During the late 1990’s Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) completed construction of the wetland passive treatment system at the Tanoma Discharge. Before treatment this was a major abandoned mine drainage (AMD) discharge impacting Crooked Creek. Since the DEP is not allowed to own property, they asked for some entity to step forth to take ownership. When no local organization could do this, the Southern Allegheny Conservancy from Bedford rescued the project.
A similar situation occurred with the Waterworks Conservation Area Project along Two Lick Creek. After that people in the Senior Environmental Corps, the Ken Sink Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy began to see the need for a local conservancy.
An exploratory meeting regarding a conservancy was held at Rustic Lodge in October 2003. From this meeting Evergreen Conservancy was formed.
- 2004 – Become incorporated and obtained 501(c)3 status in March.
- 2005 – Formed committees; got organized; began projects; held informational programs; built a membership base; created a web site; began working with Indiana County Conservation District on the restoration of the Johnstown Coal and Coke property (Bear Run).
- 2006 -Developed a Strategic Plan which helped us identify what our priorities and goals are and how to move forward to get that work done; Acquired our first property (Tanoma); Continued working on projects; offered informational programs; applied for new grants; received $30,000 from the Office of Surface Mining for treatment at Bear Run; supported the Natural Heritage Inventory, learned a lot!
- 2007 – Moved forward with projects; offered informational programs; insured the Tanoma site; awarded a Dominion Grant; hired an accountant for reports and audits; attended the PALTA Conference; put out quarterly newsletters; and cleaned up the Hoodlebug Trail in Spring and Fall; developed and adopted policies; created a Board book for prospective board members; received held workshops and had a successful fundraiser!
- We received a grant for $4,680 to support Tanoma Abandoned Mine Drainage Wetlands Educational Trail – awarded to EC by the Pittsburgh 250 Community Connections Sprout Fund
- Designed and installed our new signs at our Tanoma AMD Wetlands Educational Site
- Built our wetlands trail with three new bridges
- Held our 1st annual successful Tanoma Celebration on October 4th, 2008 to unveil our new signs and wetlands interpretive trail.
- Received a grant from Senator Don White to install a parking lot at the Tanoma AMD Wetlands.
- Received $130,000 from the Office of Surface Mining and signed contract to begin work on Bear Run.
- Awarded a $4,000 grant from Indiana County Endowment of the Pittsburgh Foundation to build a pavilion at Tanoma Wetlands and to send board members for training at the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association convention.
- With help from the Indiana County Technical Center and many hours of volunteer work from Jason McGinnis and his friends and family, we were able to build the pavilion at Tanoma.
- Received a $6,500 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development through Don White’s office to build a parking lot at Tanoma.
- With a $1,000 WalMart Community grant and help from Penn’s Corner, we installed plant and tree ID signs along the wetlands trail at Tanoma.
- DEP installed a weir at Tanoma to control water coming out of the first overflow in high water.
- Held the 2nd Annual Tanoma educational event, which was attended by over 100 people.
- Celebrated the work completed at Bear Run with a Ground Breaking Ceremony.
- Awarded two grants for a micro-hydroelectric project at Tanoma. We also installed wind panels and solar panels to light the pavilion and power a water fountain in the pond to help take iron out of the water.
- Built an ADA approved path at Tanoma from the parking lot to the end of the trail with help from the Indiana County Parks staff.
- Completed our portion of work with the Bear Run restoration project – the remainder will be completed by Indiana County Conservation District and the Susquehanna River Basin.
- Received an ARRIPA grant for additional solar panels for our renewable energy project at Tanoma to increase oxygen by powering an aerating fountain in one of the ponds.
- Hosted several environmental educational programs at Tanoma and participated in events throughout the county.
- Received a grant from the Sprout/Spring fund to purchase environmental education materials.
- Welcomed our new OSM/VISTA Katie Oberthaler.
- Welcomed two new board members – Paul Yacovone and Stacey Robertson.
- Began our water quality monitoring initiative – received a Growing Greener grant for $29,300 and a Colcom Foundation Grant for $26,400 to purchase dataloggers to install in streams in Indiana County. We also received donations from the Central Indiana County Water Authority and the Ken Sink Chapter of Trout Unlimited to purchase additional dataloggers. We installed 22 dataloggers by the end of the year.
- Thank you to Karin Eller, owner of Plant-It-Earth Greenhouse in Indiana, for a generous donation of 29 plants to further beautify Tanoma AMD Wetlands! Cindy Rogers, Debbie Diehl, and Erica Moretti planted the new cransbill, astilbe, bergenia, ajuga, columbine, and salvia plants around Tanoma’s pavilion and signs. We appreciate the community’s ongoing support to make this an inviting, dynamic outdoor space.
- We began a joint project with the Indiana Arts Council to utilize iron oxide collected from Tanoma in art. We sent area artists iron oxide to use in their art and asked them to donate a piece to sell at an auction at the Indiana Art Council‘s Annual Meeting as a fundraiser for our two organizations. In its first year, the fundraiser raised nearly $1,000.
