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About Us

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The Penns Valley Conservation Association (PVCA), a 501c (3) non-profit charitable organization established in 1994, has provided a successful mechanism for public input and leveraged resources to protect, conserve, and promote the environmental qualities of the Penns Creek Watershed.

PVCA's Mission is to serve as a steward for the natural and cultural communities in the Upper Penns Creek watershed. We seek to preserve and honor the agricultural roots of Penns Valley by protecting and conserving its waters, farmlands, forests and rural heritage.

PVCA's Vision: We envision an engaged community, where growth is balanced with support for healthy natural systems that foster the local economy. Our valley has dark night skies, clear streams, healthy forests, prosperous farms, and local jobs.

PVCA is the outgrowth of a citizen effort in the early 1990's to ensure that a newly developed quarry in Aaronsburg, PA abided by all existing environmental regulations, especially those protecting air and water. Those efforts are ongoing. Since its incorporation in 1994, PVCA has successfully lobbied for Exceptional Value designation of portions of Pine and Elk Creeks, a special recognition of outstanding water quality. PVCA also partners with like-minded organizations to do periodic water monitoring. Through watershed preservation projects in addition to designation of Exceptional Value streams PVCA works to ensure that Penns Valley remains a beautiful destination for families, fly-fisherman, outdoor enthusiasts and the locals that are able to explore and enjoy the waterways. The simple pleasures of life go hand in hand with the local economy in Penns Valley. The woods and streams for hiking, fishing and paddling, and the small locally owned businesses are part of what make these valleys a destination.

PVCA has employed an Environmental Educator in the Penns Valley Area School District since 2004, engaging students in a curriculum oriented toward the environment, ecosystems, invasive species, and conservation in both the classroom and in the field utilizing the great resources of the Penns Valley Environmental Center . PVCA and partners developed the privately-owned "Muddy Paws Marsh" Wetland Education Center in Penn Hall, Gregg Township. This resource is used for environmental education, invasive species control projects and training, and also offers opportunities the public to explore the wetland habitat using a unique boardwalk and trail system affording access to the inner portion of the Wetland.

PVCA has managed well over three quarters of a million dollars in public grant funds of direct benefit to the Watershed, including the aforementioned access and enhancements to the Muddy Paws Marsh Wetland Center, the school-based environmental education program (for over a decade), an annual "Spring Cleanup" and dozens of other habitat restoration and agricultural best management practices (BMP) projects throughout the Penns Creek Watershed on the local waterways and farms. These restoration projects are focused on riparian (streamside) plantings of vegetative cover. These streamside plantings help to keep the waterways cool which helps to increase the Eastern Brook Trout population, as well as increasing habitats for woodcocks and an array of reptiles and amphibians.

PVCA has sponsored publications of important resources; Waterways & Wildlife, the practical guide written by Nell Hanssen, the eclectic compendium A Penns Creek Companion, authored by Doug Macneal, Find It Here, a directory of local businesses, as well as its quarterly newsletter highlighting the work of PVCA and its partners.

The Association raises funds to support these many initiatives through membership investments, special appeals, and our Annual "Crickfest"Celebration of the Watershed and its People held the Sunday before Labor Day

A watershed is... that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community."
                                                                                                      — John Wesley Powell

Please join us in becoming a steward of the Penns Creek watershed ... Communities worth preserving.