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Get Involved

With global awareness of environmental issues, the impact that they have on our lives and the legacy that will be left to future generations on the rise, the desire for individuals to work together to solve these problems has increased.  Local or regional environmental education and nature centers, watershed groups, conservancies, soil conservation districts, state agencies and commissions, select state parks, and non-profit organizations are good places to start for those seeking hands-on experience and active input into local issues. 

For a state-wide listing of Environmental Education Facilities visit the PA Center for Environmental Education's (PCEE) site map.

PA Directory of Watershed Organizations compiled by POWR, (PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers), contains an extensive list of watershed groups throughout the Commonwealth. Explore this link for one in your area or visit the PA DEP's Watershed Map.

The Conservation Directory of PA is an extensive interactive database of organizations, agencies, and environmental centers concerned with the protection and conservation of PA's natural resources.

Sub-headings within this section include:

General Programs

The Citizen's Volunteer Monitoring Program - Adults and children alike can participate in this program which consists of more than 140 groups actively monitoring surface and groundwater resources throughout the state.

AMD and ART, a 3 site project located in Johnstown, PA, blends science, landscape design, community history, and citizen participation in the design and construction of AMD treatment systems.  Investigate their on-site projects and educational opportunities in this unique approach to the AMD issue.

Bureau of State Parks (DCNR) - Explore this site for a selection of school, student and community programs.

Student Programs

Watershed Education Program - The PA DEP reported that over 100 school districts participated in water quality monitoring programs in 1999. This included schools participating in the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of State Parks Watershed Education Program, the largest school monitoring network in Pennsylvania.  The program, aimed at students in grades 6-12, promotes hands-on water quality investigations, networking, partnerships, stewardship and community service to produce environmentally literate citizens.  Program teacher's manuals are available by contacting the Bureau of State Parks at (717) 783-4356.

Information was taken from PA Citizens' Volunteer Monitoring Program--Designing Your Monitoring Program.  Prepared by:  River Network and DEP Bureau of Watershed Conservation Citizens' Volunteer Monitoring Program, Jan. 2000

Envirothon - Annual contest sponsored by county conservation districts which features a competition in five environmental areas: wildlife, soil science, water quality, forestry, and an environmental issue determined each year.  Each high school may enter teams of up to 5 students to participate in the yearly contest.  The advisor of the teams at each high school is provided with study materials for each contest containing information that may be used to challenge the students.

Give Water a Hand - A national watershed education program designed by the Environmental Research   Center to involve young people in local environmental service projects.  Follow this link to download free Action and Leader guides. 

The Student Research Page of the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) was designed to assist students in their scholastic research who are interested in conservation and environmental stewardship issues and topics .

The Kid's Page of the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) contains information for with the younger student in mind.

YES! (Youth for Environmental Sanity) guest facilitates, organizes sponsors and speaks at a variety of conferences, camps, workshops, and events including Youth Jams and Action Camps sponsored by YES!  Check out this innovative approach to environmental education. 

YELS (Youth Environmental Learning Series), sponsored by the DCNR, consists of four programs that allows young people to explore their environment with others of the same age and abilities.

Nature and education centers

Powdermill Nature Reserve

Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve

Rachel Carson Homestead

DEP Environmental Education

Pittsburgh Voyager

Todd Sanctuary

LEEP - Lutherlyn Environmental Education Program

Saint Vincent Environmental Education Center is located in Latrobe, PA (Westmoreland Co.).  Contact Angela Belli at 724-805-2330 for more information or visit their web site.

Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team - Website with information on local issues, including abandoned mine drainage