CCPaSEC logoCentre County Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps

at ClearWater Conservancy

 

2015 Meeting Highlights

January 14, 2015 - Board Meeting - at Wegman's

Ken Johnson put together a presentation on Intergenerational Relations for presenting at our February meeting. It was mentioned that Millbrook Marsh Nature Center has an existing relationship with ClearWater Conservancy and works with all schools in central Pennsylvania. It was suggested perhaps we could sponsor an After School Club. We were alerted that the State Parks already have a connection to the schools; and several members expressed concern about the strain a new project will put on our current resources. We need to focus on training our own membership. It was also noted that Andrea Puzyski, Project Director for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is very interested in Intergenerational Programs, so perhaps we should consider combining efforts with her.

The River Network’s Assessment Tool for Organizations was presented. The tool is designed to assess an organization, interpret data, and identify metrics important to an organization. The assessment is free. The group decided to by-pass the survey and develop improvements in recruitment and fundraising.

It was suggested we might want to consider presenting a class with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) to see if it attracts new members.

The next meeting will be on February 11,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

February 11, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Dr. Matthew Kaplan, Professor of Intergenerational Programs and Aging at Penn State University spoke about Intergenerational Programs and Aging.

Election of officers was held for 2015:

President: Lynn Hutcheson

Vice President: Betsie Blumberg

Secretary: Ella Bashore

Treasurer: Rob Fugate

Webmaster, Data Manager: Joyce McKay

Macro invertebrate Collection Chair: Genie Robine

Membership and Training Chair: Ralph Locklin

Quality Control Chair: Ken Johnson

Supplies Chair: Dan DeLotto

Following Dr. Kaplan’s presentation, the business meeting continued with Joyce McKay reported Rob Fugate had been helping her to change the website hosting service.

Four members presented to the Centre Hall Business and Agricultural Men’s Group on January 15.

Quality Control Committee would soon be sending out the request for all teams to drop monitoring kits and equipment to Dan DeLotto’s home so the annual equipment check could be conducted. Ken Johnson will be presenting an update of our Quality Assurance Plan, to include the RPD report at the March meeting.

Rob Fugate reported that he had been working with ClearWater Conservancy to summarize the last three years of our income and expenditures. He distributed a 2015 budget forecast for 2015. He suggested we determine fundraising efforts that would potentially add $400 to $500 to our coffer. Participating with ClearWater Conservancy in the Centre Gives campaign and doing a Hoss’s Fundraiser were chosen to explore.

Saturday, April 25 would be the 2015 Spring Creek Watershed cleanup day.

The next meeting will be on March 11,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

March 11, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Jennifer Zan Williams, Program and Sample Coordinator of Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHCZO) for the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State made a presentation about her work with the Teen Shale Network. She is involved in the training of thirty-one earth science students from State College Area High School about how the environment affects water quality. CCPaSEC’s Team 1 will be accompanying Jan and the students on March 26.

Ann Donovan, Watershed Specialist for the Centre County Conservation District, demonstrated ways she has cooperated in intergenerational activities by introducing students to environmental issues using a watershed model. She also distributed a list of intergenerational activities in the area through May, specifically pointing out a few she knows will welcome volunteers.

Matt Truesdale, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Environmental Education Specialist at Bald Eagle State Park may need our members’ help with several activities scheduled at the park for young people.

Nature Abounds has provided supplies from a list sent from Dan DeLotto.

Two new members – Charlie Cowan and Jan Hoffmaster were introduced.

Rob Fugate reported the Quality Control Committee did complete the check of all the monitoring equipment and is very pleased with the results. There were seven people making comparisons with almost identical readings

The valuation of CCPaSEC’s volunteer hours in 2014 is approximately $60,000.

Saturday, April 25 is the 2015 Spring Creek Watershed cleanup day. Our members will be working Fillmore and Upper Gyp roads. Some members will be working separately from other CCPaSEC members on Cleanup Day to accomplish improvement in an area requiring heavy equipment as well as handwork.

Four members manned our display at the Bellefonte Intervalley Area Chamber Volunteer Fair on March 7.

