What is the Youth Water Quality Education & Engagement Project?

The Youth Water Quality Education & Engagement project is for high school students in Armstrong and surrounding counties.  This project was made possible with an environmental education grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection. This seven-month project is FREE for students to participate in and will educate high school students about the importance of clean and healthy water to our community; what may be impacting local water quality; and how they can be part of the solution to mitigating pollution or reducing future negative impacts.   After participating in a half-day educational workshop to be held on Saturday, November 5th, students will be invited to work on a variety of local and regional projects that can make a difference in the health of our region’s water quality.  Students will not only work on these projects with their peers but also have the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field and to volunteer alongside other community members.  This project is in partnership with the Armstrong Conservation District and United States Army Corps of Engineers at Crooked Creek.

What kind of projects and experiences will students be invited to volunteer at?

  • Tree Planting for streambank stabilization with the Armstrong Conservation District
  • Touring the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority’s sewage treatment plant
  • Planning and implementing a storm drain stencil project in an Armstrong County community to remind residents that anything that goes down the drain ends up in our watersheds
  • Working with scientists at the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct water quality testing and to learn about macroinvertebrates at Crooked Creek Lake
  • Building and/or installing fish habitat at Crooked Creek Lake with the Army Corps of Engineers
  • Assisting a local watershed organization with an acid mine drainage remediation or other water quality improvement project
  • Designing a lesson to teach younger children about water quality and water pollution for an Earth Day or other community/children’s event in the Spring 2023

How will this program benefit students?

  • Students will learn about important environmental issues affecting their community and participate in projects that can make a difference in improving water quality or which help to educate others about these issues.
  • Students will meet and volunteer alongside professionals working on water quality projects in our region.
  • Students will gain real-world experience that allows them to meet new people (including peers from neighboring school districts and community members); work on their leadership skills; and give back to the community through volunteering.
  • Students will receive a rain barrel for their family’s home.
  • Students will receive a certificate for participation in this project.

Interested students should join us for the kick off meeting on Saturday, November 5th from 10am-12pm at the Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek (142 Kerr Road, Ford City, PA 16226).  At this FREE, fun and hands-on workshop you will learn why clean water is essential to human, ecological, and economic health; learn what could be polluting our local waterways; learn about the different watershed organizations in our area; and meet with professionals working to protect and improve local water quality.

If you have questions, please contact Rachel Filippini, ODC Program Coordinator at [email protected] or 724-543-2599.