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2011-12 Water Resources Education Network Projects

Download a map showing all 2011-12 projects


The Water Resources Education Network (WREN) Project, a program of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund has awarded $71,723 in funding to 15 community partnerships across the state. Projects will carry out community water resource  education projects between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.

The WREN Program focuses on two initiatives: Watershed Education to prevent Nonpoint Source (NPS) pollution, and Source Water Protection (SWP) Promotion to help protect public drinking water sources. Learn more about how to be funded or view our listings by county to see projects from previous years as well.

Eleven (11) non-point source (NPS) projects totaling $47,723 were awarded for activities focusing on improving watersheds by reducing nonpoint source water pollution.  Funding for NPS education projects is made available by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Nonpoint Source Management Program through Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The successful grantees of the 2011-2012 WREN NPS Grant Program are:

Blair (SC): Bellwood-Antis School District 

Grant Amount:  $5,000

Project Title:  Beyond the Schoolhouse Initiative

Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  Don Wagner, 814-742-2273      Email: dww@blkd.k12.pa.us

Partners: Natural Biodiversity, Blair Conservation District, Antis Township, Altoona Water Authority, PTO, Mr. William Harshman

Focus: Bellwood-Antis students will become Environmental Ambassadors of the district’s Outdoor Classroom  that will feature stormwater best management practice demonstration areas including streamside buffers, rain gardens, rain barrels, pollinator gardens, and cover crops for gardens.   The partners will host an Open House of the Outdoor Classroom to educate residents about how they can help protect neighborhood streams and ponds from polluted runoff, and help reduce flooding, create wildlife habitat, recharge groundwater, and conserve water resources. The partners and students will develop interpretive signage with QR code to offer a multimedia experience and self- guided tours linked to student- created videos, podcasts, and web pages, with access by iPod Touches and smart phones. A Riparian Buffer Restoration Day at a township park will be conducted featuring sessions by township supervisors, the water authority, and students highlighting how changes in land use can protect local water quality.  

Butler (SW): Butler County Planning Commission

Grant Amount:  $1,850

Project Title:  Butler County Stormwater Training and Rain Garden Demonstration Project

Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  David P. Johnston, Planning Director, 724-284-5301     Email: djohnsto@co.butler.pa.us

Partners: County of Butler, Butler County Planning Commission, Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania

Focus: The project will provide County municipal officials with a clear understanding of the municipal stormwater regulations, and benefits of best management practices to assist them with adoption, implementation, day-to-day administration and enforcement.The project will conduct a stormwater workshop for municipal officials and engineers in Butler County featuring expert speakers.  Municipal officials will also receive an informative tour of a local rain garden demonstration project, recently installed by project partner Audubon Society of Western PA, to showcase an example of stormwater best management practices.

Cambria (SW): Cambria County Conservation District

Grant Amount:  $4,250

Project Title: Potential Watershed Impacts from Marcellus Shale Development        

Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  Jacqueline Ritko 814-472-2120   Email: ritko@co.cambria.pa.us

Partners: Adams Township, Highland Sewer and Water Authority, Little Conemaugh Watershed Association

Focus: This project will expand the district’s Marcellus Shale Education Series program with programs for municipal officials involved in Marcellus shale development issues, engaging over 15 primary water suppliers in source water monitoring programs.  Project will sponsor a 2012 Family Education Day Event using tools including the Drinking Water Enviroscape Model and the Mobile Energy Education Training Unit (MEET-U) to educate the community about the balance between energy benefits and nonpoint source pollution risks from deep and surface mining, wind turbine farms, and natural gas development.

Chester and Delaware (SE): Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association           

Grant Amount: $5,000

Project Title: Stormwater Basin Naturalization Outreach and Demonstration             

Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  Anne Murphy 610-892-8731   Email: crc@nni.com

Partners:  Concord Township-Delaware, Newtown Township-Delaware, Thornbury Township-Delaware, Yerkes Associates, Aqua Pennsylvania, Taylor Geoservices, Inc., Cobblestones at Thornbury, Fox Hill Farm

Focus: Partners will work with four communities to modify stormwater basins using native plantings to improve water infiltration and reduce sediment pollution.  The project includes two guided site tours, retrofitting two traditionally designed stormwater basins, review of basin maintenance agreements, creation of a “How to Retrofit Your Basin” step by step written guide, and hosting a retrofitting workshop.

Crawford (NW):  Crawford County Conservation District                                          

Grant Amount:  $5,000

Project Title: Crawford County Rain Barrel Rebate Program                                    

Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  Brian S. Pilarcik, 814-763-5269   Email: brian@crawfordconservation.com

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

Focus: This stormwater education project creates a Rain Barrel rebate program of $30 for up to 100 eligible participants who attend one of the four district hosted Rain Barrel workshops.  The project will re-use existing education tools including PowerPoint and print materials.

