Blue Mountain High School Field Trip – Silver Creek

IMG_0708On November 13, 2014, students and teachers from Blue Mountain High School braved the chilly weather to spend a day with Schuylkill Headwaters Association and volunteers at our Silver Creek abandoned mine drainage (AMD)treatment system. The day started with a walking tour of the system where the students learned a little history of coal mining in the area, how AMD is formed, and how the Silver Creek system is working to clean the water. The students then broke into two groups for the rest of the day. The first group stayed at Silver Creek, where two RSVP volunteers taught the students about several water quality parameters that they were going to test, such as pH, iron content, dissolved oxygen, acidity, and alkalinity. The students spent an hour and a half testing the water quality of the different ponds that make up the system. The second group of students were taken to the main branch of the Schuylkill River in the borough of New Philadelphia to collect and identify macroinvertebrates, as well as learn how to take a flow measurement on the stream. The day concluded with a discussion of why the events of the day were important, and what the results of the water quality testing and macroinvertebrate sampling were.

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More photos from the day can be found at:

(Note: Link is set up to a Facebook photo album, but you do not need to have a Facebook account to view the photos)






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Upcoming Event..

On Wednesday, October 29, 2014, Schuylkill Headwaters Association and the Schuylkill County Historical Society will be hosting “Remembering and Recognizing the Schuylkill River” at the Majestic Theater in Pottsville, PA at 6:00 p.m. Special guest Adam Levine, a Historical Consultant with the Philadelphia Water Department, will be speaking. It is an event you don’t want to miss!RRSR Fall 2014

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FulFull-Term AmeriCorps OSM/VISTA Position: Now Seeking Applications!

Full-Term AmeriCorps OSM/VISTA Position: Now Seeking Applications!

Applications Due: April 1, 2014

Start Date: May 20, 2014

The Schuylkill Headwaters Association (SHA) is seeking a highly motivated, dynamic individual to assist in moving its environmental and watershed-based education platform forward by expanding the organization’s reach in Schuylkill County, PA and engaging local communities in the development and vision of the Silver Creek Environmental Education Trail and Recreation Park (SCEETR). These activities will both build the capacity of local community groups to take ownership of conservation projects to transform the Silver Creek Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) filtration system into a viable environmental field classroom and assist in recruiting volunteers for more dedicated contributions to SHA’s mission through service work and leadership. The OSM/VISTA will also nurture existing partnerships with local school districts, seeking their support and perspective on the direction and continued development of the SCEETR.


– Facilitate outreach activities to increase student awareness of the impacts of AMD and the legacy of anthracite coal extraction in Schuylkill County, PA

– In collaboration with local school teachers and educators, design, develop, and execute environmental and watershed-based curriculum at SCEETR

-Assist in research and preparation of grants to support community-based infrastructure

-Commit a minimum of 10% of time to personal professional development

Qualifications and Recommended Skills:

-Bachelor’s or 4-year college degree

-Strong writing skills, experience with grant proposals as well as media stories is a benefit

-Strong speaking and communication skills

-Effective at personnel or volunteer management

-Ability to balance multiple complicated projects and partners

-Comfortable working in an outdoor environment

-Fundraising and event planning experience is recommended

-Experience working with students and youth is recommended

-Knowledge of computer skills and the use of social media

-Valid driver’s license and access to reliable car

Commitment & Benefits:

-Date of Service: May 20, 2014 – May 22, 2015 (one year).

-Full-Time with some special weekend/evening events.

-VISTAs cannot work another job or earn other income during their year of service.

-Receive approximately $928/month before taxes.

-Receive a $5,645 Education Award ( upon completion of service.

For more information and to apply please contact Schuylkill Headwaters Association Outreach & Education Coordinator, Sierra Gladfelter at or 570-573-2093.



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Upcoming Events & Programs

2013 Schuylkill County Ag Day  Thurs, Feb 7 8:15- 3:15 pm at the First United Church of Christ (Beside Penn State Schuylkill Campus): This year we have topics for animal producers, horse owners, field crop and vegetable growers and woodlot owners.  The keynote speaker is John Berry, with Penn State Extension. Cost is $15/person due by Jan. 31, contact Schuylkill Conservation District at 570-622-3742 x5 to register.

Fly Tying Classes at Sweet Arrow Lake Feb 12, 19, and 28 from 6-9 pm.  Join veteran fishermen and fly tier Bruce Schneck and other members of Trout Unlimited for an instructive evening aimed at a great outdoor sport.  Whether you are experienced or just a beginner you will be sure to pick up some tips and swap some fish stories.  Admission is free, but please call (717) 647-4362 to register so we can have adequate supplies on hand.

38th Annual Seedling Sale Through Apr 4 These quality seedlings increase property value, enhance wildlife habitat, beautify the landscape, improve the environment, and can provide a source of income. Proceeds directly support the programs and projects of Sweet Arrow Lake County Park. The Sweet Arrow Lake Conservation Association (SALCA) and the Schuylkill Conservation District work together on this sale:

Seedling Sale order form

“Angling for Miracles”  Family Fun Fishing Day hosted by Children’s Miracle Network at Geisenger
on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at Sweet Arrow Lake, Pine Gove.  The event will be from 10:00 AM – 4:00PM, and will include fishing lessons from the PA State Fish Commission, nature walks, a scavenger hunt, face painting, fish-themed games and other activities; food will also be available for purchase. Volunteers are needed:

fishing event volunteer letter



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Planners hope to restore Big Creek in Brockton

On Thursday, Jan 10, members of Schuylkill Headwaters Association, RETTEW Associates, and citizens of Brockton held a public meeting at the Mary D Fire Company to discuss the Big Creek Watershed Coldwater Conservation Plan.

Read the article here:

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This MLK Day, Volunteer!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born 84 years ago today, marking the beginning of an extraordinary life dedicated to giving back. In honor of his legacy, President Obama will join Americans across the country in taking part in the National Day of Service on Saturday, January 19th.

Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities.The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative.  It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

To find volunteer opportunities in your area, visit   and enter your zip code.

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Vote for your favorite rain barrel in Philly’s Art Contest

The Philadelphia Water Department is hosting a competition to dress up blue rain barrels to grace lawns and stoops around the city. The barrels hold 50-55 barrels of water from rooftops and downspouts.  To see student art designs and vote for your favorite barrel visit:


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$chuylkill Money in Your Pocket

FREE Income Tax Preparation is available to Schuylkill County residents that are eligible to claim the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC):

Volunteer Income tax preparation sites open January 22, 2013 until April 2013 and are located at the Terry Reiley Center and McCann School of Business in Pottsville, Frackville Free Public Library, and Lehigh Carbon Community College.  This service is being offered by Schuylkill Community Action. If you have any questions, or would like to make an appointment, please call Schuylkill Community Action at 570-622-1995.

For more information about the program visit-


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Big Creek Public Meeting

A public meeting for creation of a Coldwater Heritage Plan for Big Creek will be held on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Mary-D Fire Company.  This meeting is meant to gather data, identify threats, raise community awareness, and come up with an action plan to conserve the stream.

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Public Meeting on Big Creek Conservation Plan

Big Creek Meeting

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