OSMRE / VISTA Team Projects
Evergreen Conservancy and Crooked Creek Watershed Association
OSMRE / VISTA: Sara Beatty
Supervisor: Brooke Esarey
Address: C/O Indiana Co. Conservation District 625 Kolter Dr. Ste 8, Indiana, Pennsylvania 15701
Voice Telephone: 724-471-4751 Ext. 5
Web site: www.evergreenconservancy.org
Web site 2: www.crookedcreekallegheny.com
Congressional District: 9th
Bureau: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)
The Evergreen Conservancy, formed in 2004 is an all-volunteer, nonprofit, grass roots organization dedicated to advancing the preservation, protection, and stewardship of natural, cultural, and historical resources in and around Indiana County, PA.
Crooked Creek Watershed Association, established in 1981, is an all-volunteer, non-profit, grass roots organization working to improve the water quality in Crooked Creek and its tributaries, preserve and enhance natural resources and habitats, and increase public awareness and education.
About the Surrounding Community
While agriculture, coal mining, and natural gas are important for the economy of Indiana County, they are also potential sources of pollution. Prior to environmental regulations, these industries degraded water quality that still has to be managed today. This degradation has had a direct impact on public health and community vitality. Community awareness of how water quality affects Indiana County’s community, economic, and social development is low. In addition, tourism is an important aspect of Indiana County’s economy, with many travelers visiting to fish and hunt in the county’s abundant wild lands, yet abandoned mine drainage and agricultural runoff are the primary sources of non-point source pollution in Pennsylvania waters. In Indiana County, streams are affected by AMD, agriculture, and over-development. Residents of the zip codes served by the Evergreen Conservancy have an average per capita income 22.45% below the national level; 19.9% of these residents live below the national poverty level.
The OSMRE/VISTA addresses environmental issues throughout the community by assisting organizations that manage Abandoned Mine Drainage treatment systems, monitor water quality throughout the county’s streams, and engage the public in environmental education through capacity building, grant writing, developing and implementing outreach plans, and recruiting volunteers. The OSMRE/VISTA also works directly with landowners to determine Best Management Practices (BMPs) that may be used to limit sediments and other pollutants from getting into the waterways. In addition, through volunteer leadership on environmental remediation projects, public education, and outreach programming, this project promotes the socio-economic potential of ecotourism, renewable energy resources, and natural resource conservation and restoration.