- We hired Megan Baskerville as our new OSM/VISTA volunteer after Katie finished her term.
- Partnered with Homer City Borough, Indiana County Planning Office, PENNDOT, and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to build a new low-impact boat launch in Homer City near the confluence of Twolick Creek and Yellow Creek.
- Received an $800 grant from the Dominion Foundation and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
- Presented the first ever Evergreen Award to LeeRoy Vatter to recognize his leadership in environmental stewardship.
- Awarded a $500 WalMart grant to purchase a renewable energy powered lawn mower and weed eater for Tanoma.
- Awarded a $300 WREN grant to purchase a water turbine generator for Tanoma.
- Welcomed Sally Thornton as a new board member.
- We held our 2nd Iron Oxide for the Arts fundraiser, raising $450 for Evergreen and the Indiana Arts Council.
- Welcomed OSM/VISTA Kelly Cossey following Megan.
- Evergreen Conservancy, along with Crooked Creek Watershed Association, recently received the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award, which recognizes organizations for their contributions to conservation and environmental stewardship. They won the award through their partnership with the OSM/VISTA Team, the highest-rated award winner of the 17 organizations recognized. Many thanks to previous OSM/VISTA Megan Baskerville for all her hard work and contributions to Evergreen and OSM/VISTA Team efforts to help earn this award!
- By the end of the year, we had installed 31 dataloggers in streams throughout Indiana County with 30 active volunteers collecting the data.
- Evergreen was awarded a grant to begin a project with our local Emergency Management. This project is a unique and progressive partnership between the Indiana County Emergency Management Agency and Evergreen Conservancy to protect and monitor our waterways. Project Funds were provided through The Foundation For Pennsylvania Watersheds—a Pennsylvania based nonprofit focused on protecting, preserving, and restoring the Commonwealth’s water resources–via GenOn Settlement funds. Evergreen Conservancy will install real-time, cellular, telemetry, multi-parameter, data loggers that will record pH, temperature, flow and conductivity in our county streams. These Manta 2 probes from Measurement Specialties will monitor water quality at key locations near highways where there is a high risk of traffic accidents with trucks that haul toxic fluids and waste products that could potentially impact our waters. Emergency Management identified five locations and Evergreen is currently installing the stations to monitor the water. Data can be viewed via the web 24/7. Alerts can be sent by text or e-mail signaling staffers that parameters are above a predetermined level. This alert system ensures prompt response, thus reducing the distance that contaminates would otherwise travel. Information regarding The Foundation For Pennsylvania Watersheds can be found at www.Pennsylvaniawatersheds.org.
- Received a $1,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to print new brochures and cover insurance costs.
- Received a $985 grant from Pennsylvania American Water to install a solar panel to power the datalogger at Tanoma and to create a brochure about renewable energy.
- Installed an aeration system in the first pond at Tanoma to increase the oxygen and keep the system running efficiently.
- We were honored to have been awarded the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award through the Pennsylvania Environmental Council for our new datalogger project with Indiana County Emergency. Management. See more at http://www.pecpa.org/wpea
- On February 5th, 10 participants came out to a Project WET workshop hosted by Evergreen.
- Evergreen Conservancy sponsored our spring event Friday march 15th at Blue Spruce Lodge at 7 pm. Wildlife Conservation Officer Patrick Snickles will discuss “Diseases affecting Pennsylvania Wildlife”.
- Evergreen Conservancy conducted two cleanup of the Hoodlebug Trail in 2013
- Evergreen will once again participate in IUP’s “Into the Streets” events this year.
- We were awarded a Norcross grant for $900 in January to purchase camera equipment which will be shared with Crooked Creek Watershed.
- We received two grants this year which fund our VISTA position. 1) Colcom foundation awarded us a generous grant to cover data logger costs and put $2500 toward the position. 2) We also received a convening grant from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, made possible through the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds for $1,000 which will go toward funding our OSM VISTA AmeriCorps position.
- We did our annual volunteering at the for gate Festival of the Lights at Blue Spruce Park.
- We did a wetlands program for two local cub scout programs at Horace Mann Elementary and the Calvary Presbyterian Church.
- We participated in Our Region on Parade at the Indiana Mall.
- We did many programs at Tanoma this year for the Girl Scouts, home school groups, the Y camp, Divine Redeemer School from Ford City brought 4th, 5th and 6th graders, high school students from Marion Center, and other local groups.
- June 4th was our annual meeting. We awarded the second annual Evergreen Award.
- Evergreen supported the first Northern Appalachian Folk Festival as part of our mission in the preservation of our cultural heritage.
- Cindy and Kelly traveled to Jackson Elementary to talk about environmental stewardship for boys’ and girls’ leadership programs.
- We tabled at IUP’s Earth Day event with the tabletop wind turbine for a renewable energy demonstration and passed out information about Evergreen to interested students.
- We took part in the YMCA Healthy Kids Day.
