Exciting Updates as SHA Moves Forward Into 2017


Greetings residents of Schuylkill County and anyone interested in the progress of Schuylkill Headwaters Association (SHA) as we continue to implement projects in our local watershed, the Schuylkill River. Moving toward the last month of 2016, there are a few updates that we are excited to share with you about what has been happening within the organization.


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In July, SHA got a new Office of Surface Mining Volunteer in Service to America (OSM VISTA). As a local resident of Schuylkill County, Nathaniel A. Hafer (pictured) is serving the county with SHA. We are excited to have Nate on board.  He will be building our organization’s capacity and implementing projects in the watershed.




Project Schuylkill Outdoor Leadership Odyssey

As an extension of the OSM VISTA program and a partnership with the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, SHA designed and facilitated a highly interactive and scientifically integrative 10-week learning experience for the eighth grade class of Gillingham Charter School. Project Schuylkill Outdoor Leadership Odyssey (SOLO) consisted of 10 field and classroom experiences designed to give the students both knowledge and a real world career-centered perspective of the outdoor, environmental, and scientific fields. Fifteen students of teacher Taia Bachman’s eighth grade class successfully completed the odyssey. We are happy to boast that the students not only enjoyed the experience but they also demonstrated a real interest in what it takes to work in an outdoor/environmental career.  The Project SOLO students learned some possibilities for their own futures.



Nativity Field Day

On October 4, SHA took Nativity High School’s senior environmental science class, led by teacher Danielle Fox, to the Silver Creek Environmental Education Trail & Recreation Park to learn about water quality testing and local abandoned mine drainage (AMD) issues. The class tested multiple parameters at the beginning and end of the discharge site and were given worksheets with questions designed to help the students understand the relationship of those parameters to aquatic life. Students then ventured downstream to see the work SHA did in partnership with Schuylkill County Chapter Trout Unlimited on the new fish habitat construction in the Schuylkill River near New Philadelphia. This field day allowed students to take a needed break for fresh air from the classroom but most importantly helped them to understand the whole AMD remediation process.



Our very own president, Bill Reichert, recently received a Partnership Award at the 26th annual Evening for Northeast Pennsylvania’s Environment Banquet at the Woodlands Inn and Resort, Wilkes-Barre. Bill received the award for leading water quality improvement efforts in the Schuylkill River watershed.  Schuylkill County Commissioners George F. Halcovage, Jr., Frank J. Staudenmeier and Gary Hess also presented Bill with a proclamation at the Schuylkill County Courthouse for receiving the Partnership Award. See Link Below:

See Republican Herald News Article (Here)



SHA and its VISTA program have also had some recent publicity (including the award article link above).

SHA helped install street art decals for a student’s contest-winning design through the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. See Links Below:

Street Art – Republican Herald Article (Here)

Street Art – WNEP Article & Video (Here)

Street Art – PA Homepage Article & Video (Here)

The Republican Herald did a story highlighting the VISTA program for SHA and Schuylkill County. The story features previous VISTAs, SHA’s current outreach coordinator, Alexa Kramer, who served as last year’s VISTA and SHA’s current VISTA, Nate Hafer. See Link Below:

VISTA – Republican Herald Article (Here)



Cub Scouts Port Carbon Pack 604

On October 1st Port Carbon 604 Cub Scout Pack came to the Silver Creek Environmental Education Trail & Recreation Park. The scouts planted native plants in the rain garden and cleaned out the blue bird boxes for the season. The Cub Scouts enjoyed a day out with a hands-on experience of community service. SHA would like to thank Port Carbon’s Pack 604 for 4 years of continued help on this and various other projects.


Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2016/exciting-updates-as-sha-moves-forward-into-2017/

Our Former VISTA Sierra Gladfelter listed as a Research Associate at the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET) – International

Sierra Gladfelter is currently completing her Master’s degree in Geography and a Certificate in Development Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests include the politics of knowledge in climate adaptation and development interventions. Specifically, she is interested in studying the extent to which local knowledge and priorities are actively integrated into or excluded from the design and implementation of such programs. While her thesis examines interventions to assist communities in coping with chronic flooding along the Karnali-Ghaghara River in Nepal and northern India, Sierra has also studied flooding and the uneven process of recovery along rivers in Zambia and the United States with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and ISET-International. However, it was Sierra’s experience working for the Schuylkill Headwaters Association, a small watershed NGO serving communities impacted by abandoned mine drainage in Pennsylvania’s Appalachian mountains, that inspired her to pursue a career engaged in research and tangible work guided by local visions and communities’ active participation.
Contact Sierra: Sierra.Gladfelter@colorado.edu

Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2016/our-former-vista-sierra-gladfelter-listed-as-a-research-associate-at-the-institute-for-social-and-environmental-transition-iset-international/

Schuylkill Acts & Impacts Application DEADLINE EXTENDED

Good news! The application period for the 2016 Schuylkill Acts & Impacts expedition has been extended. The new due date for application submission is FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2016.

To download the 2016 application, click the link below:
Schuylkill Acts & Impacts Application 2016

All directions for how to submit the application can be found within the packet.


Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2016/schuylkill-acts-impacts-application-deadline-extended-2/

Schuylkill Acts & Impacts 2016 – APPLY NOW!

This year’s 3rd annual Schuylkill Acts & Impacts watershed expedition will be held from June 18-25, 2016. Click on the link below to download the official 2016 application.

Schuylkill Acts & Impacts Application 2016

Application deadline is THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2016.

As a reminder, Schuylkill Acts & Impacts is a weeklong watershed expedition that is offered to a team of 12 high school students from each of the 5 counties in the Schuylkill River watershed. Students will spend the week learning about different water quality impacts in the watershed, do hands-on testing, learn from and interact with environmental professionals throughout the watershed, and will camp, kayak, and have tons of fun!!

Schuylkill Headwaters Association and Fairmount Water Works have once again partnered to make this year’s program a success! To learn more about Fairmount Water Works, please visit www.fairmountwaterworks.org

To see pictures from previous expeditions, please visit SHA’s Facebook page.



Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2016/schuylkill-acts-impacts-2016-apply-now/

Call for Applicants – VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) Position Opening around April 2016

Schuylkill Headwaters Association
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Pottsville, PA

Job Description The OSMRE/VISTA will work to build the capacity of Schuylkill Headwaters Association (SHA), enabling their long-term stability and success. The OSMRE/VISTA will assist in the preparation and submission of grant proposals to secure future funding to support projects at the Silver Creek Environmental Education Trails and Recreation Park (SCEETR) and expand applied environmental curriculum offered to local students. The OSMRE/VISTA will assist SHA with environmental stewardship by increasing student awareness of local environmental impacts caused by Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) and the legacy of anthracite coal extraction in Schuylkill County, PA. The OSMRE/VISTA will lead both teacher and student tours of the passive AMD treatment system at Silver Creek and other water quality and conservation sites constructed and maintained by SHA to address the legacy of anthracite coal extraction. The OSMRE/VISTA will design, develop, and execute environmental and watershed-based curriculum in collaboration with local school teachers and educators at the SCEETR to develop more local conservation stewards. The OSMRE/VISTA will offer in-class presentations about SHA’s mission, conservation work, and opportunities for students to become more involved in local conservation through volunteer activities or service projects. The OSMRE/VISTA will also assist with planning annual activities such as the Bear Creek Festival, tree plantings, trash cleanups, and Schuylkill Acts & Impacts.

Qualifications Candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree, good communication skills, and the ability to work in a changing environment. Qualities like initiative, flexibility, and organizational skills are preferred. Candidates must be able to work independently. Candidates must be available to serve full-time for at least one year.

Other Information VISTA members receive a modest, monthly living allowance to help cover the basic necessities. VISTA members who successfully complete a term of service are also eligible to receive either a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,550 to pay for college or to pay off student loans, or an end-of-service cash stipend of $1,500. Additional benefits include training, limited health care benefits, relocation expenses, student-loan forbearance or deferment and non-competitive eligibility for a federal government position. You may also be eligible for childcare assistance should you need it.

How to Apply For more information or directions on how to apply, please contact Alexa Kramer at outreach@schuylkillheadwaters.org or 570-640-8896. Also, you may visit these two websites for more information about AmeriCorps VISTA and the Appalachian Coal Country Team: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-vista

Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2016/call-for-applicants-vista-volunteer-in-service-to-america-position-opening-around-april-2016/

Schuylkill Acts & Impacts 2016 – Save the Date!

