CLEARFIELD, CLEARFIELD COUNTY -- Some local senior citizens are taking the time to protect the environment.
The Senior Environmental Corps does projects like water monitoring, abandoned well marking, and watershed restoration, and they’ve recently been awarded a grant that will help them do even more good for the environment.
John and Nancy Potts saw an ad in the paper for the Senior Environment Corps 12 years ago, and they’ve been working with the group ever since.
“There’s lots of improvements that need to be made in the environment. It isn’t just water. We have litter pickups. We have trail improvements, and it’s interesting and fun,” John Potts said.
President of Nature Abounds in Clearfield, Melinda Hughes-Wert, recently helped the Senior Environment Corps get a grant worth over $141,000. The group has been trying to sustain itself since losing its state funding in 2007, and the grant will help them buy new supplies and attract new members.
“We just want to get more people involved because there’s a lot of streams to cover in the state that still need monitoring,” said Hughes-Wert, “And with the coal mining, there’s a lot of abandoned mine drainage, like there’s water turning up orange. It’s not good to drink or anything like that. Also with the Marcellus Shale drilling, we need to keep an eye on everything.”
The work the seniors do can also help government agencies like the Department of Environmental Protection stay on top of potential hazards.
“We actually were alerted by a citizen of a spring that was not drinkable,” said Nancy Potts, “And with our meters we found very high conductivity and reported that to DEP through the Conservation District, and they did need to come and address that situation. It was a contamination problem.”
The Potts are proud of the work they’ve done to protect our environment, but they said they also cherish the friendships they’ve made along the way.
“We meet with Centre County Senior Environment Corps as a group meeting at Black Moshannon State Park, so we have a good time,” said Nancy Potts.
If you’d like to get involved with the Senior Environment Corps, contact Nature Abounds at (814) 765-1453 or email them at email@example.com. You can also visit their website at www.natureabounds.org.