Philadelphia’s Master Watershed Steward Program seeking participants

    Penn State Extension and the Philadelphia Water Department are now accepting applications for Philadelphia’s fall 2020 Master Watershed Steward training.

    The program provides participants with extensive training in environmental science. After completing the classes and volunteer hours required for certification, Master Watershed Stewards educate their communities about watershed stewardship based on university research and recommendations.

    Two online information sessions, slated for 6:30 p.m. June 2 and June 11, will be offered for Philadelphia residents interested in becoming certified Master Watershed Stewards. To register for one of these sessions, visit

    Philadelphia’s 2020 Master Watershed Steward training classes will take place on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 15. Classes will be offered both remotely with optional in-person field trips at partnering environmental organizations throughout Philadelphia. The training program will conclude in mid-December.

    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.

    In subsequent years, Master Watershed Stewards can maintain their status through 20 hours of volunteer time to watershed projects or programs and attending a minimum of 10 hours of advanced training.

    The fee for the training program is $70. Scholarships are available based on financial need.

    Established to strengthen local capacity for protecting watersheds by educating and empowering volunteers across the commonwealth, the Master Watershed Steward Program is now represented by more than 500 participants in 17 Pennsylvania counties. These volunteers have collectively contributed more than 41,000 volunteer hours improving Pennsylvania watersheds.

    Examples of projects and programs include designing and installing demonstration rain gardens or streamside plantings, teaching children about stream ecology, and organizing educational workshops that address such topics as backyard conservation or homeowner stormwater management.

    To learn more about the Master Watershed Steward Program, contact Erin Frederick at

    About Penn State Extension

    Penn State Extension is dedicated to translating scientific research into real-world applications to drive progress. In support of Penn State’s land-grant mission, extension programs serve individuals, businesses and communities, while promoting a vibrant food and fiber system, a clean environment, and a healthier population in Pennsylvania and beyond. With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization has a tradition of bringing unbiased information and support to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.