Based in State College, ClearWater Conservancy is the foremost land trust and natural resource conservation organization in central Pennsylvania. Since 1980, ClearWater has worked to improve central Pennsylvania for all through land conservation, water resource protection, and environmental outreach to the community.

Press & News

Connections program sponsors 2,100 student visits to Millbrook Marsh this spring

(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) ClearWater Conservancy awarded $16,632 in funding through its “Connections” program for 2,164 students from 16 area public and private schools to take part in field trips this spring to Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College.

ClearWater's long-standing "Students-Communities-Streams-Connections" program pays for transportation and admission to the nature center. At Millbrook Marsh, the children will learn about their local natural environment through interactive and hands-on outdoor activities and experiments. In all, the program has sponsored 19,805 student visits since 2000.

“Trained naturalists introduce them to the wetland and the habitat. Activities include discovery walks, educational activities on the trail, experiencing the marsh hands-on by using their senses, and lots of exploration and discovery,” said Molly Hetrick, recreational supervisor at Millbrook Marsh. “All the programs are designed based on the PA State Standards for Environment and Ecology and supplement the school district’s classroom lessons.”

Elementary and middle school students and their teachers received word about their grant awards in March.

The 2015 Connections program is made possible with donations from Wal-Mart Foundation, State of the Art, Inc. Harris Township Lions Club and the many donors who attended ClearWater’s For the Love of Art & Chocolate fundraising event this year.

Spring 2015 funding recipients include:

Bellefonte Area School District 

- Bellefonte Elementary; teacher Staci Chapman; 59 kindergarten students at a cost of $613.00

- Benner Elementary; teacher Pam Vaiana; 208 fourth-grade students at a cost of $2,656.00

Bald Eagle Area School District

- Port Matilda Elementary; teacher Shawnee Morgan; 26 first-grade students at a cost of $352.00

Penns Valley Area School District

- Centre Hall, Penns Valley & Rebersburg; teacher Ang Homan; 93 fourth-grade students at a cost of $976.00

 - Centre Hall, Penns Valley & Rebersburg; teacher Vickie Fultz; 99 first-grade students at a cost of $1,018.00

 - Centre Hall, Penns Valley & Rebersburg; teacher Heather Bird; 114 second-grade students at a cost of $1,123.00

 - Penn’s Valley High School; teacher Jessica Martin; 107 seventh-grade students at a cost of $1,337.00

Philipsburg Osceola Area School District

- Phillipsburg Elementary; teacher Denise Putt, 40 second-grade students at a cost of $460.00

 - Phillipsburg Elementary; teacher Kerry Whitman, 45 second-grade students at a cost of $495.00

State College Area School District

- State College Area Elementaries; teacher Deirdre Bauer; 990 kindergarten, first and second-grade students at a cost of $3,465.00

Private Schools

- The Bellefonte Playschool; teacher Lori Proper; 33 pre-kindergarten students at a cost of $450.00.

- Cen-Clear Child Services, Inc.; teacher Amy Wible; 254 pre-kindergarten students at a cost of $2,690.00.

- Grace Lutheran Preschool and Kindergarten; teacher Anne Goodall; 8 kindergarten students at a cost of $176.00. 

- Our Children’s Center Montessori; teacher Sarah Potter; 28 pre-kindergarten students at a cost of $196.00.

- State College Area Friends School; teacher Lynne Bradley; 29 pre-kindergarten students at a cost of $308.00.

- State College Area Friends School; teacher Lisa Gamble; 31 kindergarten and first-grade students at a cost of $317.00.

Millbrook Marsh Nature Center offers a variety of programs, events, and activities to the community, in addition to leading school groups through educational field trips.  Learn more at

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Celebrate Earth Day at Watershed CleanUp

(STATE COLLEGE) On April 25th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at sites throughout Central Pennsylvania, ClearWater Conservancy will host its annual Watershed Cleanup Day. Over the past 18 years, Watershed Cleanup Day volunteers have properly disposed of 5.82 million pounds of illegally dumped trash found throughout the watersheds of central Pennsylvania. Through a partnership with Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority, an army of citizen volunteers and the generosity of local contractors, heavy equipment operators, businesses, municipalities, Centre Region Parks and Recreation and the MS4 partners, Watershed Cleanup Day continues to grow every year.

