What is the Youth Water Quality Education & Engagement Project?

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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.

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

High School Students:  Interested in getting more involved?  Please fill out the form by clicking here so we can learn more about you.


Storm Drain Stencil Project in Kittanning Borough
Saturday, April 29, 2023

Help educate the community and reduce nonpoint source water pollution in local waterways by applying stencils, that remind people not to dump anything, to storm drains found in Kittanning Borough.   All participants will be required to wear safety vests that we will provide.  More details about the specific meeting location will be sent to registered participants. This activity will require a good deal of walking. Participants will want to wear good walking shoes and bring water. Lunch will be provided.


Tree/Shrub Planting in Worthington
Saturday, May 13, 2023

Help the Armstrong Conservation District plant trees and shrubs outside of the West Franklin firehall in Worthington.  The shrubs will help filter out some of the sediment and runoff coming from the parking area and highway. This project will improve water quality and provide pollinator habitat. All supplies and tools will be provided. Please wear closed toed shoes, old clothes that can get dirty, and water. Lunch will be provided.

Macroinvertebrate study with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Join the Army Corps of Engineers at Crooked Creek for an aquatic macroinvertebrate investigation at Cherry Run. Macroinvertebrates are often called macros. They are invertebrates (animals without a backbone) that you can see without using a microscope or magnifying glass.  Studying macros can tell us about the health of the stream. Please wear old clothes and shoes that can get dirty and wet.  Lunch provided.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE MACROINVERTEBRATE STUDY WITH THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ON JUNE 20, 2023.


Check back soon for more Water Quality Education & Engagement projects!



Armstrong Center for Community Learning

Armstrong Center for Community Learning