Data Collected by Volunteers Will Contribute to Meaningful Watershed Assessment

THERE IS A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE AROUND A WATERSHED: failing streambanks and pipes, flood areas, sediment issues, poor fish habitat--just to name a few. And, as we all know, time and money are often hard to come by. Local government, foundations, and other potential funders want assurance that money being spent on restoration activities will provide meaningful improvements in a watershed.

To understand the current conditions of your watershed, pinpoint areas for improvement, and prioritize projects for the best return on investment, watershed groups can facilitate a Visual Watershed Assessment.

By completing a watershed assessment, your group will stand a better chance in securing funding to improve your watershed.  

However, completing an official watershed assessment costs thousands of dollars. Do not be discouraged! Your group is fully capable of making this happen.

The Little Sewickley Creek Watershed Association, a citizen volunteer group, has secured enough money to hire an engineering firm to complete a Visual Watershed Assessment. In addition to having a firm put together this official assessment, most of the field work will be powered by volunteers!

How did they find the funding?

1.    Strong membership base

The LSCWA has worked hard to find dedicated supporters who are passionate about their water and land.

2.    Grant funding from the Allegheny County Conservation District

Your group can apply for a Conservation, Leadership, and Innovation Program Grant to support watershed- focused projects. Visit for more information.

A Watershed Assessment is a great tool for both established and new watershed groups. It provides a valuable plan for moving forward on projects, and also gives volunteers a valuable purpose.

There is simply not enough coverage or funding provided by the agencies responsible for protecting our water resources.

Be a part of improving water quality for yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.

200 Trees and We're Just Getting Started

What does it take to plant a few trees ­­-- or 200 to be exact? On Saturday, May 13th, it took plenty of shovels, a couple piles of mulch and, most of all, over 40 volunteers ready to dig.

High school students and community members joined Turtle Creek Watershed Association and the Municipality of Monroeville at Valley Park to find an acre of land already covered with 200 colored flags marking 200 spots for new potted and bare-root trees.

Working alongside Turtle Creek, volunteers canvassed the acre and moved from one flag to the next, digging a hole, placing a tree or root provided by Tree Pittsburgh and Musser Forests in the ground and securing tubing or fencing around each.

Soon, flags turned into holes, then into leafy brown stems and finally into well-protected trees that will grow to protect the stream they sit beside.

Instead of seeing bare ground or ground covered with invasive species bordering the stream, you’ll find patches of mulch housing white tubes or wire fences. It may not look like much now. But year by year, each tree will filter pollutants, control floods, stabilize an eroding streambank and provide habitat for fish and wildlife.

Multiply those benefits by 200. What do you get? Better water quality for generations to come.

This is just the beginning.

Over the next five years, we’ll plant a total of ten acres of trees along streams in Allegheny County as part of a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant award.

Imagine 10 acres just like Valley Park: Land, trees and water teaming together all at the hands of a couple dozen volunteers on a Saturday morning.

Join us in the fall at South Park for our next planting as we continue, tree by tree, to work towards better water.