Rolling down the river on the 2016 sojourn
OUTREACH & EDUCATION
WHEN IT RAINS, IT BLOOMS! The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) has continued its partnership with faith-based communities to engage their congregations in environmental stewardship to keep our river towns green and our river healthy.
2016 LOWER NORTH BRANCH SUSQUEHANNA RIVER SOJOURN On the quiet and sunny morning of June 17, 2016, 53 intrepid paddlers took the waters of the Susquehanna River on the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership’s (SGP) 2016 educational sojourn. This year’s theme celebrated the 2016 River of the Year designation of the North Branch. Over the course of the three-day guided paddling and camping sojourn, participants paddled 53 miles of river from Shickshinny to Sunbury, PA. Paddlers tasted local cuisine, explored regional historical sites, and even lent a hand to clean up the river. Presentations from SGP partners including PA DCNR’s Secretary Cindy Dunn, Susquehanna Warrior Trail, Lycoming College Outdoor Leadership & Education program, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and the Middle Susquehanna River Keeper, helped to educate participants on the area’s history, recreation opportunities, wildlife, and conservation efforts. In all three states were represented and over $5,000 went into the local economy.
With technical assistance from the SGP and grant funding from the Grazia Bella Fund of the Luzerne Foundation, Trinity United Methodist Church (TUMC) of Danville installed their first of two rain gardens earlier this spring. The garden, which was designed with help from Master Gardeners of Montour County, will capture rain from the church parking lot and allow the water to soak back into the ground. This passive process helps to lessen local flooding and improve regional water quality.
Williamsport, PA is rediscovering its heart and soul. Since January, the Heart of Williamsport project team has been hard at work interviewing and surveying residents about their aspirations for their community, and analyzing the results to uncover the common themes, desires, and needs. To date the team members has received over 400 individual responses. The resulting collection of stories and feedback will be used to help guide local decision making.
ROLLING OUT THE RED CARPET FOR MONARCH BUTTERFLIES The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) is partnering with the Monarch Red Carpet initiative for Monarch Butterflies. Earlier this Summer, SGP distributed 468 milkweed plants to local towns, gardens, and volunteers along the Susquehanna river to help establish a highway of the butterfly’s host plant. Shifting land management practices have resulted in a loss of milkweed habitat and a 90% reduction in populations along the east coast since 1995. Monarch butterflies are dependent on milkweed plants to survive. Female monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed and the caterpillars need the milkweed to grow and develop. Butterflies, like the monarchs, and bees are responsible for bring us one out of every three bites of food. By planting these milkweed plants, SGP and local partners are helping to insure that the sight of the majestic monarchs cruising down the river corridor does not become a thing of the past.
PHOTO BY KRISTY NEVEL
DISCOVERING THE HEART OF WILLIAMSPORT
2016 Summer printed newsletter of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership