Williamsport, Pennsylvania — The Waterdale Environmental Education Center (WEEC) in Williamsport has received a community investment that promises to expand the center’s educational and outreach programs.
As part of his efforts to oversee the center, Lycoming College received a $4,500 donation from C&N. The project is a joint effort between the Clean Water Institute (CWI) at Lycoming College and the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority (WMWA).
WEEC, located in the pristine and beautiful mountain valley of the Mosquito Creek watershed near the WMWA Filtration Plant, offers a cooperative collaboration of water supply utilities, university resources, and conservation agencies and organizations local and state.
This partnership provides opportunities for community education and outreach programs that emphasize science and the importance of good stewardship and protection of our natural resources and public water supplies.
The donation was made through Pennsylvania’s Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, of which WEEC is an eligible educational program. The EITC program provides businesses with a credit to reduce their tax liability through donations to educational enrichment initiatives such as WEEC.
C&N has expressed its commitment to investing in local educational programs.
“C&N employs nearly a dozen proud Lycoming alumni locally. I, along with several of my colleagues, were thrilled to have the opportunity to support our alma mater and their efforts to provide such an engaging program for our youth,” said Rachael Clark ’08, Vice President, Leader of the regional retail market at C&N. “Our hope is that they not only have the opportunity to learn more about science and our natural resources, but also about Lycoming College and the hands-on educational experience it offers students. We are lucky to have the College and all it has to offer in our community.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, WEEC provided outreach programs to approximately 600 K-12 students each year from neighboring school districts, including Loyalsock, Montoursville, Montgomery, and East Lycoming, as well as Bishop Newman and West Branch School.
With pandemic restrictions easing, WEEC is once again offering programs, most recently with a two-day program held May 12-13 for sixth graders at Loyalsock Middle School.
“Students alternated between four stations overseen by Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute, Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, Williamsport Municipal Water Authority, U.S. Geological Survey, and Susquehanna Valley Audubon Society,” said Mel Zimmerman, Ph.D. , director of the CWI. and professor emeritus.
Students had the opportunity to plant seedlings/saplings along the creek to create a riparian buffer zone, learning how buffer zones help strengthen the banks of a creek and reduce runoff and erosion. The students also toured the WMWA Filtration Plant and learned about the state amphibian, the ruler of hell.
“The ability to offer these programs to local students is important as the Waterdale center provides a hands-on, outdoor opportunity for a variety of young ages to participate in learning about ecological/conservation topics.“, said Zimmerman. “We are extremely grateful for C&N’s contribution to the Waterdale Environment Education Center, which will significantly improve the distribution possibilities of our programs. »
“We are so grateful to the team at Lycoming College for providing hands-on learning programs that successfully engage children and make them excited to learn,” said C&N Regional President Tom Rudy. . “At C&N, we’re proud to support programs and businesses like these that keep our local communities strong for years to come.”