My name is Carolyn and I am a volunteer at the Piney Creek Watershed Association (PCWA). I am so grateful that I was introduced to PCWA because it is a wonderful group of people who have a passion for the community, access to clean water and protecting the environment.
Surrounded by lush vegetation and the sparkling waters of Little Beaver Lake, PCWA put together its First Annual Watershed Festival on June 30th. This festival brought together several organizations to promote the importance of clean water by providing steps that the community can take to protect our watershed. They also showed us how we can educate one another to do this.
Some groups who participated were the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team (ACCWT), the Girl Scouts, and the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce. People poured out to eat hotdogs, listen to music and learn about their local watershed. Children played the rain garden game put on by Scott Fanello, the OSM-VISTA with the National Park Service. In the game they had to strategically arrange sponges on a sloped surface to most efficiently capture rain water.
Jennifer Dupree from the DEP had a macroinvertebrate identification station set up so that people could identify healthy aquatic life from the water of Little Beaver Lake. Tim Pyles, from PCWA, was available to answer questions about rain barrels and took names of interested parties to schedule upcoming rain barrel workshops.
The Junior Girl Scout Troup #5130 put on a fashion show parading the coolness of carrying recycled shopping bags as opposed to their polluting plastic counterparts. Also a dozen new members were recruited on board at the watershed. This means more community awareness and we hope more involvement.
One member of PCWA said that he heard from several different people that they were very pleased that there is such an awareness developing in our area about our watershed. Just several years ago, most of the community probably didn’t even know what a watershed was. Today, with events such as the watershed festival, more and more people are becoming educated about just how important a healthy watershed is.
PCWA would like to thank everyone that came out, everyone that became a member and especially everyone that donated their time, energy and prizes. Thank you especially to Erik Evans at Little Beaver State Park, ACE Raft, Bobby Bowers, Dr. Landis, Alliance Consulting, Jill Moorefield and Phyllis Farley. We are so looking forward to next year’s festival!