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2010-11 Water Resources Education Network Projects

Download a map showing all 2010-11 projects

The Water Resources Education Network (WREN) Project, a program of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund has awarded $50,000 in funding to 12 community partnerships across the state. Projects will carry out community water resource  education projects between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. Funding comes from PA Department of Environmental Protection Nonpoint Source Management Program through Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act for activities that will address nonpoint source pollution issues on a watershed basis. The successful grantees of the 2010-2011 WREN grant program are:

Allegheny CountyPA Environmental Council, Grant Amount: $4,075

Contact:  Janie French  jfrench@pecpa.org

The Allegheny County Downspout Disconnection Program will educate residents and municipalities about the benefits of disconnecting downspouts to reduce stormwater entering combined sewer systems which  exacerbates overflows into the region's 3 rivers.  The partners will train residents on proper downspout disconnection techniques, enlist municipalities to participate in the disconnection program, and develop and print a Downspout Disconnection Fact Sheet to provide illustrated guidance.  Based on urban studies, 100 average roofs disconnected from the sewer system will annually alleviate 2.6 million gallons of stormwater.

Partners:  Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Allegheny County, Etna Borough, Penn State Center- Engaging Pittsburgh, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association.

Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon, Fulton counties

Blair County Conservation District, Grant Amount: $3,200

Contact:   Beth  Futrick, bfutrick@blairconservationdistrict.org

The partners will educate and motivate community stakeholders to use cover crops to improve soil and water quality through a Nutrient Trade/Cover Crop Conference in December 2010. The target audience for the conference is those who manage the land –i.e. producers, and those who make land/water decisions – i.e. local government, and will highlight agricultural best management practices to reduce nitrates, sediment and nutrient risks to local drinking water.

Partners:  Martinsburg Borough, Martinsburg Area Water Authority, PA Agricultural Ombudsman Program, PA No-Till Alliance, Southern Allegheny RC&D, Senator Eichelberger.

Carbon, Northumberland, Luzerne counties

Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D), Grant Amount: $4,978

Contact:  Brian Oram, bfenviro@ptd.net

The Pocono Northeast RC&D Council and partners will develop a series of stormwater management workshops for local communities and municipalities about how to plan for and manage stormwater to improve water quality and prevent flooding.  Each community participant attending the workshops will construct their own rain barrel to help become part of the solution and to aid understanding that implementation begins with each property owner taking responsibility to manage their own runoff.

Partners: Carbon County Environmental Education Center, Carbon and Northumberland County Conservation Districts, Carbon County Groundwater Guardians, Wilkes University.


Clearfield County                                                                                       

Clearfield County Conservation District, Grant Amount: $5,000

Contact:   Kelly  Williams, kwilliamsccd@atlanticbbn.net

The Clearfield County Watershed Education Project will educate elementary- aged students and local residents about the importance of watershed and source water protection from the framework of past impacts of abandoned mine drainage and future challenges of Marcellus shale gas development.  Project outreach will include use of a Drinking Water Enviroscape model, and will produce brochures and placemats as educational materials, coordinate with school districts to conduct Watershed Days at the elementary schools and work with communities to attend local watershed and community festivals.

Partners:  Lawrence Township, Clearfield County Planning Commission, Clearfield Area High School Watershed Club, Clearfield County Senior Environmental Corps, Moshannon Creek Watershed Coalition.

Clinton & Union Counties

Clinton County Conservation District, Grant Amount: $4,900

Contact:  Scott  Koser, scottkoser@comcast.net

The Sugar Valley Stormwater Management Education Project will develop a calendar illustrating agricultural best management practices proven to be effective in reducing polluted runoff using photos of local farms or businesses to give recognition and showcase solutions that protect water quality in the Fishing Creek Watershed.  In addition to the educational calendar, the project will work to change current behavior by educating local residents, farmers and municipal officials about stormwater management through a community workshop.

Partners:  Greene Township, CDS Laboratories, Albertin Vernon Architecture, Sugar Valley Watershed Association.

Columbia County                                                                                       

Roaring Creek Valley Conservation Assoc. (RCVCA), Grant Amount: $3,560     

Contact:  Kristen  Vitkaukas, vitkaus@yahoo.com

The Roaring Creek Valley Conservation Association, along with partners and SCASD students will design and construct a functional, educational stormwater Best Management Practice demonstration project on local school grounds in the form of a rain garden. The goal is to control and treat run-off on school property and improve water quality in our watershed, while providing an educational model for the community.  A community day where the public can learn about the project is planned, as well as permanent signage for future self-guided tour opportunities, which will include information on the project and how rain gardens protect water resources.

Partners:  Franklin Township, Columbia County Conservation District, Southern Columbia Area School District.