This year’s Schuylkill Acts & Impacts expedition will be held from June 18-25, 2016. As we put together the 2016 schedule, we will be contacting speakers and presenters to be involved in the 3rd year of the expedition!

Planning is in full swing, and applications will be available to students within the next few weeks. As a reminder, Schuylkill Acts & Impacts is for students in the Schuylkill River watershed in grades 9-12, with graduating seniors being considered. If you are an educator, parent, etc. of a student who you think would be interested in the trip, please share this opportunity!

Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2016/schuylkill-acts-impacts-2016-save-the-date/

Fall Clean-up, Cook-out, and Owl Prowl

Help Blue Mountain Wildlife and the Schuylkill Headwaters Association end the summer season with a Clean-Up along the shore of the Kernsville Dam and Peace Rock Beach. Canoes, kayaks and other approved watercraft welcome. Those on foot will be cleaning up the area around the Rock and the Peace Rock Beach on the Schuylkill County side of the river. Those who bring watercraft will help clean up the eastern shore of the Schuylkill. Meet us at the Upper Parking Lot in the Kernsville Dam Recreation Area (about a quarter mile past the Kernsville Dam itself on Kernsville Dam Road). Vehicles may be needed to ferry volunteers over to the Peace Rock Beach and back. SHA and BMW will provide bags, vests, gloves and other clean-up tools.

After the clean-up, join us for a good old-fashioned Cook-Out with hot dogs and s’mores along the shore of the Schuylkill River.

After the Cook-Out, Shea Marino will lead us on an Owl Prowl from the Upper Parking Lot toward The Rock and back. Learn about the nightly life of the noctural creatures at the Kerny, listen to the calls of the various owl species and maybe hear our resident owls return our calls. Dress in layers and bring flashlights.

If you have any questions about the clean-up, contact Alexa Kramer at outreach@schuylkillheadwaters.org or at 570-622-3742 Ext. 119.

Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2015/fall-clean-up-cook-out-and-owl-prowl/

Annual Bear Creek Festival

Come join us for the annual Bear Creek Festival on Sunday, May 17, 2015 from 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Schuylkill County Fairgrounds, 2270 Fair Road, Summit Station, PA.

Come learn about all things environmental, outdoors, natural, and agricultural in Schuylkill County. This is a family fun day filled with free activities, free admission, and free parking! Contact Schuylkill Conservation District at 570-622-3742 for more information.

Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2015/annual-bear-creek-festival/

Rain Garden Workshop – April 28, 2015

BM Rain Garden Flyer

Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2015/rain-garden-workshop-april-28-2015/

Schuylkill Acts & Impacts Application DEADLINE EXTENDED!

New Deadline: FRIDAY, APRIL 24th, 2015 by 5:00 p.m.


Schuylkill Acts & Impacts is a weeklong service-learning program that will be offered to a team of fifteen high school students from communities within the Schuylkill River Watershed. This expedition will involve a physical journey (by kayak and van) along the 120-mile Schuylkill River from its headwaters in the anthracite coal lands of Schuylkill County to its confluence with the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Team leaders from Fairmount Water Works, Take It Outdoors Adventures and the Schuylkill Headwaters Association will guide students downriver, illustrating an array of issues impacting water quality in the Schuylkill River through guided tours, programming, and applied service work designed to highlight issues in the watershed and explore hands-on solutions to these problems.

A downloadable version of the application can be found here: SAI_Application 2015_Final

The application should be filled out completely, scanned, and returned as a pdf file to Outreach and Education Coordinator Alexa Kramer at outreach@schuylkillheadwaters.org. If email submission is not possible, a hard copy can be mailed to:

Schuylkill Headwaters Association
P.O. Box 1385
Pottsville, PA 17901

Application and all related materials are due on Friday, April 24th, 2015 by 5:00 pm.

All information concerning the program and directions for filling out the application can be found within the application. If you have any questions about the program, application, etc., please do not hesitate to contact Alexa Kramer at outreach@schuylkillheadwaters.org or at 570-640-8896.

Permanent link to this article: http://schuylkillheadwaters.org/2015/schuylkill-acts-impacts-application-deadline-extended/

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