Power of partnerships: Your support critical heading into a busy slate of summertime activities and initiatives
Two years ago in mid-May, my anxiety spiked to new levels.
We were just a month away from the first of our initial six HERYN (Helping Engage our River’s Youth with Nature) kayaking and fishing day programs. A grant from the PA Fish and Boat Commission allowed me to turn a personal dream idea into reality, and that was exciting, but there was still so much to pull together.
We needed life jackets, fishing tackle, lunches, bait and other things that weren’t part of the grant funding or would be important matches for the grant. We had nearly 70 kids signed up already for a program that had never happened. So many were depending on this program being a success, blindly believing that we could provide what we promised when first advertising the program.
Podcast: Advocational archeologist Kim Mattern talks about lessons to learn via artifacts near waterways
Kim Mattern's fascination for Native American artifacts and the history lesson they provide started when he was just six years old while tagging along with his father hunting for cool treasures in fields and along creeks in Snyder County.
Since then, Mattern has found thousands of artifacts throughout the region and uses his experiences in artifact hunting and the research that goes with it to speak to people about the history of the region and how our ancestors interacted with our waterways.
Riverkeeper hosting special river ecology program for Scouts Aug. 19 at the Shikellamy State Park Marina
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association is hosting a special Scout Ecology Day on Saturday, August 19, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shikellamy State Park Marina near Sunbury.
The program will begin with a combined community service project of cleaning up trash and litter throughout the park as well as nearby riverbanks and other natural regions. After lunch, Scouts will rotate through seven stations designed to give them a better understanding of the ecology of our river, its tributaries and the species that depend on these resources.
New BirdNet unit installed within Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory near Shaver Creek
On Tuesday afternoon, May 9, 2023, Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association board member and IT mind behind the new BirdNet project Doug Fessler and Riverkeeper John Zaktansky traveled to Penn State's Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) near the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center just south of State College to install the third in a series of watershed-wide BirdNet ID units.
Using money from a technology grant via the Keith Campbell Foundation, the association continues to create, install and put online BirdNet units along waterways that record, ID and upload common bird sounds to an interactive map.
The goal is to collect data to be analyzed by the Susquehanna University Freshwater Research Institute to observe correlations between various bird species and water quality with the goal of developing indicators that can then be used as another way to monitor waterways for changes in quality and potential pollution.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.