Crawford County                                                                                        

Crawford County Conservation District, Grant amount: $4,972                           

Contact:  Brian  Pilarcik, brian@crawfordconservation.com

The partnership will use a social marketing approach to develop stormwater public service announcements to combat common misperceptions about stormwater management. The project will conduct a stormwater workshop and bus tour for municipal officials and engineers in Crawford County featuring recognized expert speakers. In addition to encouraging adoption of innovative stormwater practices among Crawford County municipal officials, the project will also conduct training for public works staff to encourage stormwater awareness and leadership through improved municipal practices.

Partners:  Crawford County Planning Commission, PA Environmental Council, Meadville Area Water Authority.

Lawrence County                                                                                       

Lawrence County Conservation District, Grant Amount: $3,760

Contact:  Megan  Gahring, mgahring@lawrencecd.org

The partners will sponsor a Pharmaceutical Collection event to collect and safely dispose of household unwanted medicines to prevent these contaminants from entering our wastewater, surface water and groundwater.  Through publicity and contact with retail pharmacies, doctor offices and personal care homes, the partnership plans to develop and distribute newsletters, flyers, newspaper articles, press releases, utility bill inserts, and fact sheets to educate about human impacts of these emerging contaminants, to highlight safe disposal methods, and to use the knowledge gained to guide future efforts for alternative disposal options.

Partners:  PA American Water, Lawrence County Recycling/Solid Waste Department, Borough of Ellwood Sewer Authority, Jameson Health System.

 Montgomery  County

 Abington Township Environmental Advisory Council (EAC), Grant Amount:  $5,000

Contact:   Cathy  Gauthier, aajay@juno.com

Led by the Abington EAC, and with assistance of a local garden center, the partners will host a series of four hands-on workshops on residential best management practices to inspire residents in Abington Township to make small changes that can make a big difference  to minimize polluted runoff from their properties. Workshop topics include:  “Green Your Lawn: Organic Lawn care,”  “Rain Barrels and You: Save Money, Protect Streams,”  “Tree Benefits:Tree Planting & Care,” “Adopt a Buffer: Stream Buffer Monitoring and Care.“  Since the township is largely ‘built out,” the workshops will offer residents an opportunity to learn how rain barrels, native plantings, stream buffers, and organic lawn care practices can all work to reduce stress of polluted runoff on headwater streams.

Partners:  Abington Township, Briar Bush Nature Center, Primex Garden Center.

Northampton County

Northampton County Conservation District, Grant Amount: $4,555

Contact: Jim  Wilson james-wilson@northamptoncd.org

The partners will educate residents and local officials about how a local wellhead protection program can help minimize polluted runoff to protect public health and assure clean drinking water for the future.  The project will conduct a source water protection workshop for county and local municipal officials and staff, install storm drain markers and stencils, design and publish educational literature on groundwater protection needs and extraction demands, sponsor an open house and tour of a local water supplier’s well fields and facilities. The goal of the project is to open dialogue and build a foundation of community collaboration among the local water supplier, environmental advisory council, local watershed organization, and the county conservation district in order to encourage source water protection.

Partners:  Portland Borough Authority, Upper Mount Bethel Township EAC, Martins-Jacoby Watershed Association.

Philadelphia County                                                                                  

Friends of the Manayunk Canal (FMC), Grant Amount: $5,000

Contact: Nicole  Lick, fmc@manayunkcanal.org

The “Art of Recycling Rain” program will educate residents in an urban watershed and businesses along a commercial corridor in Manayunk through both a rain barrel art contest and two Do-It-Yourself (DIY) rain barrel workshops.  The rain barrel art contest will showcase not only the environmental and economic benefits, but also the aesthetic benefits of harvesting rain water to the public, while the DIY workshops will empower residents and businesses with the tools they need to construct, install and maintain a rain barrel of their own. 

Partners: Philadelphia Water Department, The Schuylkill Project, Manayunk Development Corporation, Sustainable Manayunk, Upcycle Products.

Somerset County — Project cancelled by Grantee in December, 2010

Somerset Conservation District, Grant Amount: $1,000
Contact: Sue Moon, Assistant Director, somersetcd@wpia.net

The Somerset Watershed Summit brings together local, state and federal agencies, elected officials, conservation groups, the business community and residents interested in learning more about the watersheds of Somerset County and provides a forum for discussion of solutions.  One watershed each year is selected to host the Summit and this year, Laurel Hill Creek was selected in order to link elected officials working to develop a new land use plan with the updated Somerset County Comprehensive Plan.

Partners:  DCNR Laurel Hill State Park Complex, US Geological Survey, Somerset Borough.


For more information, contact Julie Kollar, WREN Program Director, (267) 468-0555 or juliekwren@verizon.net

Learn more about how to be funded or view our listings by county to see projects from previous years as well.



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