Building Capacity for Watershed Organizations

PEC is leading a statewide initiative to engage watershed groups and provide a forum to identify capacity and technical needs and share resource information.


Working through a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Growing Greener Grant, PEC is working to conduct a series of regional watershed group workshops in each of DEP’s six regions in the spring of 2016. The purpose of these meetings is to provide a forum to identify capacity and technical needs and share resource information. We also will gather recommendations for regional and statewide initiatives aimed to help organization’s watershed protection efforts.

Following the regional meetings, a statewide watershed conference will be planned for late 2016 or early 2017.

To help us plan the content of each regional meeting, we designed a very brief survey to learn about the current capacity and technical needs most important to your organization. PEC surveyed over 250 watershed groups in Pennsylvania to help identify and understand organizational capacity needs in order to link organizations to available tools and discuss ongoing technical and funding opportunities.

The goals of the program are two-fold: 

  • Increase organizational capacity of watershed groups to be sustainable and continue to address water resource issues
  • Increase technical capacity of local citizen groups to improve and protect water quality
March 23, 2016

Regional Watershed Workshops Kick Off With Event in Southwest Pennsylvania

On March 8, PEC officially held the first of six regional watershed group workshops as part of a statewide initiative aimed at building local capacity for stewardship.

Funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Growing Greener program, PEC surveyed over 250 watershed groups in Pennsylvania to help identify and understand organizational capacity needs in order to link organizations to available tools and discuss ongoing technical and funding opportunities.

Hosted at the beautiful J. Roy Houston Conservation Center in Greensburg — home of the Westmoreland Conservation District — we presented a program with information on volunteer and member recruitment and GIS and online mapping tools. We also reviewed funding opportunities from regional conservation organizations, private foundations, and state agencies.

Over 20 representatives from watershed groups including water specialists from five counties within the southwestern region of Pennsylvania were in attendance. Attendees had an opportunity to share their watershed’s special qualities as well as current challenges. We shared survey results with the group specifically for the southwest region and asked for input on a future statewide watershed conference.

Many thanks the Westmoreland County Conservation District for hosting the event and thank you to our presenters including Deb Frawley, Nature Abounds President Melinda Hughes, Jenifer Christman, Associate Vice President of Watershed Conservation Programs at the Western PA Conservancy, and PEC’s Marla Papernick.

The second of our six watershed workshops will be our Southcentral Pennsylvania workshop, scheduled for March 31 in Mechanicsburg.

Click here for more information and to register for upcoming watershed meetings in your region. 

List of Upcoming Regional Watershed Workshops
  • Southcentral Regional Workshop
    March 31
    Trails and Trees Environmental Center
    1731 York St.
    Mechanicsburg, PA  17005
    10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Northeast Regional Workshop
    April 6
    Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority
    213 South 7th Avenue
    Scranton, PA  18505
    10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Southeast Regional Workshop
    April 14
    Upper Merion Township Building
    175 West Valley Forge Road
    King of Prussia, PA  19406
    10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Northcentral Regional Workshop
    April 27
    Schlow Centre Region Library – Downsbrough Reading Room
    211 S. Allen Street,
    State College, PA 16801
    1 -5 p.m.
  • Northwest Regional Workshop
    TBD
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