Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper John Zaktansky recently spent some time on air to talk about the popular Songs of the Susquehanna project and the impending deadline for feedback on the 58 original, river-inspired songs up for consideration for the 2022 playlist.
You can check out the songs and provide feedback at this link -- those that take the time to do this by Feb. 28 will be put into a drawing for two tickets to the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership's April 9 Paddling Film Festival at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg, along with a few other potential prizes.
You can also donate directly to the project by clicking here, as your donation will go to cover Songs of the Susquehanna costs and then will be divided among the musicians who are selected for the final playlist.
New outdoor expo to continue the Greenway Partnership's mission to connect people to river's resources
As communications and outreach director for the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, Alana Jajko looks for new ways to connect people with the river and the network of trails, parks and other open spaces that connect communities along the river.
A conversation with her aunt in Vermont provided the spark that will take shape on June 4, 2022, as the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership hosts the inaugural Susquehanna Outdoor Expo at the Shikellamy State Park marina near Sunbury.
As a way to engage families about the plight of the Eastern Hellbender and educate the next generation about the threats our state amphibian is facing, the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association held a kids Hellbender Awareness Poster Contest at its Early Bird Sports Expo booth late in January at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds.
Through the four days of the expo, we received 80 hand-drawn and colored posters by kids ranging in age mostly between five and 10. Several prizes were given out at the end of the show randomly to those who participated, but we felt it was important to showcase their work beyond the expo.
Feedback encouraged on nearly 60 original river-inspired submissions for Songs of the Susquehanna 2022
When 13-year-old Lewisburg middle-schooler Emily Berge received encouragement from her music teacher, Sarah Tiede, to participate in the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association’s Songs of the Susquehanna project, she threw herself into the opportunity.
“It means so much to me that she saw I had the potential to share the gift that God has given me with others,” said Berge, who wrote all the lyrics and melodies for her song submission, and then recorded her own melody and harmonies with the help of her family.
“Since this is the first of my original songs I have publicly recorded and shared, I am looking forward to hearing feedback from those who take the time to listen,” she said. “Knowing what others feel when they listen to my music will be encouraging to me as well as help me grow as a songwriter and artist.”
Podcast: Watershed Specialist Aaron Eldred on stream restoration, vital importance of watershed groups
Aaron Eldred, a watershed specialist with the Columbia County Conservation District, has done quite a bit of work on stream restoration via added structural elements. He also has seen the vital importance of watershed associations and how they spark real change within the greater watershed.
Aaron has also overseen the county's drone technology in terms of waterway monitoring, and was a key contributor to the recent Catawissa Creek nomination for 2022 River of the Year consideration.
In our newest podcast episode, he talks about all these topics and how family outdoor vacations -- and one specific pollution event -- helped shape his passion for our resources and his career path.
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association has scheduled six HERYN (Helping Engage our River's Youth with Nature) program days for June 20-25, 2025, at the Central PA Wesleyan Campground near New Columbia.
HERYN staff work with 12 different students -- ages 10-13 -- each day as they rotate between kayaking and fishing instruction that teaches the fundamentals in each activity and sparks a vested interest in our outdoor resources.
Lake sustainability study is one of several advances made since March 2020 Talen-MSRKA settlement deal
Estimated natural waterflow from the Chillisquaque Creek system and regional precipitation is sufficient to sustain adequate water levels within Lake Chillisquaque without additional pumping from the Susquehanna River, according to a lake level analysis study by Gannett Fleming, of Harrisburg.
The report, part of a March 2020 settlement agreement between the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association and Talen Energy, looks at the hydraulics and hydrology of Lake Chillisquaque within the Montour Preserve to determine its sustainability after Talen Energy no longer needs the lake as a coolant option for the nearby Montour powerplant.
Groups to build off ROY nomination momentum, rally support and help Catawissa Creek reach its potential
As a 41-mile-long tributary of the Susquehanna River devastated by a large amount of aquatic-life-killing abandoned mine drainage contaminants, the Catawissa Creek deserves special recognition and raised awareness.
It is critical for the creek to get the attention it needs so that a long-term treatment option can address the high acidity and gill-clogging aluminum suspended in the outflow of the abandoned Audenried Mine Tunnel discharge.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.