What is PVCA ?

The Penns Valley Conservation Association seeks to foster an engaged community that preserves our rural way of life while protecting our natural environment.  PVCA’s Mission is to serve as a steward for the natural and cultural communities in the Upper Penns Creek watershed, seeking to preserve and honor the agricultural roots of Penns Valley by protecting and conserving its waters, farmlands, forests and rural heritage. PVCA is a 230 household member organization.  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.

What Next?

If you are interested in PVCA news – here and now – see our Facebook page.

For more in-depth information about our environment, our community, and our organization, continue browsing.

Navigating the PVCA Web site

The web site has three levels, navigated through the Organization and Return menu items:

  • Welcome Center – the level you are on, provides highlights and an overview of PVCA function, activities, and results.
  • Front Office provides details of our projects and activities.
  • Back Office provides working materials and functions for PVCA members responsible for specific areas of activity. Access to this level is restricted.

See Site Map for a structured view of the site with links to areas. It serves as a Quick-Start Guide and a road map of the site’s overall structure.

Or, continue browsing by scrolling down or following the menus, above.

News and Events

2020 Annual Meeting2020 Annual Meeting To Elect New Directors
Muddy Paws Marsh
Sunday, November 8 | 2:00 – 4:00PM
(Rain date November 15)

PVCA Members, please join us on Sunday, November 8 at Muddy Paws Marsh for the 2020 Annual Meeting. We will be electing new members to the Board of Directors.

The following four individuals have been submitted as nominees for the Board. Please review their bios and come ready to vote.

Liz Ebeling
Liz Ebeling is an Administrative Officer in the Bureau of Fisheries. In 2020 Liz was appointed to the PVCA board of directors to fill a vacancy and took on the role of treasurer. If elected, she will continue as treasurer. Liz earned her MBA while working and caring for her two daughters. In her current position at the Fish and Boat Commission, she manages payroll, taxes, and grant administration. Liz is already familiar with many of PVCA’s partner agencies in developing robust and effective stewardship of the Upper Penns Creek watershed.

A Centre County resident all her life, she moved to Penns Valley in 1969 and graduated from Penns Valley High School. Together with her husband, Rob McClenehan, an avid fisherman, she has made Penns Valley her home. Their two daughters graduated from PVASD.  When her work schedule allows, Liz heads to the woods to hike. The mission to bring meaningful environmental enrichment into the schools resonates with her own career and passions. Liz brings her love for this valley, her business acumen, and considerable financial skills to the role of treasurer for PVCA.


Ethan Davis
Ethan Davis and his wife Siobhan Davis earn their living in Woodward PA by owning and operating Strong Roots Organic Farm, a small-scale farm that regenerates biodiversity, enhances ecosystem services, enriches the soil, and improves the watershed.  Currently, they are working with NRCS and other organizations to secure grants/funding to improve their riparian corridor along Pine Creek.  Ethan and Siobhan look forward to connecting to their new community and supporting local conservation through PVCA.  Ethan has a PhD in Ecology from Penn State, a M.S. in Engineering Management from Aalborg University in Denmark, and a B.S. from Cornell University where he studied forest ecology, biogeochemistry, and invasive plants.

Ethan has worked as an energy analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  Previously, he worked at Dartmouth College and Oak Ridge National Laboratory on issues related to renewable energy.  He has consulted for UCS, the World Wildlife Fund, Advanced Agricultural Alliance, and Penn State.  A widely published researcher, Ethan has been interviewed by radio and print journalists on issues related to renewable energy and climate change.   He has taught courses in Earth science and climate change at Penn State, done outreach for UCS, and successfully written multiple grants. He has experience in organizational strategic planning and goal setting. He is able to translate abstract, big-picture ideas into practical and achievable milestones. To support PVCA’s mission and vision, Ethan brings ardent love for the natural beauty of the Penns Valley region, scientific expertise, and organizational skills.


Mark Engle
Mark Engle is the owner of PC Medics & Co, a local Apple-based IT solutions consultancy serving central PA for almost 30 years. Mark has been a dedicated community volunteer for a number of organizations in and around Penns Valley for the past 25 years including the Boys Scouts of America; Penns Valley Youth Baseball, Basketball, and Football; East Penns Valley Community Business Association; Penns Valley Park and Recreation Association; PVASD Basketball Boosters Club, and the PVCA. Mark is an avid outdoor adventurer who is committed to leaving our natural environment in better shape than we found it for the enjoyment of future generations.

Mark has been a Centre County resident since 1978. He graduated from State College Area High School and attended Penn State University where he pursued a degree in computer science. He along with his late wife Cyndy, a photographer, and their five children made Penns Valley their home when they purchased the historic Millheim Municipal Theatre in 1995. Their children graduated from PVASD.  The PVCA’s vision of an engaged community working together to be good stewards of our natural environment is in alignment with his own. Mark brings his love of our “Big Backyard,” his dedication to being of service to others, and his passion for the outdoors to the PVCA Board of Directors.