Mick and Joyce McKay and Ann Donovan attended the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition meeting in Mill Hall on March 10. The group continues to work diligently to restore the watershed habitat, biology and water quality.

The next meeting will be on March 11,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

April 8, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

CCPaSEC will be moving forward in getting involved in intergenerational activities by starting slow and assisting in programs already established.

Several members will have a meeting with Molly A. Hetrick, Recreation Supervisor for Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in April to determine how we could become involved in ClearWater Conservancy’s grant funded Connection Project being held at Millbrook Marsh.

Two members have talked with Matt Truesdale, DCNR Environmental Education Specialist at Bald Eagle State Park. The plan is for our interested members to participate in the Environmental Education Experience planned for Tuesday, June 2.

Team 1 met with Jennifer Zan Williams (Program and Sample Coordinator for Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHCZO) who is working with the Teen Shale Network. They will meet again next month and will be comparing equipment readings.

Ken Johnson produced a thorough report on the 2015 Quality Control Equipment Check by the Quality Control team in early March. He is asking that we read Quality Goal 1 and remember to conduct duplicate field tests. It reads “Perform duplicate testing with the field teams of all parameters at least once a year..." Ken also wants team leaders to be aware that the Quality Control Team would like to begin doing their duplicate testing and will contact them to arrange mutually agreeable dates.

Rob Fugate reported the Quality Control Committee did complete the check of all the monitoring equipment and is very pleased with the results. There were seven people making comparisons with almost identical readings.

CCPaSEC’s 2014 monthly volunteer hours' (2691) value is worth $60,682.05 to the county. As a fundraiser, we will be participating in the Centre Gives campaign this year on May 5 and 6.

Saturday, April 25 is the 2015 Spring Creek Watershed cleanup day. Our members will be working Fillmore and Upper Gyp roads. We will meet at the Benner Township building at 8:00 a.m..

The next meeting will be on May 13,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

May 13, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

In a follow-up meeting with Molly A. Hetrick, Recreation Supervisor for Millbrook Marsh Nature Center on April 17, it was decided that two ways we can help are through the Annual Historic Harvest Festival and the Earth Day events. Molly is looking for help in developing new programs for the older students.

The March enactment of new laws requiring those working with youth to have a background check and government FBI clearance may affect us. Andrea Puzycki will check with the State Police for information and guidance.

Ken Johnson initiated a discussion on safety precautions for the Marcellus Shale monitoring teams when they are in areas without cell phone service. He would like to see our safety regulations include devices and procedures for communications to the 911 Center, including areas without cell phone service. Specifically mentioned was the ACC ResQLink 406 Buoyant Personal Locator Beacon that could be purchased for approximately $300. We would then get a 406MHz PLB registration form for the USA Beacon Registration Database System.

  • It was suggested we poll team leaders to check and report cell phone service at each site.
  • Each team should have a contact person that knows where and when the team is going or leave specific information on the kitchen counter.
  • Everyone be sensible.
  • Everyone be responsible, follow good practice of what to carry and how to behave in the woods.
  • Make sure First Aid Kits are adequately stocked. It was recommended we include aspirin in powdered form.

It was agreed that we should not need to send a representative to each ClearWater meeting.

Ken reported the Quality Control Committee will be visiting team monitoring during macro invertebrate surveys this month and will be checking cell phone coverage and first aid kits.

Dan mentioned that if there is no reason to take the propeller off the flow meter, DO NOT TAKE IT OFF.

Team 3 needs additional members to help during their monitoring.

Andrea Puzycki emphasized the importance of reporting hours. The hours donated by our members help RSVP gain funding. Also the individual’s supplemental insurance can be lost without a record of hours volunteered.

All teams are to update monitoring site action photos, and to snap new team photos to capture new members. These photos will be included in the new website.

Old discussions were renewed on a publicity committee. We need to tell our story in the Centre Daily Times, Out and About, the Gazette and WPSU. Ralph Locklin said he will take responsibility for publicity. Betsie Blumberg will help as a reporter.