 

Dauphin (SC): Dauphin County Conservation District                                              

Grant Amount: $2,970

Project Title: Spring Creek Riparian Buffer Project                                                

Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  Gil Hirschel 717-921-8100 Email: ghirschel@dauphinc.org

Partners: Derry Township, Derry Township School District, PA American Water, Swatara Watershed Association

Focus:This project will improve water quality by reducing stream bank erosion and improving stormwater management.  Project components include establishing a 4,436 ft. buffer, training school and park maintenance departments on upkeep for the buffer, and installing educational signage detailing the environmental benefits of riparian buffers.  An added bonus is that the site will serve as an outdoor classroom for the Hershey High School’s environmental club. 

Lawrence (SW):  Lawrence County                          

Grant Amount:  $4,200  

Project Title: Stormwater BMP Education and Outreach in Lawrence County

 NOTE: Lawrence County Project cancelled at Grantee's Request January, 2012

Funding Source: NPS

Partners:  Lawrence County Planning Commission, Elwood City Borough, Westminster College, Western PA Conservancy, PA American Water

Focus:The partners will conduct two stormwater management workshops and conduct walking tours for municipal officials and engineers that highlight examples of stormwater best management practices.  Pre and post tests will help measure attendees’ level of understanding on the day of the events.  The partners will conduct follow-up surveys to determine to what extent municipalities have adopted innovative BMP stormwater practices by incorporating them into their management strategies.  

 

Philadelphia (SE): Queen Village Neighbors Association                                       

Grant Amount:  $4,828  

Project Title:  Dog Waste Remediation and Water Resource Awareness                

Funding Source: NPS

Contact: Edward Bell, 215-320-2980  Email: visard@erols.com

Partners:  Philadelphia Water Department, GreenTreks Network, Inc. Friends of Mario Lanza Park

Focus:The partners will implement EPA’s guidance for Pet Waste Collection (National Memo of Best Management Practices for Stormwater) and enhance the City of Philadelphia’s Green City-Clean Water vision by designing, fabricating, and installing disposal stations with biodegradable bags at dog run areas in numerous pocket parks.  Building upon lessons learned from similar community projects, the partners will conduct a spokesdog contest, incorporate use of interactive websites, pamphlets, signs and a neighborhood newspaper that is available on-line to encourage behavior change among dog owners by making proper disposal convenient and part of the new norm for the park.


Schuylkill (NE): Schuylkill Headwaters Association (SHA)                                      

Grant Amount: $5,000

Project Title: “Art of Rain” Rain Barrel Workshop/Art Contest                                 

Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  Megan Blackmon, 570-622-3742 ext. 119 Email: mblackmon@schuylkillheadwaters.org

Partners: Schuylkill County Municipal Authority, Schuylkill County Conservation District, City of Pottsville, Penn State Master Gardeners, Interfaith Health Network, Block of Art, PADCO, Pottsville Business Association

Focus: The “Art of Rain” project will help educate Schuylkill County residents and businesses about stormwater runoff impacts through a rain barrel art contest and a how-to rain barrel workshop.  Partners will recruit 12-15 local artists to paint rain barrels that will be showcased during the annual community “Block of Art” festival downtown, and later installed at public sites.

Somerset (SW):  Shade Creek Watershed Association                                       

Grant Amount:  $1,475

Project Title: Reitz #1 Interpretive Trail of Mine Discharge Water and Wetlands  

Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  Larry Hutchinson, 814-444-2996 Email:  shadecreekwa@yahoo.com

Partners:  Natural Biodiversity, The Community Action Partnership for Somerset County, Central City Borough

Focus: The partners will build an interpretive trail equipped with five kiosks housing informative signs and pamphlets designed to educate visitors about stream ecosystems, wetlands, and acid mine remediation activities. 

 

Multiple locations (SE): Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Schuylkill, Philadelphia: Partnership for the Delaware Estuary    

Grant Amount:  $5,000   

Project Title: Commercial Guide for Stormwater Management                                                           Funding Source: NPS

Contact:  Tom Davidock, Schuylkill Action Network Coordinator, 302-655-4990 ext.109

Email: tdavidock@delawareestuary.org

Partners:  Philadelphia Water Department, Schuylkill Action Network

Focus: This project will adapt the Philadelphia Water Department’s existing Green Guide for Property Management for use throughout the Delaware Valley Watershed.  The revised tool, Commercial Guide for Stormwater Management, will be reprinted and distributed to watershed practitioners and commercial property owners during trainings and other special events.  The guide and illustrations will be converted to a downloadable electronic format making its use widely available, beyond the immediate target audience.    

Multiple locations (SE) Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia: Green Treks Network, Inc.  

