North Fork Watershed Association
Friday, September 22, 2017

2005 Camps

     North Fork Watershed Camp 2005 was a one week summer day camp for 25 students and their parents from Clarion, Clearfield and Jefferson counties who developed an action plan to create a solution to a local environmental problem. Their goal was to 'Become the Best Watershed Steward Ever!' The North Fork Campers had a fun-filled, educational week that enticed them to 'make a difference' in their community as inspired by the Tiger Woods' Start Something curriculum with an emphasis on becoming a steward by discouraging invasive plant and animal species on the watershed. Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology were taught at the watershed camp.

    Camp was held at Walter Dick Park, Quiet Creek Herb Farm, Clear Creek State Park, and the Jefferson County Conservation Community Center. Watershed contributors included Suzann Rensel, ClearCreek State Park; Rusty and Claire Orner, Quiet Creek organic growers; Donna Cooper, Jefferson County recycling and solid waste coordinator; Gary Gilmore, Jefferson County Forester; Todd Beers, Jefferson County watershed specialist; and many members of the North Fork Watershed Association. Healthy snacks and beverages were provided daily. Students wore appropriate sneakers; brought a change of clothes, rain gear and water bottle.

    To strengthen the development of their action plans, watershed campers identified three invasive insect species (emerald ash borer, wooly adelgid and the Asian long horned beetle); conducted a shade survey identifying native tree species; identified native and non-native, invasive and non invasive plant species on the watershed; conducted a scientific study determining the effectiveness of natural herbal insect repellent; discovered how worms (Red Wigglers) can become invasive if not maintained in the worm bins; discovered how organic growing (no synthetic chemicals) can reduce the amount of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers on the watershed; witnessed the effects of invasive plant and animal species on the watershed; decorated t-shirts with acquired information; and tested the physical and chemical parameters on the Clear Creek and North Fork Watersheds.

   Student presentations were performed at Clear Creek State Park. This is where the student teams presented their 'Start Something' action plan by educating park visitors on becoming aware of invasive animal and plant species. Watershed campers developed songs with lyrics demonstrating their knowledge. They gave Clear Creek visitors brochures, organic produce, herbal insect repellents, and native fire wood to help these visitors protect the watershed

   On the final day of camp guardians, parents and children committed to attend the North Fork monitoring day guided by the North Fork Watershed Association (NFWA) members. Their enthusiasm carried through the sampling day as an environmental priority to each family. Ten NFWA members mentored the watershed teams in the field teaching them how to collect chemical water samples, measure temperature, collect flow measurements, measure pH and conductivity.

   Watershed campers were awarded honorary 2005 North Fork Watershed Association family memberships. An awards ceremony was held during a healthy organic luncheon celebrating the fact that camp reduced, reused and recycled the majority of all the waste generated during camp; only three pounds of trash needed to be sent to the sanitary landfill. Over fifty adults and students were in attendance. Don Crytzer, NFWA member, was awarded Volunteer of the Year 2005. Watershed campers performed their action plan songs and gave Mr. Crytzer gifts to help him continue to be the best steward of the North Fork Watershed. 

     Campers will be notified about upcoming events where they can continue to put their action plans into effect by applying what they had learned to make a difference by making others aware of invasive animal and plant species on watersheds. For example, the watershed campers are planning to make their presentations at the 4th Annual Ohio Basin Student Environmental Summit in April 2006.

     Another watershed camp is scheduled for September 13-16.