The next meeting will be on June 10,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

June 10, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

The two new H135 Professional minilab ISFET pH meters Nature Abounds ordered for us have arrived. This brings us to a total of six, one for each monitoring kit.

Andrea Puzycki, Project Director of RSVP found funds for our new ACC ResQLink 406 Buoyant Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). It has also been registered with the USA Beacon Registration Database System. We will send a formal thank you note to the Centre County Commissioners for help with the funds.

It is our year to host an annual picnic on the regular second Wednesday meeting date in August. Two locations were of interest - Black Moshannon State Park and Bald Eagle State Park. Both will be investigated for the availability of a pavilion with electricity. Mick McKay suggested and will contact for a speaker, Jake Lemon, the Eastern Shale Gas Monitoring Coordinator for Trout Unlimited. Jake Lemon manages the volunteer water quality monitoring efforts. He trains and supports volunteers focusing on identifying and addressing potential impacts from shale gas development. Several other speakers were mentioned as well including: Matt Truesdale, James Finley, Robert Carline, and Richard Alley.

Ken, the Quality Control Committee chairperson, reminded us our monitoring equipment is rugged, but that it requires “care.” Several issues with the DO Meter were discovered - a dry sponge, and the probe was not securely lodged in the meter. Ken once again requested someone step up to be the quality control chairperson.

Our share of monies donated through the Centre Gives campaign total $264.99, but has not yet been received.

The new website is in the development stage. It needs long narrow photos from teams to put in a slider on the home page. All teams are to update monitoring site action photos, and to snap new team photos to capture new members.

The state legislature is handling the problems being created for volunteers working with young people by the new law requiring background checks. Several officials are seeking clarification of the new law.

As for his publicity chairperson duties, Ralph is close to having one story ready to send off to the Centre Daily Times.

It was suggested we do a new video of measuring flow.

There will be a CPR/AED training class at Centre LifeLink beginning tonight (Wednesday, June 10). Dan Kerstetter will be attending. He was a medic in the National Guard. He chooses to stay current as a first responder.

The next meeting will be on July 8,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

July 8, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Topics for future meetings were solicited.

The Centre Gives donations totaling $259.60 plus a cent of interest were received.

There was a short discussion on the community controversy including the rezoning of the land to R4 eleven years ago in September 2004, and the current assertion that such development could have a negative impact on the area’s water. We should focus on the importance of all our citizens taking responsibility for being well informed and proactive in all issues affecting our quality of life.

Dan had put together a spreadsheet reflecting the “Cost of Requested Items” and “Actual Received” from Nature Abounds. The cost of items received was around 50% more than the cost of the items requested.

The QC committee members will be conducting duplicate tests on both the colorimeter testing and the HACH alkalinity testing. The committee will also be confirming there is cell service at each site. There are some early indications that we may still have a problem in obtaining accurate nitrate readings and that cleaning the sample cells with Dawn Dishwashing Soap is not doing the job. Another issue is that the sample cells and corresponding caps are not being kept segregated. All teams are encouraged to be represented at the monthly meetings for better communication.

The new website is coming along with Rob Fugate’s help. With nine years of development being transferred, there is a lot of work remaining. The New site will have a more modern, clean look.

Mick will make the reservation at Black Moshannon State Park for Wednesday, August 12. Speaker, Jake Lemon, the Eastern Shale Gas Monitoring Coordinator for Trout Unlimited, trains and supports volunteers focusing on identifying and addressing potential impacts from shale gas development.

Several members will look into options for wilderness first aid training.

Ann Donovan reported a Penn State Civil Engineering class of twenty-five is asking if we would partner with them this fall semester so they might gain experience in stream monitoring. The Buffalo Run monitoring sites will be the best choice when considering logistics and travel time from campus. Ann will contact Team 7 to ask for help from team members.

The Penn State Labs are measuring the methane in the water samples, a great base to have before Marcellus Shale drilling starts in the area.

An update was given on the new regulations on background clearances required if working with young people. The state legislature backed off and limited the need for a background check for only those working alone and/or without someone who has been certified to work with young people.

