SMETHPORT — Penn State Extension is now accepting applications for the first Master Watershed Steward Program in Cameron, Elk, Potter and McKean counties.

Established to strengthen local capacity for protecting watersheds by educating and empowering volunteers across the commonwealth, the program is now represented by over 500 participants in 20 Pennsylvania counties. Master Watershed Stewards have collectively contributed over 50,000 volunteer hours improving Pennsylvania watersheds.

An information session will be offered via Zoom for local residents interested in becoming certified Master Watershed Stewards at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 20. To register and for more information, visit

The program provides participants with extensive training in environmental science, followed by ongoing volunteer and educational opportunities that allow participants to make a difference in their communities.

Master Watershed Stewards receive 40 hours of training on topics including water quality, stream health, stormwater management, native plants, wildlife and

geology. After completing the training session, stewards fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service.

Master Watershed Steward training classes will take place 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesdays, beginning March 3. Classes will be offered remotely with optional in-person field trips at partnering environmental organizations, pending COVID-19 restrictions. The training program will conclude in June.

The fee for the training program is $125. Scholarships are available based on financial need.

For more information about the Master Watershed Steward Program or to request an application for the 2021 training program, contact Erin Frederick at (610) 391-9840 or

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