After more than seven years with ClearWater, Colleen DeLong, Habitat Stewardship Biologist, will begin a new chapter in her career in a different corner of Pennsylvania, closer to family. Please join us as we gratefully acknowledge Colleen’s significant contributions to the organization and wish her great success with all future endeavors!
Since 2015, Colleen has worked with numerous landowners and conservation partners to design, plant, and steward 116 acres of streamside forest along 9.5 miles of stream. In addition to leading the creation of new streamside forests, Colleen was also responsible for stewarding the organization’s current and past riparian buffers, a total of 232 acres of buffer and 27 miles of streams.
She also oversaw caring for ClearWater’s Native Garden with a group of superb volunteers, assisting with our volunteer-led native plant nursery, and managing the Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor habitat. Through this work she provided many educational presentations both indoors and outdoors in our natural environment, where she says, “We all learn best experiencing nature first-hand.”
Reflecting on her time with ClearWater, Colleen shared, “Although I am continually inspired by habitat creation, restoration and stewardship, the thing that has been the most amazing for me at ClearWater is the people. My favorite is perhaps working with landowners to design the right habitat project that works best for them, their farms, and their natural resources, but the fantastic partners, contractors, supporters, executive director, staff, volunteers and board members are all equally precious to me. I have simply gotten to know more amazing people working here than anyone has a right to know in one lifetime. I will deeply miss the day-to-day with everyone, but I know the fabulous team at ClearWater will continue the great work and we will stay in touch as both colleagues and friends. I want everyone to know this. It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to get to know you all!”
Notably, Colleen also coordinated numerous riparian projects with additional agricultural best management practices including streambank repair and stabilization to reduce soil erosion into the stream, safe stream crossings for livestock that protect the health of the livestock and the stream, livestock water systems to provide clean fresh water for livestock, and streambank fencing to protect new plantings and restored streambanks.
In addition to working with hundreds of volunteers and staff over the years, Colleen especially enjoyed working with many of ClearWater’s partnering organizations throughout every aspect of her work. She represented the organization as a member of the Riparian Forest Buffer Advisory Committee for PA-DCNR, and also led partnerships with Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Halfmoon 319/ Rapid Stream Delisting Partnership, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Keystone 10 Million Trees Initiative, and others.
On behalf of everyone at ClearWater, thank you Colleen, you will be so missed!