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Sustainable Watersheds at Penn State

Following the successful Conewago partnership model, we are developing a Sustainable Watersheds Program at Penn State, which will engage local watershed partners and provide increased engaged scholarship opportunities for Penn State students.

 

Funded by a Reinvention Fund grant from the Sustainability Institute, the AEC is spearheading an effort to develop a Sustainable Watersheds Program at Penn State, which will engage local watershed partners and provide increased engaged scholarship opportunities for Penn State students.

The program seeks to promote, restore and maintain healthy local watersheds through collaborative community engagement and engaged scholarship. The program will develop and facilitate a dynamic, diverse partnership consisting of multiple academic units and local community partners working together to increase excitement for clean water and adoption of land management practices to improve water quality. The program will employ a shared discovery process to explore approaches to sustain healthy watersheds threatened with land impacts and nonpoint source pollution, where environmental, economic, and social processes are complex and intertwined.

Processes and methods are strategically proposed to build momentum and position for growth and long term sustainability. These include:

  • Develop and facilitate a watershed partnership, with a sustained structure provided by a management team.
  • Conduct two student engaged scholarship watershed projects within local communities, providing successful demonstration of the model for long term, sustained student led community engagement and experiential learning.
  • Develop and implement a multimedia communications plan--including web and video tools--to engage and recruit partners, demonstrate how we learn together to care for our watersheds, and position Penn State as a leader in water research, engaged scholarship, and watershed outreach.
  • Hold a sustainable watersheds summit and research forum to build university and community relationships and provide networking and collaboration opportunities.

What We Are Doing

This summit is an event of the Sustainable Watersheds Program at Penn State, brought to you by the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center. It is made possible by a Reinvention Fund grant from the Penn State Sustainability Institute.

Watch the progress the Sustainable Watersheds Program has made so far in its efforts to engage the community in protecting the local Spring Creek watershed.

The Sustainable Watershed Program recently partnered with Penn State Art Education and Delta Program school of the State College Area School District for an interdisciplinary environmental education program called "Exploring Watershed Transformations."

The Agriculture and Environment Center's Sustainable Watersheds Program partnered with the Penn State Sustainability Institute this Spring for a series of community engagement opportunities.