Friday, February 19, 2021

University Of Pittsburgh Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Featured Exploring The Nature Of Water In Western PA Program By Master Watershed Stewards

By Mary Wilson,
Allegheny County Master Watershed Steward Coordinator

Master Watershed Stewards from Allegheny County joined forces with the program’s coordinator to deliver a remote 3-class course for the University of Pittsburgh’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

In January 2021, a team of four Master Watershed Stewards from Allegheny County - Danelle Ardell, Maryann Brendel, Tom Engel, and Laurie Maglietta - joined forces with the program's coordinator, Mary Wilson, to deliver a remote 3-class course for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Pittsburgh entitled "Drop by Drop: Exploring the Nature of Water in Western PA." 

One hundred and one OLLI members registered for the course which took them on a journey from a Space Station view of the planet to the residential level. 

Incorporating a variety of educational resources, the program dealt with topics including the different forms of water on Earth, point- and nonpoint pollution and related policies, benthic macro-invertebrates and their role as bio-indicators of stream health, as well as various strategies for conserving water, encouraging stormwater infiltration and enhancing streambank stability at the residential level.

Course participants were also introduced to wonderful interactive on-line resources that can help them design rain gardens and understand where they are in a watershed. 

Resources and links were provided to supplement each day's presentation and allow participants to immerse themselves in the content on their own time. 

An in-class poll indicated a heightened appreciation of stream "critters" after they were introduced. 

Several participants expressed interest in follow-up courses, and one said it was one of the best courses she had attended through OLLI. 

Well done Allegheny Watershed Stewards!

[Learn more about this program in your county by visiting the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program webpage.]

(Reprinted from Feb. 19 Watershed Winds newsletter from Penn State Extension.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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[Posted: February 19, 2021] PA Environment Digest

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