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Our World-Class Streams: A Workshop for Citizens of the Laurel Highlands

Date: 9/24/2014

Our World-Class Streams:
A Workshop for Citizens of the Laurel
Highlands

 

The world-class quality of streams in the Laurel Highlands
is largely unrecognized, even by many outdoor enthusiasts, but the public can learn
about these treasures in a series of workshops sponsored by the Laurel Highlands
Conservation Coalition.

 

The workshops will explain why local streams with highly
diverse aquatic life are valuable not only on a local scale but also on a
global.

 

“You are invited to learn about the world-class quality of
flowing waters in our backyards, how to protect our streams and ways you and
local groups can find funds for local projects,” said Dr. Cynthia Walter, a
presenter and a biology professor at Saint
Vincent
College

in Latrobe.  “Individuals interested in water resources and wildlife and
active members of conservation-minded groups can network at these evening
programs.”



Some local streams are so richly diverse that they possibly
could qualify to be recognized as World Heritage Sites or as National Natural
Landmarks, although the process for obtaining either designation would be very
involved.  On the other hand, nearly
one-quarter, almost 20,000 miles, of the state’s creeks, rivers, and lakes that
we rely on for recreation, for drinking, and for household uses are polluted,
according to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s most recent
statewide water quality survey,

 

Ways to protect these streams will be offered along with a
presentation on “Finding the Green,
a single-source guide to state funding opportunities compiled by the Pennsylvania Growing
Greener Coalition.

 

The Workshops will be held as follows:

 


  • Oct.
    15, Saint Francis University
    in Loretto, DiSepio Institute for Rural Health & Wellness, seminar
    room 201.  The event will begin at 6
    p.m. with an hour of networking with free pizza, coffee and soft
    drinks.  The workshop will be held
    from 7 to 9 p.m.

 


  • Oct.
    22, Saint Vincent
    College
    in Latrobe, Luparello
    Auditorium, Dupre Science Pavilion. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with an
    hour of networking with free pizza, coffee and soft drinks.  The workshop will be held from 7 to 9
    p.m.

 


  • Oct.
    29, LaMonica’s Restaurant, Jennerstown. The event will begin earlier - at
    5 p.m. - with a two-hour social gathering of Green Drinks Laurel
    Highlands.  Heavy snacks will be
    provided and a cash bar will be available. 
    The workshop will be held from 7 to 9.  Green Drinks is a national movement
    providing networking opportunities for conservation-minded people.  Several Green Drinks events have been
    held around Johnstown and the effort has expanded recently to do events in
    Ligonier, Ebensburg and now Jennerstown.

 

Each workshop will include question-and-answer opportunities
and the following speakers:

 


  • Dr. Walter,
    a biology professor at St. Vincent College, will explain why area streams
    should be considered as a World Heritage Site.

 


  • Dr.
    Gail Drus, a biology professor at St. Francis College, will explain how
    plant diversity impacts streams.

 


  • A local
    watershed group leader will connect these ideas to local streams.

 


  • Andrew
    Heath, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition,
    will speak about funding opportunities for grass-roots organizations
    interested conserving local resources.

 

The events are geared for the average citizen along with
members of sportsmen’s, conservation and similar organizations who wish to
network.  Please RSVP or refer question
to bclemenson@pecpa.org.

 

The Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition was formed about
three years ago by conservation groups in a four-county region with the goals
of helping them network and learn.  The
coalition previously held day-long conferences in central locations but is
changing the format to make the workshops convenient to more people.  The public is invited to all three programs.


For more information, you may contact one of the following planning members:


Brad Clemenson,
Conservation Coalition, 814.659.3465

Kristina
Strosnider, Natural Biodiversity, 814.650.7556

Andrew Heath, PA Growing Greener
Coalition, 717-745-9304

Dr.
Cynthia Walter, 724.805.2329


 


 

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