Grant Amount:  $5,000

Project Title: Students Create Stormwater BMP’s: Education in Action                   

Contact:  Brie Knight 215-545-5880. Email: bknight@greentreks.org                                           

Funding Source: NPS

Partners:  Overbrook Environmental Education Center, School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Water Department

Focus: This project will create a video about students learning, implementing, maintaining, and transferring their knowledge to local residents about a variety of stormwater best management practices in an “ultra-urban” environmental outreach center in a combined sewer overflow neighborhood in West Philadelphia.  The video will available on DVD, GreenTreks’ EcoExpress.org online resource center for educators, and various community watershed-based websites.

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Four (4) SWP projects totaling $24,000 were awarded for activities focusing on Source Water Protection. Funding for SWP education projects is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Source Water Protection Program through Section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996, administered by US Environmental Protection Agency.

Allegheny (SW): River Alert Information Network (RAIN) 

Project Title: From the River to the Tap: What you can do to Keep it Clean                                       

Grant Amount: $5,000       

Funding Source: SWP

Contact: Adrienne Buka, Network Coordinator 412-322-3821 Email: ab@riversidecenterforinnovation.com

Partners: Allegheny Land Trust, California University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Science Center

Focus: Project partners will form a Source Water Environmental Education Team (SWEET) to conduct community source water protection public education workshops for municipal officials, residents and children.  The focus of the project is to provide the audience with opportunities to understand the “big picture” regarding threats to public drinking water sources, including natural gas development activities and abandoned mine drainage, and offer solutions that can be applied to the forty-three public water systems that comprise the RAIN network. Partners will create public drinking water educational materials including maps, brochures and an exhibit.    

Potter (NC): Potter County Conservation District                                             

Grant Amount: $8,000

Project Title: Potter County Public Water Supply Protection & Awareness

Funding Source: SWP

Contact: Colleen Frank, Asst. DM, 814-274-8411 Email: c.frank@pottercd.com

Partners: Potter County Commissioners, Penn State Cooperative Extension, nine (9) public water systems: Austin Borough Water, Coudersport Borough Authority, Galeton Borough Water,  Genesee Twp,  Roulette Twp, Shinglehouse Borough, Ulysses MA, Northern Tier Children’s Home, Charles Cole Memorial Hospital;  five (5) school districts: Austin, Coudersport, Galeton, Northern Potter, Oswayo Valley; Emergency Management 911 GIS System, Potter County Planning Director and Commissioner, a former DEP Sanitarian, and Coudersport Well Drilling, Inc.

Focus:Potter County is forming a county-wide coalition with participation of all nine Public Water Suppliers that will educate citizens and school children about ways to protect drinking water source areas from pollution and address the increasing level of gas well drilling in the county.  The coalition will create a Source Water Environmental Education Team (SWEET) that will design and distribute educational materials, conduct training using visual models, and perform pre-drill water test documentation.   The activities of the grant will have a regional impact supporting suppliers located in Cameron, Elk, and McKean counties. 

Columbia, Luzerne (NC): Susquehanna Greenway Partnership/ SEDA COG Community Resource Center                          

Grant Amount:  $5,000                                                       

Funding Source: SWP

Project Title: Source Water Protection Education for Susquehanna Greenway River Towns

Contact: Trish Carothers  570-522-7259  Email: tcarothers@susquehannagreenway.org

Partners: Berwick Borough, SEDA-COG Community Resource Center, PA American Water, Salem Township

Focus: Project partners will form a Source Water Environmental Education Team (SWEET) to conduct community source water protection public education workshops, develop a Source Water Protection Fact Sheet and promote redevelopment activities to reduce pollution risks where junkyards and railroad transportation corridors are located in close proximity to the public water supply source.  These risks have been identified in Berwick’s Source Water Assessment Summary. 

Tioga: Tioga County Conservation District                                                      

Grant Amount:  $6,000

Project Title: Tioga County Source Water Protection Education Project               

Funding Source: SWP

Contact: Erica Tomlinson, Watershed Specialist    Email: etomlinson@tiogacountypa.us

Partners: Osceola Township Water Authority, Knoxville Water Department, Tioga Borough Municipal Authority, Westfield Borough, Wellsboro Borough, Duncan Township Municipal Authority

Focus: Project partners will form a county-wide Source Water Environmental Education Team (SWEET) to conduct  source water protection public education workshops.  The goal is to encourage action to mitigate risks to water supplies from potential contaminants and assist the Tioga County Source Water Protection Coalition to expand the number of municipalities participating from the current group of six members to include all 24 public water systems in the county.   A variety of community outreach events are planned that will feature visual models such as the groundwater model and source water area maps.  To assist the coalition’s activities, project funds will be used to develop a Source Water Protection brochure that will be distributed during field days, workshops and other educational events. 

For more information, contact Julie Kollar, WREN Project 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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