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Conewago Creek Initiative

The Conewago Creek Initiative is a locally-led, collaborative partnership effort in the Conewago Creek watershed in Dauphin, Lebanon, and Lancaster Counties of Pennsylvania. The Initiative seeks to improve water quality in the Conewago Creek watershed by working with local residents and landowners in the community to increase awareness of and interest in adopting land management practices that will improve water quality of local streams, ensure healthy farms, forests, and communities, and protect and maintain quality of life.

Contact:  Kristen Kyler, klk343@psu.edu  717-948-6609

About the Partnership

Penn State Extension and the Conewago Creek Initiative seek to restore the Chesapeake Bay by focusing at the small watershed scale.  Through implementation of both innovative and core conservation technologies, augmented by increased public education, environmental benefits in the form of improved stream quality and reduced loads of nutrients and sediments flowing to the Bay are expected.  Power in numbers is key in tackling a job as big as restoring the Bay - and the small watersheds like the Conewago Creek - that contribute to it.

In spreading the word about the Conewago Creek Initiative with Penn State Extension and other partners, can improve both the awareness and the necessary implementation towards improving local water quality with the net goal of restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

While vision documents vary greatly in scope and detail, the main purpose is to collect the fundamental ideas and priorities of local stakeholders and establish goals to serve as guiding principles for future planning and management activities.

The Conewago Initiative is a ‘discovery’ approach in which local, state, and federal partners, along with research institutions, unleash each of our respective resources to focus on one watershed – and build one success. The end goal is to reduce the nutrient and sediment pollution within the Conewago, improve the health of the local watershed, engage citizens across all sectors – while developing an integrated approach that will benefit other watersheds throughout the region.

In order to tackle this huge project, teams have been made to split up and specialize on specific tasks. These teams include all those involved in the Initiative.

The Conewago Creek Initiative reaches out to youth within the community with organized groups in which the children can join and actively participate in the creek clean up and be educated about the Conewago and other watersheds.

Integrated watershed approaches involve many partners - from the producers and landowners who are willing to implement new best management practices - to the many conservation professionals who provide support and assistance in doing so. But capturing and telling the story is WPSU Public Broadcasting's contribution to the Conewago Initiative.