Genie Robine reported she had put together a cheat sheet to make macro invertebrate identification simpler. It includes only the pictures of those macro invertebrates we see in this area. It will be available on the new website. Also, she has one more net for conducting macro invertebrate surveys. She would like the team pairing without a net to contact her.

Joe Kowalski cited our our need to raise awareness and interest in our group to attract new members. He has a nationally produced CD of the eco systems in the Presque Isle State Park; he will burn a copy for us.

The next meeting and our annual potluck picnic will be held beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at Black Moshannon State Park. We will be meeting at Pavilion #1 on the north side of Concession Road past the Concession stand. Don’t forget to bring a dish to share and your own drink, plate and silver.

August 12, 2015 - Picnic & General Meeting - at Black Moshannon State Park 9:30 AM

Dan DeLotto presented the identification signs Ken had made for teams to use while at monitoring sites. They should be kept with the shared kits and put on display during monitoring. Dan reminded us that it is hunting season and time to wear fluorescent orange for personal safety. Genie Robine will ask ClearWater Conservancy for vests at no cost to us. Dan Kerstetter stated he thought fluorescent orange was to be worn year round if on state game lands; he will research the current regulations.

Nature Abounds gave us $1400 of equipment and chemicals. We have a good inventory for next year. Dan reminded everyone he has the standards to be used when calibrating the pH and conductivity meters. More Oakton meter “button” batteries will be ordered.

We have a new member, Jerry Johnson.

We might get new members by making a presentation at Liberty Hill. We should encourage all teams as well as new members to attend our monthly meetings.

One team is still using the "float" method to determine stream flow. Rob Fugate volunteered to train that team in using the FloWatch meter.

The new website is coming along slowly due to problems with the hosting provider. Problems with email delivery from the CCPaSEC account to members with Comcast email accounts was discovered. Members must contact Comcast to have the CCPaSEC email address unblocked by Comcast.

Speaker, Jake Lemon, the Eastern Shale Gas Monitoring Coordinator for Trout Unlimited, gave a presentation on his work with volunteers focusing on identifying and addressing potential impacts from shale gas development.

Dr. Khalequzzaman (Dr. K), from LHU, gave an update presentation on his work.

Jim Wert from Nature Abounds also spoke.

The next meeting will be on September 9, 9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

September 9, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Genie Robine obtained orange plastic vests from ClearWater Conservancy at no cost to us. They will be distributed to each team for use. After discussion, CCPaSEC recommended our members wear daylight fluorescent orange colored material from October 1 through May 31, not only on State Game Lands, but on private lands as well, especially when monitoring leads us to forested areas

We received a Spring Creek Trout Unlimited donation of $150.00.

ClearWater Conservancy’s new executive director is Deb Nardone. We will invite her to speak at one of our meetings. ClearWater Conservancy will host a celebration of the acquisition of the Decker family land – a 570-acre tract that expands Bald Eagle State Forest today.

We have two new members, Peggy Johnson (not Jerry Johnson as reported last month), and Robert Taylor. As we get new members, it might be time to look at monitoring areas we are not currently covering. This would possibly require additional monitoring kits valued at approximately $2000 each. Lynn Hutcheson volunteered to work on possible funding sources for a new kit.

We can take a look at the new website at ccpasec.org/index.php and suggested those doing so keep in mind that it is a work in process. Roll out of the new site is targeted for the October meeting.

Ann Donovan noted work done near some of our current sites: There will be a log vein structure added above the Wallace Run (Team 12) monitoring field site to create a habitat for macro invertebrates and stabilization of the banks before October 1. Rob Fugate noted Wallace Run was very low this past month and a look at the data reflects a pH drop from in the 8s in 2012 but now it is at 7. Work is being done at the llama farm at our Halfmoon Creek monitoring site and the farms between it and the next site. Genie Robine noted improvement in the macros at our Little Fishing Creek site. Ann Donovan will look at the data.

CCPaSEC's Data: Who is our audience and who looks at the data? These questions were brought up and discussed as well as reporting the data in a way that would be interesting to the public. We could begin including a report on each stream at monthly meetings. A committee was suggested for data reporting. Betsie Blumberg volunteered to help in this effort. Jake Lemon from Trout Unlimited could be asked to join the committee. We might want to pursue a Technical Assistance Grant with the monies coming from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The next meeting will be on October 14, 9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

October 14, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Deb Nardone, Executive Director of ClearWater Conservancy, and Adrienne Gemberling, Water Resources Coordinator for ClearWater Conservancy spoke to the group. Deb’s goal for ClearWater is to continue the great work that has already been done focusing on riparian zones and land conservation. Adrienne is working with the Water Resources Monitoring Project (WRMP). The 2015 data from WRMP is showing increased chloride levels coming up from springs and infiltrating ground water compared to that of 1989-2014. It was noted that several CCPaSEC members have formerly assisted with data collection and would be willing to assist if needed.

Deb Nardone suggested we could consider pulling our data into a map for joint publication with ClearWater. We can best support ClearWater to protect the water quality in the Centre Region with the following activities: 1) Habitat monitoring on owned parcels of land; 2) Stream bank fencing; 3) Examining our data to help determine strategies; 4) Take on Riparian stewardship; 5) Pay dues to ClearWater Conservancy; and 6) Attend the ClearWater Conservancy annual meeting in November.

ClearWater Conservancy’s Kevin Abbey, Land Conservation Manager, plans to present at our November 11 meeting.

QC Issues: Progress with the QC duplicate testing has slowed. It has become a burden to the QC members to complete along with their own monitoring schedules. Also, no replacement has been found for Ken Johnson, the QC chairperson. Lynn will contact Ken with questions on how to proceed.

Supplies: The team leader is responsible for assuring there are adequate supplies in the kit for two stream visits per month for a few months ahead. A good time to check supplies is when the sample cells are cleaned. Order forms for supplies are located on the web site.

Website: Joyce McKay praised Rob Fugate’s expertise in helping her with our new website. They will be presenting a demonstration before the switch from the old site to the new site. Ken Johnson’s FloWatch Manual is now on the site.

Genie Robine assisted Penn State students with macro invertebrate surveys on Buffalo Run.

Those doing data input are asked to please strive for increased accuracy – researching questionable input requires many hours of effort.

Members, make sure you have an active Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) membership. If you don’t, it is important that you sign up. Formal membership allows your hours to be reported and counted when state funding is allocated and is required to be eligible for accident insurance through RSVP.

Genie Robine completed a new guide for identifying the more common macro invertebrates. It contains great color photos and one will be placed in each monitoring kit. A copy will be available on the new website as well.

Ann Donovan and four CCPaSEC members worked with Penn State students to set up in-stream monitoring at the Halfmoon and Buffalo Run sites. The equipment will be left in the streams until Thanksgiving.

New Secretary needed for 2017: Ella Bashore will be retiring from the her position as secretary at the end of 2016. A volunteer replacement will be needed by then.

The next meeting will be on November 11, 9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

November 11, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

No meeting was held due to the closing of Willowbank Building for the day.

The next meeting will be on December 9, 9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317. A luncheon will follow at the Garden Room Restaurant at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in Innovation Park.

December 9, 2015 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Guest speaker, Kevin Abbey, ClearWater Conservancy Land Conservation Manager, spoke regarding ClearWater Conservancy's Land Conservation Program and described some of the properties on which ClearWater holds conservation easements. He also spoke of the stewards who help monitor the lands included in the easements.

Following his very interesting presentation, members adjourned to the Garden Restaurant at the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center for our annual Holiday Luncheon.

The next meeting will be on January 13, 9:30 a.m., at Wegman's Cafe. This will be the annual executive session.

Meetings

Schedule, Highlights

Forms/Manuals

Flow & Data Recording Forms, Meter & Kit Manuals, Macro Guides

Training Videos

Macros, Meter Use & Calibration

Quality Control

QAPP, Safety Reports, QC Reports

Search

Search Articles, Photos, Documents

FAQs

Join, Activities, Time Commitment


© 2021 CCPaSEC


developed by CCPaSEC