Tuesday, December 12, 2023

PA Trout Unlimited: Partnerships Pave Way For Success At Muddy Paws Enviro Center In Centre County

Fall newsletter of the PA Council of Trout Unlimited highlights local Chapter and statewide initiatives of the Council, including the development of the Muddy Paws Environmental Center in Spring Mills, Centre County.

Partnerships Pave Way For Success

By Sigrid Sharif, PATUC Communications Coordinator

Employees from PA Council of Trout Unlimited, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and other partners focused on watershed conservation projects met at the Muddy Paws Environmental Center in Spring Mills on Oct. 19 to explore a reconstructed wetland, discuss purple loosestrife biological control, outreach, and youth education programming.

The group then toured Muddy Creek along Harter Road where the Penns Valley Conservation Association has been the driving force behind the young forest habitat and stream restoration. 

The area now features deer fencing, a singing bird survey route, and burgeoning wood turtle population.

The Coldwater Heritage Partnership provided funding for in-stream and riparian habitat improvements in the watershed. 

The CHP is a coalition of PATU, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. 

Representatives of partner organizations took a few minutes to describe their role in the project. 

“The goal is to measure wildlife response, water quality response, and brook trout response. The great thing about this project is that it’s all getting measured,” said Lisa Williams Witmer of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“There are trout surveys, and I count woodcock every spring down through this system. Fish and Wildlife is now starting a wood turtle research project because we started tripping over wood turtles in these habitats,” she laughed.

Whitmer is passionate about growth of the woodcock population in the George’s Valley project area.

“This is a species that if you build it, they will come,” she said. “They will give you a very quick feedback loop, which is good for your grant cycle. Within just a few years we saw this pretty amazing population response. 

Projects that combine water quality improvements in riparian corridors and associated upland corridors capture a whole suite of species which allows you to appeal to different landowners.”

The Muddy Creek Stream Restoration project received the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in 2021 for restoration of riparian areas, protection of stream banks from erosion, and for providing wildlife habitat

Click Here to read the entire Fall newsletter.

For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the PA Council of Trout Unlimited website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates (top of page).  Like them on FacebookFollow PATU on Twitter.   Click Here to become a member.  Click Here to support their work.

Trout Unlimited has over 15,700 members in Pennsylvania.

[Posted: December 12, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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