- EC did a watershed activity station for Kiski-Comnemaugh Stream Team with the 5th grade students from Saltsburg Elementary school at the Blacklegs Memorial Park.
- Kelly Cossey and Cindy Rogers attended the award luncheon to accept our Dominion Watershed Mini Grant.
- Evergreen Conservancy had its annual membership meeting Tuesday June 4th at the Tanoma Environmental Education Center. We gave out the second Evergreen Award to the late John Novak. We gave out recognition awards to many of our water monitoring volunteers that have been with us since the beginning. We also offered a system tour to see the new aerators and newly rebuilt wind turbine
- At the 12th Annual Ohio River Watershed Celebration Cruise Evergreen Conservancy took the top prize of $500. The theme was “Working for Clean Water,” and the EC display featured the telemetry dataloggers and stressed the partnership with the County’s Emergency Management.
- Our Iron Oxide Art was displayed at Artists Hand Gallery in November.
- We visited with the Marion Center Lion in October and gave a short presentation about Evergreen.
- We worked with White Township to help on a stormwater plan to clean up streams in the community. Evergreen is supporting the County Planning office and the Co comprehensive plan in helping to educate the public about stormwater issues.
- November 8th. Some 40-50 individuals learned something new about geocaching. It was Evergreen Conservancy’s fall event.
- Installed two more data loggers in Indiana County, bringing the total to 33 out in the field. Our crew of dedicated volunteers go out every two weeks to check the sites and download data.
- Welcomed OSM/VISTA Brooke Esarey following Kelly’s departure.
- Jim Resh of the Conservation District discussed the importance of non-point source pollution, stormwater and ways to manage it. The workshop led attendees on how to build rain barrels in a hands-on session and gave away 10 barrels.
- Nature’s Way Market of Greensburg has been a member of 1% For the Planet since 2006 and for the past two years, Evergreen has been a recipient of their donations.
- Alex Patterson (IUP) and Jeremiah Jamrom (University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg) are interns for Evergreen. Alex will work with us through April and Jeremiah through this summer.
- Tuesday June 10 was our annual membership meeting at Tanoma Wetlands Educational Center.
- Saturday, March 29th, Evergreen participated in the 11th Annual Family Fun Fest at the Indiana Mall.
- Saturday, April 12th – Evergreen hosted IUP students through the “Into the Streets” program. Volunteers helped with installation of the new story book walk and helped pull up cable for the wind turbine,
- John Dudash and Cindy Rogers presented on the Conservancy’s efforts on stream monitoring at the Ken Sink chapter of Trout Unlimited January meeting and Indiana County Amateur Radio Club February Meeting.
- Friday, April 25th – 6 p.m. at Blue Spruce Lodge, we hosted the Spring Program on a Rain Barrel Workshop
- Saturday, May 3rd we did our bi-annual Hoodlebug Clean up, Homer City.
- Tuesday June 10th was Evergreen’s annual membership meeting at the Tanoma Wetlands Educational Center.
- We were awarded a grant from Captain Planet to help with the cost for the new water turbine.
- Evergreen was recently awarded a grant from the Appalachian Coal Country Team (ACCT) for a reforestation project on reclaimed mine lands. Brooke Esarey accompanied Dr. Angel and Dr. Larkin to the classroom of Mr. Tom Betts at Marion Center High School. Dr. Patrick Angel from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement spoke to students about coal mine reclamation and the forestry reclamation approach. Over 3,000 seedlings were planted donated by PGC, 100 apple trees purchased with grant monies from the Appalachian Coal Country Team, and 12 American chestnuts donated by OSM and the American Chestnut Foundationon state gamelands near Bear Run.
- Alexander Patterson finished his research on our data from our five telemetry data loggers. He analyzed the data over the last year.
- The Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana gave Evergreen a generous donation this month through their ‘Give Away the Plate’ program.
- Brooke set up ‘Dine at Ruby Tuesday’, 1414 Indian Springs Road, in Indiana for Fridays in June and July and Ruby Tuesday will donate 20% of your purchase to Evergreen Conservancy.
- On June 2nd Evergreen Conservancy sponsored another Project Wet Workshop at Divine Redeemer School in Ford City
- We have had to reinstall several water monitoring sites after the hard winter and ice, but they are all cleaned, recalibrated, and back in the streams ready for nice weather! We have added two more sites this spring to bring our total number of manually downloaded loggers up to 34. We recalibrated and did maintenance on our Telemetry loggers.
- Evergreen Conservancy was awarded a Dominion Mini grant at the annual award luncheon on April 11th for new signs at Tanoma.
- We were awarded a Walmart grant to help with environmental education.
- Community Foundation for the Alleghenies granted us a $7,000 grant to share with CCC to pay for our OSM VISTA cost share volunteer position.
- Homer City Borough received the DCNR grant we wrote for them to expand a boat Launch along Twolick Creek. The park will include a new pavilion, path, flower beds, and much more. Evergreen Conservancy will be an active partner for this project and is recruiting volunteers to help. Work will start be done over the next three years.
- Family Fun Fest at the Indiana Mall: Evergreen Conservancy partnered with IUP’s SEEDs group to offer activities about water conservation and to help kids understand more about water on our earth.
- Cindy Rogers, Anne Kolesar, John Dudash, and Brooke Esarey helped at a “Trout in the Classroom” release at Blackleggs Memorial Park. Evergreen did an activity on the water cycle.
- Bob Lankard, Malcolm Hermann, and Sally Thorton participated in ECO club’s Earth Day celebration in the Oak Grove at IUP.
- At the YMCA Healthy Kids Day volunteers got kids up and moving with a hopscotch course based on the 10 ponds at Tanoma AMD wetlands. Bob, Cindy, Stacey, Sally, and our intern Alex Patterson helped.
- Danielle Kephart of the Divine Redeemer School brought her 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classes out to Tanoma for programs.
- At the Townships’ Officials Conference Brooke Esarey and Cindy Rogers manned the table for Evergreen Conservancy to talk to township supervisors and staff on May 9th at the annual Indiana County meeting. They shared information about our water monitoring project and showed visitors how our dataloggers work. Thanks to Malcolm Hermann of Municipal Publications for donating the Evergreen Ad to the brochure.
- Blairsville Girl Scouts learned a lesson on Wetlands on May 15th when Brooke and Cindy went to the meet of the Blairsville Brownie Troop to lead a lesson.
- May 19th – Saltsburg School Program at Blacklegg’s Memorial Park on the water cycle.
- May 20th – East Pike Program two classes of 5th graders learned about the water cycle.
- May 22nd – Pre-schoolers came to Tanoma for some fun water activities.
- We continue to present environmental education programs, offer free programs to the public, monitor water, train new volunteers, work on Tanoma, volunteer for community events like the Fest of the lights at BS, clean ups on the trail and work with Homer City Borough, White Township, and the Planning office.
- Our water monitoring initiative is in full swing – we have 34 manually downloaded loggers in the streams and 5 telemetry sites up and running with all the spring maintenance done.
- We are working on a GG AMD grant to fix our Tanoma water flow problems and are obtaining a estimate to install a Trompe system at Tanoma
- Evergreen Conservancy held its annual meeting on Tuesday June 10th 2014at Tanoma, the third annual Evergreen Award was presented to Karin Eller, founder and operator of Plant-it Earth located in the Black Lick area. We also welcomed two new board members Becky Snyder and Jon Miller. Dr. Robert Eppley was recognized for giving a lifetime of volunteer efforts in the cause of water quality and was given a Lifetime Award certificate.
- Brooke attended the River Rally, a collaboration between River Network and Waterkeeper Alliance, in Pittsburgh in May. She also attended the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference, cohosted by WPCAMR and EPCAMR, in June
- Brooke and Cindy attended 3RiversQuest conference held at Duquesne University.
- Lots more environmental education programs:
- June 2, 2014 Brooke, Sean and Cindy attended a Project Wet Workshop that Evergreen set up in Ford City. Several other teachers and interested folks also attended the training.
- June 21, 2014 –Brooke and Cindy helped a Blairsville Girl Scout Brownie Troop earn their bug badge.
- July 9, 2014 – Cindy did a plant ID walk with a group of 4th and 5th graders at 4H camp in Blairsville.
- July 15, 2014 – Group of ten 4 and 5 year olds from Indi Kids arrived at Tanoma to take a nature walk, look at the iron in the water, make chalk with that dried iron, take a walk and read our story book walk and make pinwheels. A great time was had by all!
- July 16, 2014 – Cindy did a plant walk with another great 4H group in Clymer.
- August 6, 2014 – Brooke conducted macro invertebrate activities with a 4H group, made bug houses and played educational games.
- August 9, 2014 – Sally and Brooke presented a water cycle activity to Girl Scouts with more educational games.
- October 4th – Cindy and Brooke led a group of Webelos (Boy Scouts) through a program at Tanoma to earn a naturalist badge.
- On September 20 – a brownie troop from Marion Center came out to earn their bug badge in September. Cindy and Stacey taught the girls about macroinvertebrates and got their feet wet in the creek.
- The Blairsville Knotweed Festival was held on Saturday, September 16th. Evergreen Conservancy participated in the event and our new “Indiana Iron” tee shirts were eye-catching and inspired conversation about who we are and what we do. Thanks to Carol Cummins, Becky Snyder, Brooke and her mom, and Cindy for manning the table and making sales.
- September 6th 10:00 – Weed Walk with Cindy Rogers in Indiana, during the Northern Appalachian Folk Fest. Evergreen had an informational table at the festival.
- September 27th – Into the Streets – IUP students helped with various projects
- September 18th – Ohio River Watershed Celebration. Evergreen received a $100 award for attending at least 5 of the past 13 years.
- October 19th – Weed walk with Cindy Rogers at Blue Spruce Park for Friends of the Park
- This fall Cindy Rogers attended training with the Appalachian Coal Country Team (ACCT) for our OSM VISTA position.in Beckley, WV for 3 days.
- We held a program on rain gardens with Barbara Hague at the Blue Spruce Lodge Nov 5th, 2014
- Evergreen hosted an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team for nearly two weeks at the end of this summer. The group was made up of 7 young adults from across the country who pledge 10 months of their life to do public service. In our area, this group volunteered at Tanoma, Homer City Boat Launch Park, and Yellow Creek State Park. The team volunteered 214 hours and community members volunteered 95 hours for these projects. We worked on the renewable energy display at Tanoma, installed community gardens (and more) at the Homer City Park, and stabilized a stream bank at Yellow Creek.
- We welcomed a new board member Jenelle Revo who has volunteered to be our new treasurer since Jon Miller had to resign.
- More fundraising:
- The Indiana Free Library for Evening at the Stacks on November 7th
- The IUP pottery sale on November 14th and 15th
- The UU Church on Twolick Drive in Indiana at the Christmas Bazaar on Dec 6th
- November 2014 – We said farewell to Brooke as our OSMVISTA but congratulated her on her new job at ICCD. We welcomed Cassandra Allen as our new VISTA.
- Janelle Revo had to resign from the board and the treasurer position for personal reasons Becky Snyder has thankfully stepped up to become our current treasurer.
- Storm Water management Conference – March 13th 2015 Evergreen is a partner in the Stormwater Education Partnership which presented a conference to help municipalities and other interested people to learn more about storm water.
- At Tanoma we are continuing to test the water as often as weather permits and our multiprobe datalogger continues to record data about the water… Dan Boone with help from Paul Majoris replaced the batteries in the Tanoma renewable energy system so the renewable energy can now go full force to save and the be able to use that energy.
- Evergreen Conservancy was the recipient of a 2014 Growing Greener Grant, funded by the AMD Set Aside Program, from the DEP! Evergreen received the award to improve the passive Tanoma AMD Wetlands by adding a Trompe system
- Evergreen Conservancy received an ARIPPA AML/AMD RECLAMATION AWARD granted under the guidance and administration of EPCAMR and WPCAMR.
- March 21 we participated in the Family Fun Fest at the Indiana Mall – All Across the USA, the state assigned to Evergreen was Hawaii.
- Nature’s Way Market continues their support through “1% of the Planet”!
- Dataloggers: This winter we decided to pull most of our data loggers out of the streams, We calibrated them and then put them back out in the spring. All our volunteers started downloading again.
- Evergreen Conservancy’s OSM/VISTA, Cassandra Allen, organized and sponsored the 7th annual food drive to commemorate Martin Luther King Day, January 19th, 2015
- March 27th Ed Patterson, Indiana County Parks and Trails director, presented things he has learned about local salamanders as a participant in the Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey for our spring program.
- We had a GIS student, Zak Nobel, as an intern this spring and he helped us create 3 new GIS maps.
- Lucas Tatarko is our new intern at Evergreen for the summer and is working on a GIS map of our data loggers.
- Evergreen gave testimony at the DEP public hearing about the deep injection well in Grant Township. We spoke to the water monitoring in East Run and the water quality.
- As a member of the Stormwater partnership we held a dedication of the rain garden that White Township installed.
- A new sign was unveiled and a short presentation about rain gardens was given be given by Adam Cotchen of Indiana County Conservation District (ICCD).
- Evergreen Conservancy’s water monitoring continues. We have 32 data loggers in local streams to monitor our waterways and make sure they are healthy. We have been doing maintenance on the installations throughout the county. The winter dislodged several sites and we had to fix them up. We got all the loggers calibrated and re-installed after the winter. We have had several new volunteers and have trained them and they are now doing downloads.
- Telemetry water monitoring sites have needed calibration and maintenance over the winter and spring. We worked on battery issues with the solar panels.
- Evergreen was awarded a grant from the Dominion Foundation for project implementation and marketing costs at the award luncheon April 8, 2015.
- Evergreen Conservancy was awarded a $3,000 grant from The Indiana County Endowment. We will be designing and installing three new signs at Tanoma to explain our renewable energy and our new Trompe system. These will be available for visitors to Tanoma to learn about our system and to help with the environmental education programs we do at Tanoma.
- Evergreen Conservancy has been very busy with environmental education programs. In April, a Girl Scout troop from Blairsville came to Tanoma to complete their hiking badges and to learn about the water cycle. We also had a reading group from Homer City Library make “eco art” at Tanoma. In May, we taught students of Saltsburg and Kiski Elementary schools about the water cycle during their “Trout in the Classroom” release days. A Ford City school group learned about macro-invertebrates, geocaching, tree ID, renewable energy, and salamanders taught by Ed Patterson at Tanoma.
- Cassy and Cindy went to the 2015 Pa Land Trust Association Training, May 7-9 where they attended a variety of different sessions. They were funded to go through a generous scholarship from PALTA.
- “Into the Streets”: Members of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, along with a few other students, chose to volunteer with Evergreen Conservancy on April 18th.
- June 20th we participated at the Indiana Library at the Indiana Players craft sale.
- Evergreen Conservancy’s annual membership meeting was on Tuesday, June 23rd at our Tanoma Environmental Education Center. John Somonick was awarded the Evergreen Award this year.
- We welcomed new board member Mike Tyree, an IUP Biology professor.
- August 15 we participated in the Knotweed Festival in Blairsville.
- Evergreen Conservancy’s fall program set a record of 63 people showing up to learn “All about Elk”. Mandy Marconi, Environmental Education Specialist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, drove from Elk County to Blue Spruce Park to give an entertaining, educational program about Elk in Pennsylvania.
- October 10th was a beautiful day to do a clean-up of the Hoodlebug Trail and parts of 119 near the trail. Seven bags of trash were collected mostly from the other side of the wall and under the bridge.
- We welcomed a new VISTA AmeriCorps Sara Beatty to the Evergreen team.
- Evergreen was awarded a Colcom Foundation Grant to help cover the costs over the next three years of our OSM VISTA volunteer position and maintenance costs for our water monitoring projects. With this grant we will be entering water monitoring data into The 3RiversQUEST database which was created to provide consistency among the various programs throughout the Upper Ohio River Basin. We are so appreciative of Colcom’s continued support of Evergreen Conservancy’s work.
- We were awarded a $1,000 grant from Norcross to purchase GPS units for geocaching and EarthCache environmental education programs. We did several of these programs with borrowed units this year. Now we will be able to purchase our own and continue to offer this type of program. Thank you Norcross!
- We participated in several sales this fall for fundraising, selling our handmade items. Thanks to all who helped.
- Evergreen Conservancy’s Spring Program was “Safely Exploring The Woods In The Age Of Ticks And Lyme Disease” presented at Blue Spruce Lodge Friday April 15th at 7 pm by IUP Professor Tom Simmons. Evergreen Conservancy presented this informational program, open to the public and free of charge. The presentation by Dr. Simmons covered deer ticks and the human condition Lyme disease. Dr. Simmons was assisted by his wife Dr. Anne Simmons and several IUP students.
- Evergreen sponsored another Project Wet workshop May 21st at YC environmental center.
- The Trompe has been installed in Tanoma. It is working and we are hoping to see an improvement in the efficiency of the system. We have a large increase in water coming into the ponds, currently up to 5,000 gallons per minute (gpm). The system was not built in the 1990’s to handle that amount of water we now see coming in from the mine pools. We are still working on tweaking the system but the new Trompe seems to be handling that amount of water. Even though there is still iron going into Crooked Creek, it is less that when it enters the ponds and we hope to see it decrease as the system settles in.
- Indiana County Endowment Grant (ICE) – The Pittsburgh Foundation funded our new finished brochure on Renewable Energy.and three new signs that were installed at Tanoma.
- We are continuing this year with lots of environmental education programs.
- Evergreen Conservancy continues to be represented on the county Storm water Education Partnership and the Source water protection Steering Committee.
- Evergreen was awarded a grant from the Dominion Foundation for water monitoring maintenance and marketing costs at the Award luncheon in April.
- Tara Binion started as our new secretary and board member.
- June 22, 2016 during the WPCAMR conference at the KCAC, a day will be on touring the area and they will visit Tanoma for lunch and a tour. June 28, 2016 Trompe ribbon Cutting Celebration at Tanoma… 2:00 pm All are welcome to attend and learn more about the system.
- June 28, 2016 Annual Membership Picnic. 5:00 pm, people brought a dish to share. EC provided rolls, hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. As usual – great food and company. Tim Danehy did a program on the Trompe and led a walk to see how it works. A great day to renew your membership or become a member too!
- June 28, 2016 Earlier that day we had our grand opening of the Trompe. We had over 40 people join us to learn about the Trompe and see it in action.
- We installed a Picture Post, an 8-sided platform for taking and sharing repeat digital photographs on the Picture Post website.
- September 10-11 we had a table at the Northern Appalachian Folk Festival
- September 24th was our fall program with Erin Janeski leading the program about “Plants on the Move” It was well attended and people learned how seeds move about to start new plants.
- On October 6, 2016 the Field conference of PA Geologists visited Tanoma for a tour.
- Numerous IUP classes have made Tanoma an educational field trip to learn about the Conservancy, watersheds, AMD treatment and more.
- IUP students are also using Tanoma as a research site. We always welcome and research and learning that goes on there!
- November 2016 We were awarded a Rotary Grant to plant trees at Yellow Creek to help them replace dead and dying trees that had to be cut down. The trees were planted on three different days with over 50 volunteers. The final day was this November.
- November 14th our new VISTA Jamie Douthit started and will be with us for the next year.
- We were awarded Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation Grant this month which will go toward the support of our VISTA position and an expansion of our renewable energy demonstration project at Tanoma.
- Evergreen Conservancy is currently working on a Conservation Easement with Robindale Energy Services, Inc. The easement will protect a 45 acre wooded area that is prime habitat for the Indiana bat. WPC is mentoring us through the process and Attorney Jack Hanna is doing our legal work. We hope to sign the contract early next year.
- Dan debuted Rennie and her addition at Tanoma in November for the Christmas season. People can drive by from 6 to 9 pm to see the illnimated display powered by renewable energy.
- Sara started the ECO tour project this year and Jamie will be carrying it forward. The Eco-Tour (a three year goal) will be made up of a collection of Indiana County’s environmentally significant locations. We want to show off places, work and things we are proud of and what our county has to offer. We have a fairly comprehensive list that we split into 5 categories: Conserving/Preserving water, Conserving/Preserving land, Healthy Communities, Wildlife Habitat and Sustainability. We will be able to develop tours in one category or a mix of categories. Tours may take many different forms from self-guided tours, to multimedia, to actual bus tours. We are currently applying for grants to fund the project.
- Jamie Douthit started as our new VISTA Americorps in November of 2016 to November 2017 And developed the ECOR tour phase one which is a 20 site geocache trail. We developed a brochure, passport,and geocache coin, placed them in several different locations and got all the geocache sites in place. It went live November of 2017 and it has been a huge success. We are still getting daily logs from geocachers from all over the area.
- April 28th – Evergreen Conservancy’s spring event focused on “What was it like to work as a coal miner in Indiana County?” The April 28 event drew 100 visitors.
- We have a membership program that businesses in the area would give card carrying members a discount and we have 7 businesses so far that have offered to do this for our members.
- We held our spring and fall Trail clean ups on the Hoodlebug trail.
- At Tanoma, The Trompe is up and running and seems to be helping the system increase the dissolved oxygen in the ponds. Our numbers continue to be better this winter than last. • The winter light show is still operating, Sea Monster Rennie and her little one. • The planned expansion of the renewable energy system includes six additional solar panels of higher wattage and extra batteries. This will allow for more time running the aeration pump, as well as approximately doubling power supply for use of lights, power tools, and the decorative light display. Thanks to the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation for the grant to fund this expansion.
- We hosted the Into the Streets in the spring and fall with the IUP kids coming out to Tanoma to help with chores.
- Indiana Free Library laminated another storybook for our story book trail at Tanoma called Daniel Finds a Poem
- Grants: we were awarded another Dominion Mini Grant for datalogging, a stream restoration project on Laurel Run and PR costs. We were also awarded a DEP Environmental grant for the purpose of building awareness of places in Indiana county that are best management practices (BMP’s) in different categories, including land, water, habitat, sustainable renewable energy use, and healthy living.
- We were awarded the 2017 Governers Award for Environmental Excellence and attended the award ceremony in Harrisburg. We were one of 16 statewide awards given. We were presented the award for our efforts on AMD remediation at Tanoma with our new Trompe.
- The Evergreen Conservancy Annual picnic and meeting was held June 22 at Tanoma in the midst of a downpour that resulted in flooding in many members’ homes and in the area. All told about 16 hardy souls showed up and we had a grand time having a picnic under the pavilion as we watched Crooked Creek strain its banks. We had a brief business meeting and Cindy recounted our accomplishments of the past year. We voted to retain the current board members and welcomed Nicole Kelley as a new board member. Before people got called away to pump basements we gave the Evergreen Award to Art Grguric of Blackleggs Creek Watershed Association and Trout Nursery, a long time steward of the water and land. Later we gave a certificate of appreciation to Ed Patterson in honor of the 50 year celebration of Parks and Recreation in Indiana County, a very well-deserved honor.
- At Tanoma Art Grguric and his crew came out to Tanoma and poured a new cement floor under our pavilion. We had gotten washed out twice in the past two months and decided we needed a more permanent solution. Art did a great job and we appreciate all his work. We still have to put in stone for the one side of the pavilion and move the battery shed but that will be completed soon.
- Our Fall Tree Program Gets Standing Room Audience An estimated 105 people crowded Blue Spruce Lodge on September 29 to hear a program about threats to our forests presented by board member Dr. Mike Tyree, an Assistant Professor of Plant Physiological Ecology in the Department of Biology at IUP, and several of his students. The program was billed as “What’s buggin’ our trees” and a diverse audience showed their concern about our forests. They learned how our forests are changing in response to invasive pests and how we can respond.
- Our stream restoration project on Laurel Run was completed thanks to Adam Cotchen (Indiana County Conservation District), the PA Fish and Boat Commission’s Mark Sausser, and his staff, Yellow Creek State Park staff, Phil Hay and Son Excavation Company, several PASEC, Evergreen, and TU volunteers this project was completed in one day on Sept 25th. The stream was threatening to undercut the walking path to a dangerous degree and the bank needed to be stabilized. It is also a trout stream and will benefit from the fish habitat this project created.
- At Tanoma several different research projects with IUP students are going on at Tanoma this year. It will be interesting to learn the results of the projects.
- Over the spring, summer and fall we continued to host environmental education programs at Tanoma and participate in other programs at other locations.
- We had the kick off for our Geocache ECO tour trail. Twenty- five children and adults came to Blue Spruce Pavilion 1 on Saturday Morning November 4th to learn about geocaching. It is officially a geocache trail and we had over 100 logs the first day.
- At Tanoma the Trompe has not been able to keep air pressure in the pipes. Tim from Bio Most and his crew have been trying to figure out what the problem is. We had a crew come out with a camera to take pictures in the pipes and observed some water lying in the lines. Bio Most installed a T clean out pipe and a pump to pump out any water that accumulates in the pipes. They think that the frost may have damaged a pipe in the Trompe at the end of the system. They will be out there as soon as the weather permits to dig up some of the pipes and do repairs. Hopefully that will take care of the lack of oxygen getting through the system.
- Jamie Douthit completed her term and had to leave a little early for job purposes and our new VISTA Maegan Stump started in November. She will continue working on the geocache trail and new aspects of the ECO tour.
- We continue to check and download data for about 30 sites in the county and are working with Katie Farnsworth at IUP. In December we pulled all the loggers for the winter to clean and calibrate them. They will go back out this spring.
- Over the year we have been working on our Telemetry stream monitoring system. We have had problems with the new equipment not working right and had to go out repeatedly to fix things or pull them in to send them back. Finally by the end of the year we think we have them working.
- In December we officially became the stewards of the 45 acre Robindale Bat Habitat Conservation Easement. Robindale Energy gave us an endowment for stewardship duties at the signing of the Easement contract. Our responsibilities include checking the property annually to make sure the land is preserved as per the contract.
- Every year our VISTA works on Martin Luther King day. This year, two AmeriCorps members with the Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps helped Maegan, collected donations at the Giant Eagle in Indiana on Monday, January 15th or MLK Jr. National Holiday.
- Environmental education started off this year with Family Fun Fest at the Mall on March 3rd. The theme this year is Furs, Feathers and Fins. Evergreen will have a table with animal furs for kids (and adults) to feel and examples of those animal’s scat to see if they can match up the furs with the pictures and scat.
- • The Indiana County GeoTrail got off to a great first few months! We are continuing to receive logs from geocachers even on the coldest of winter days. It’s fantastic to hear how much geocachers are learning about our environmentally significant sites in Indiana County. We put in our last site (#20) in the series on the IUP campus.
• We did our spring and fall annual trail clean ups on the Hoodlebug trail.
• We welcomed a new board member, Shannon Jackson to the board.
• Our spring program this year was A primer on Trout and Salmon presented at Blue Spruce Lodge on April 13th. by IUP Biology professor Dr. David Janetski on trout and salmon.
• Our annual membership picnic was held June 27th and Dr. Katherine (Katie) Farnsworth received the 2018 Evergreen Award.
• Evergreen was awarded a grant from the Dominion Foundation for $1,500 to be used for water quality monitoring and maintenance costs, as well as our newsletters, advertising for our environmental education programs and Eco Tour.
• The fall program was about ‘Critter Kamp’. Ms. Van Dyke talked about her 35 years tending to wildlife on Friday October 19 at 7 p.m. at Blue Spruce Lodge to a full house with lots of enthusiastic kids.
• This summer, Evergreen Conservancy worked with IUP Communication Media students through IUP’s Center for Media Production and Research. Together, we produced three EcoTour videos that are now available to the public. There is a short 30-second advertisement video, a longer 1-minute advertisement video, and a 3.5-minute informational video. These videos can be found on Evergreen Conservancy’s YouTube Channel or on our website under the Indiana County ECOTour tab (www.evergreenconservancy.org/indiana-county-eco-tour/indiana-county-ecotour-videos). We also worked with the Tourist Bureau on a video they did for Indiana County.
• The Hunter Education Safety Course, hosted by Evergreen Conservancy, took place on Sunday, October 7th at the Pine Ridge Lodge in Blairsville. We had over 40 kids and adults attend. Ralph Muir and his crew did a wonderful job leading the course! A Game Commission officer also attended the course to go over the local rules and regulations with the attendees
• We continued to do bi-weekly water testing at Tanoma through the year to check the system. Winter maintenance was completed in October when 12 IUP students and scouts from Troop 1011 and Pack 1011 came out to help clean and wax signs, take down the storybook walk, winterize the Trompe sleds and plant over 30 trees and bushes.
• We hosted or took part in many environmental education programs this year including a 2 day Indiana High School program at Twolick Waterworks Park, the IUP Community Involvement Fair, A program for United Elementary School, the Girl Scout camp at Blue Spruce Park, a geocaching program at Yellow Creek, A Girl Scout Geocaching Program in Homer City, IUP ‘Into the Streets’, and an IUP Upward Bound day long program to name a few.
• Maegan Stump’s AmeriCorps VISTA term ended in November. She helped out in so many ways over the past year in media outreach, environmental education, field work, with volunteers, and so much more. We are sad to see her go but she is moving on to a new job out west!