Master Watershed Program offers spring training across the state

The Penn State Master Watershed Steward program was established to educate and empower volunteers to protect environmental resources.

Training and volunteer service are coordinated at the county level by extension staff, partners, or trained volunteers. Generally, 15-20 people are selected for the program each year. Those accepted to the program attend training classes that focus on a broad range of water resource topics, including groundwater, stream ecology, wetlands, invasive plants, water recreation and stormwater management. There is a one-time registration cost to those accepted into the program. This is to cover the cost of the manual, name tag, and cost of the meeting facilities.

What do Penn State Master Watershed Stewards do?

Master Watershed Stewards work with the community to improve the health of our streams, rivers, and other natural resources.

Example projects

  • Organizing educational events such as rain barrel building workshops and seminars on backyard stormwater management.
  • Participating in stream restoration projects.
  • Sampling water quality and stream assessments.
  • Coordinating and conducting stream clean-ups.
  • Working with municipal officials on stormwater. 
  • Planning and carrying out habitat improvement projects.
  • Teaching adults and children about the environment.

What is required of a Penn State Master Watershed Steward?

To become a Master Watershed Steward, you need a keen interest in the environment, a willingness to learn more and most importantly, a strong desire to make a difference in the community. Whether you are a teacher, an accountant, a construction worker, a homemaker, or retired, you can become a Master Watershed Steward!

To become a certified Master Watershed Steward, you must complete a minimum of 40 hours of training and fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service. In subsequent years, you can maintain your Master Watershed Steward status by giving at least 20 additional volunteer hours and attending at least 8 hours of update training annually.

How do I become a Penn State Master Watershed Steward?

If you live in the participating counties, contact the county coordinator or if would like to establish a program in your county, contact Erin Frederick at 610-391-9840 or [email protected].

Where and when can I take the training?

This spring’s training will be held virtually via Zoom on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. starting March 10th and running through mid-June.

Optional in-person field experiences will be scheduled locally with COVID-19 safety measures in place. 

Training will be offered in:

  • Allegheny
  • Armstrong/Indiana/Westmoreland
  • Berks/Schuylkill
  • Cameron/Elk/McKean/Potter
  • Chester/Delaware
  • Cumberland/Franklin/Adams
  • Dauphin/Lebanon/Lancaster
  • Erie/Crawford/Warren
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Philadelphia
  • Susquehanna
  • York

To learn more about the upcoming training and register for an information session (dates will be added as they are scheduled), visit

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