Penns Valley Conservation Association

On Centre: Penns Valley | DCED grant used for Upper Penns Creek watershed restoration and protection project

March 2, 2014 

The Penns Valley Conservation Association was awarded a $250,000 grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development earlier this year.

Executive Director Andrea Ferich said the money will go toward the Upper Penns Creek watershed restoration and protection project while implementing agricultural best management practices that will focus on profitability and water quality on four local farms and create a team of stream-monitoring specialists.

The project targets a 1.4-mile stretch of Muddy Creek, a tributary in Upper Georges Valley, that would restore part of the waterway, Ferich said.

She said that area was selected after researchers found the water temperature increased by 7 degrees from one area downstream to the next.

The restoration will reduce runoff that negatively affects the tributary, mitigate sediment pollution and high stream temperatures, and increase fish populations.

The project is being done in collaboration with the Centre County Conservation District.

Ferich said the association also is hoping to build a stronger partnership with the community. On the second Saturday of each month, the PVCA holds a program centered on developing “citizen scientists,” Ferich said.

The next event — which takes place Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Mountainside Home-stead, 345 Pine Creek Road, Woodward — is called “Late Winter on a Modern Home-stead.”

The community day will include learning basic home-steading skills, such as meat smoking, maple sugaring, manure composting, soap making and more.

Ferich, originally from Lancaster County, has been the executive director for 15 months and said the PVCA’s legacy is doing a lot with a little.

Run out of the Old Gregg School, the organization aims to implement community-based projects within the watershed, where improvement is needed, and is focused on maintaining water quality and the area’s rural heritage, and stable environmental planning.

Britney Milazzo writes about news from the Penns and Brush Valley regions. She can be reached at 231-4648 or Follow her on Twitter @ M11azzo.

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