By Ryan Neuman, Upstream Conservation Leader
In challenging times like these, strong partnerships and creativity are critical to improving the health of our local waterways. We are proud to provide information to our neighbors in a new online format, so that you can learn how to be an even more effective steward for the environment from the safety of your home. During the past two months, staff with Wissahickon Trails, Pennpack Ecological Restoration Trust and Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership worked together to develop and present a series of informational webinars on topics of watershed health and nature.
These groups are part of the Suburban Philadelphia Upstream Collaborative, which started back in 2014 with the inception of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, created and funded by the William Penn Foundation. The initiative brings together organizations from across the entire Delaware River Watershed to improve the water quality of a watershed that touches the lives of so many Americans.
The first webinar, Managing Water Pollution at Home, showcased what homeowners can do to help improve the health of our watersheds, and also outlined basic watershed information. This webinar gave an overview of all of the steps people can take, from selecting native plants and installing rain gardens in their yards, to using less water around the house.
The next installment of the series, Get To Know iNaturalist, discussed how to use the iNaturalist app. iNaturalist is a crowd sourcing citizen science app which enable individuals to post pictures of plants and animals that they see, and access expert help to identify them. This information can be of value to scientists. The webinar discussed the basics of the app such as creating an account, recording observations and identifying other people’s observations. We also shared how each of our organization uses iNaturalist and upcoming iNaturalist events.
Don’t Be A Drip: Online Rain Barrel Workshop discussed why and how to use rain barrels. Rain barrels are a good way to save money, and help the health of the watershed by reducing peak flows of water when it rains. Rain barrels connect to rain gutters, and store the water for another use, or slowly release the water back into the system. This workshop discussed rain barrel basics, add-ons and modifications, maintenance tips and rain barrel sources.
These webinars are posted on our Youtube Channel. Have a suggestion for a future webinar? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.