Erica Husser
Erica Husser lives in Georges Valley with her husband John Spargo, who is director of PSU’s Agricultural Analytics Lab and a member of PVCA’s Watershed Committee.  They have two children Quinn (7th grade) and Sean (3d grade). Erica and her family chose the Penns Valley region to call home seven years ago because of its agricultural richness and rolling landscapes, waterways, and mountains. Erica has coached and volunteered for Penns Valley Youth Soccer (PVYS), served on the Gregg Township 2025 Committee, and most recently served on the Penns Prairie at Tri-Municipal Park board. A firm believer in the importance of making contributions to community, Erica looks forward to bringing her passion for environmental awareness and learning to PVCA.

Erica earned her PhD at Virginia Tech in Human Development, where she focused on the role of nature in lives of older women living in rural areas. She works in the College of Nursing at Penn State, serves on the Dean’s Sustainability Council, and manages a workforce training and education project, Age-Friendly Care, PA. With an eye on the intersections of health, well-being, education, and conservation, Erica feels an urgency to help protect and grow natural spaces to enhance the health of both the planet and its inhabitants.


More details to follow here, as well as Facebook, Twitter and our eBlasts.

Bike the Watershed
A Self-Guided Tour of a Few of
PVCA’s Watershed Projects

Bring your bike and tour several of PVCA’s Riparian Buffers and witness what impact they are having on the wildlife, the land, and the water quality. Map and information about each site are available below in both Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

On this tour, you will see several sites including:

  • Manicured to Managed: See how Willow Springs Farm is creating space for native trees and meadow plants.
  • Planting for Healing: See the Elder Grove planted by herbalist Sarah DePasquale and the rows of native medicinals and berries.
  • Keep the Cows Out: See the stream bank fencing along Pine Creek’s tributaries at four farms along the route.
  • Thousands of Trees: PVCA has created a young forest at Cemetery Road. See the colorful flags denoting alders and locusts that have turned this open field into a songbird haven.

Microsoft Word version
Adobe PDF version

You can view and download the GPX file of the route here on Gaia.

To use this folder in Gaia GPS:

  1. Open the link above on your computer.
  2. Make sure you are logged in, and click “Add to My Folders” in the top left corner of the folder page.
  3. Open Gaia GPS on your mobile device, and the folder will sync to your app if you are logged in.
  4. If the folder contains any large Map downloads, you should “Resume Download” for the Maps. To do that, select the new Folder from your Folder list in the app, then select Resume Download for Maps listed in the folder.

You can also view and download the GPX file of the route here on Strava.

** Special thanks to Kat Alden and Bill Torretti for biking/mapping the route for us!


  • The next monthly PVCA Board Meeting will held Thursday, November 12th beginning at 6:30pm.
    Due to the nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, this meeting will be held with each member attending remotely via the Zoom platform.

PVCA Calendar


Previous Events

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The PVCA Newsletter began in 2005. Published seasonally, it has appeared from two to four times a year.

The current Newsletter is displayed here. Issues back to 2016 are available, below. Other PVCA publications are available through the PVCA Community Outreach Committee, which may be accessed through the Organization: Detailed menu,  above.

Previous Newsletters

2020 – Spring/Summer






 20-20 Insights

Impressions of Penns Valley


Winter Slides to Spring,
Once Familiar, Now Unknown . . .
Hold to Sights and Sounds








We hope you are out and about in the wilds of Penns Valley! We are so lucky that we have this beautiful outdoors to enjoy during this time of social distancing and isolation. Do you love to capture the beauty that surrounds you? The Penns Valley Conservation Association (PVCA) invites you to share your experiences with us through photos, videos and sound recordings, to spread the enjoyment of your experience with those who may not be able to get out, to preserve and share memories, and to celebrate the beauty and wonder that is Penns Valley.

Send your favorite images, videos, and audios from the Valley to us at


Ways to Support PVCA



We’re delighted that you are interested in supporting PVCA. You may do so in several different ways:

Become a Member

PVCA offers three categories of membership:


Please join us using one of these membership categories.

Make a Donation

You may contribute to PVCA at any time, regardless of whether you are a member or not. When you do, you may also direct your donation to particular PVCA activities.

Subscribe to PVCA Electronic Communications

No cost way to subscribe to PVCA electronic communications, including news, announcements, and our newsletter.

Become a Sponsor

To support our mission, we offer sponsorship opportunities for specific events, programs, and operations. Most of our sponsors are also members – Individuals, Businesses, or Organizations, be we welcome those who simply want to help us with a specific activity.