fighting Climate Change By PA Chapter American Institute Of Architects

[Posted: December 9, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner