News & Events
EC continued its Earth Day celebration on Sunday with a cleanup of the Sugar Notch playground, home to one trailhead of the Park Access Sugar Notch Trail. The group was small but mighty, picking up trash, clearing planting beds, and spreading new wood chips from EC’s compost facility. Our thanks to the volunteers, especially the students from Wilkes University’s Environmental Club. What a difference!
Earth Conservancy was happy to be part of another excellent celebration of Earth Day along the Susquehanna in Nesbitt Park with over 1,000 students in attendance! This year, we discussed the problems associated with acid mine drainage in the region and how we can assess stream health through macroinvertebrates. Thanks to sponsors Pennsylvania American Water, the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Penn State Cooperative Extension, and the Riverfront Parks Committee for organizing the event; and all the other great environmentally-minded partners for making the day a success! Below, from left to right: 1.) EC’s Earth Day display and activity; 2.) Working to identify macroinvertebrates; 3.) View of one section of the Earth Day activities; 4.) More group work on ID-ing stream inhabitants.
Earth Conservancy joined State Senator John Yudichak, State Representative Gerald Mullery, Newport Township officials, and many others to congratulate the Newport Township Police Department on the acquisition of two new vehicles to help in off-road patrols. Earth Conservancy, along with a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, helped fund the purchase of the new ATV, which will be used in ongoing work to prevent illegal dumping, trespassing, and vandalism in the lower South Valley, especially on hard-to-reach sites. We’re glad to be a partner in this community effort. Pictured, from left to right: 1.) The new Newport Township Police ATV; 2.) Senator Yudichak; 3.) Representative Mullery; 4.) Mike Dziak (far left), EC’s President & CEO, joined municipal officials and other project supporters for a group shot.
Earth Conservancy was pleased to be a sponsor for the 26th Annual Evening for Northeast Pennsylvania’s Environment. Held on October 20, 2016, at the Woodlands Inn and Resort, the event highlights environmental protection and improvement efforts within the region, and celebrates the individuals and organizations who are making a difference through their environmental work. Dr. Elizabeth Hughes, EC’s Director of Communications, is pictured at left sharing Earth Conservancy’s own environmental accomplishments with attendees.
The Northeast Environmental Partners represents seven organizations: Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Northeast Office, PPL Corporation, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, and Wilkes University. Read more about the 2016 honorees here.
On October 11th, Earth Conservancy presented testimony to the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee about the role coal waste facilities play in its reclamation work. These facilities remove previously unburnable coal waste from legacy sites and use it for energy production, thereby cleaning up the environment and supporting the economy with zero costs attributed to taxpayers. Hear from us and others about this important industry by watching the full public hearing here. Seen at left is Earth Conservancy President & CEO Mike Dziak, speaking Senators Yudichak, Argall, and Yaw.
More good news for Earth Conservancy’s ongoing work at the Askam Borehole AMD Treatment System: The Pennsylvania DCED has awarded EC $85,000 through its AMD Abatement & Treatment Program, part of the Act 13/Marcellus Legacy Fund. The monies will help underwrite upgrades to the system, as well as operation and management costs for the next three years. We sincerely thank all of the agencies and individuals involved for their support of this project, allowing EC to continue its efforts towards cleaner waters and a heathier watershed in the South Valley.
Video Spotlight: In June, Senator John T. Yudichak (D-14) invited Earth Conservancy to discuss its recent mineland reclamation and watershed restoration work. His conversations with EC’s President and CEO, Mike Dziak, are available here as part of the Pennsylvania Report series.
The rain held off on June 4th as Earth Conservancy celebrated National Trails Day with a hike through the Sugar Notch Loop, as part of the Keystone Active Zone Passport Program, sponsored by LiveWell Luzerne. Beginning at the trailhead along Broadhead Avenue, we passed over rocks, through woods, and across formerly mine-scarred property. Also met a snake, a deer, and a turkey along the way. Below, shots from the trek, including an amazing view of I-81, and the beautiful Mountain Laurel that lined much of the path.
With clear skies overhead, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Transportation, Leslie S. Richards, visited the South Valley to talk about the new parkway project. The SVP has been a central component of plans to improve safety and reduce congestion along Middle Road, as well as to promote economic revitalization in the region. Earth Conservancy proposed the roadway back in 1995 in its original Land Use Plan, and has donated 70 acres of land towards the project, valued at over $1 million. Pictured, from left to right: 1.) PA Secretary of Transportation, Leslie Richards, discusses the benefits of the roundabouts that are included in the parkway’s design; 2.) State Senator John Yudichak emphasizes the importance of infrastructure in regional development; 3.) Mike Dziak, EC President & CEO, talks about the potential of the hundreds of acres of reclaimed mineland alongside the SVP; 4.) Tom Leary, President of Luzerne County Community College and member of EC’s Board of Directors, speaks to the impact the roadway will have on both students’ and residents’ safety.
With work underway on the Askam Borehole AMD Treatment System wayside exhibit with students from Solomon/Plains Jr. High School, support for the project continues to grow. Earth Conservancy is the proud recipient of a nearly $5,000 grant from Luzerne County’s Recreation & Conservation Fund, which will help underwrite the walking trail at the site. Our thanks to both the Recreation Board and the Council for their generous help.