A pile of trash is not an attractive sight, but trash can do worse than spoil the natural beauty of our area.  Pollutants leaching from trash can enter drinking water.  Garbage can also cause injuries, harm wildlife, and its removal can use tax dollars that could be put to other uses.  Removing trash from our watersheds not only makes it more beautiful, but keeps the surrounding community healthy.

Watershed Cleanup Day has enjoyed such success largely because of the people and organizations who continue to donate their time, equipment, labor, and funding support year after year. To volunteer, a simple one page form can be filled out at Clearwater’s website on the link below.

“We hope that one year there will no longer be any litter polluting our environment, and therefore nothing for our volunteers to cleanup,” said Lori Davis, Water Resources Coordinator of ClearWater Conservancy. “However, until then we will continue to do our best to visibly improve the landscapes of central Pennsylvania while protecting its water resources.” 

Donations of equipment or money are greatly appreciated and bring us one step closer to removing this type of unsightly nonpoint source pollution from central Pennsylvania’s landscape and waterways. To donate contact Lori Davis.

If you would like to volunteer for this year’s event, please fill out the form at or contact Lori Davis, at 237-0400

Other area clean-up events happening April 25 include:

 CRPR Spring Spruce-Up/Park Partner Day:  CRPR will prepare up to 54 sites including parks, playgrounds, nature areas and sportfields, 8:30 AM-noon. Volunteers are needed. Please contact Dave Barnett at or call 814-234-1657.

The Mt. Nittany Conservancy seeks trail volunteers for spring maintenance on the popular hiking trails on Mount Nittany from 8:30 AM-noon. Contact Bob Andronici at

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ClearWater Adds 281 acres to Rothrock State Forest

Tussey Mountain land purchased by ClearWater

now part of Rothrock State Forest


(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) ClearWater Conservancy completed the purchase of 281 mountainside acres on Tussey Mountain in Harris and Ferguson Townships and transferred the land to public ownership as part of Rothrock State Forest Oct. 29.

The land, purchased from Richard and Bernadette Hale, is immediately to the east of Musser Gap, a property conserved by ClearWater in similar fashion in 2006. Since 2007, ClearWater Conservancy has added 928 acres on Tussey Mountain to Rothrock State Forest, creating conserved land for wildlife and recreational use in perpetuity.

“ClearWater Conservancy is delighted to acquire the properties and transfer ownership to Rothrock State Forest.  We trust in the land management philosophy and stewardship of the forest resources carried out by the Bureau of Forestry in our community.  Land conservation activities like this are at the core of ClearWater’s mission of conserving the special, beautiful, natural places that give our region its character,” said ClearWater Conservancy President Steve Miller.

As part of Rothrock State Forest, the land will now be owned and cared for by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry.

"The Forest District and the users of the Rothrock owe a debt of gratitude to ClearWater Conservancy for their diligence in this almost two-year project to make this acquisition happen. The tract will now be evaluated by District staff for forest stand health and for recreational opportunities,” said Mark Potter , District Forester for Rothrock State Forest.

Conserving and protecting mountain land does more than secure scenic views and recreation, it helps ensure safe drinking water for the entire region.

“This adds 280 acres of protected mountain land to the mountain recharge area and creates an excellent source water protection area for Slab Cabin Run and both the Harter and Thomas well fields.  This is very important for the community’s drinking water supplies because it has been estimated that mountain runoff provides upwards of 50 percent  of the groundwater recharge to the carbonate aquifers that support the State Borough Water Authority’s Thomas and Harter well fields, ” said Brian Heiser, SCBWA Water Production Superintendent.

Funding for the acquisition was from DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation via The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, DCNR Bureau of Forestry and ClearWater Conservancy.

ClearWater Conservancy's Land Conservation Program seeks to balance the rapid growth of central Pennsylvania with the conservation of important ecological, cultural, and historic places.  We work with interested landowners and managers to determine appropriate and voluntary conservation methods, including land management recommendations, conservation easements, and land acquisitions.  

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