Crooked Creek Watershed Association
patchNews and Events


Dates of upcoming events you won't want to miss! Mark your calendar and get involved.

Join us for the Baker Trail Blazing and Upkeep

Date/time details to be announced on Facebook. Meet at the Crooked Creek Outpost Building. We'll be re-blazing, cleaning up trash and reinforcing the trail where needed. See you then!

Always the 3rd Tuesday of every month, 7 p.m., Kittanning Courthouse Annex Building, 500 Market Street, second floor. The building and room are fully accessible.
All are welcome! Mark your calendar and come as you are. You'll hear about what we're doing for our watershed and how you can get involved and make a difference.

Fish Fry for 2020 - Sadly We Will Miss You
Even though we will be apart this year due to COVID-19, maybe flip a fish on the grill or fry up some fries in our honor. Also, please keep you and your families safe and healthy and think of your friends at Crooked Creek Watershed Association as you do something good for your environment.



winter walk 2011

Winter Wonderland Walk January at Crooked Creek

Annual Fish Fry at Falcon Park
Every year we meet up at Falcon Park for freshly deep-fried fish and fries with friends of CrCWA! Games creekside, fabulous food and drink and lots of prizes.

In conjunction with the Lions, CrCWA provided handicapped accessible picnic tables and shelters at our fishing pier at the Crooked Creek spillway.

Final Porcupine Crib Build for Adopt-a-Lake - July, 2014, Keystone Lake
At Keystone Lake for our 12th and final year building porcupine cribs to protect the little fishes and allow them to grow up to be big fish. Then help place them in the lake by boat to join the 180 other porcupine cribs we've built over the years. They're all marked on a special CrCWA map!

at Keystone Lake

River Sweep
Volunteers cleaned up the Rosston boat launch area and some folks even cleaned up the river banks using their kayaks!

Join us for a virtual Wildflower walk to Buttermilk Falls
then turn off the computer and get outdoors to see how many you can spy for real!

Baker Trail Maintenance
Sunday, April 22, 2012, 9 a.m., meet at parking lot overlooking the spillway of Crooked Creek Lake. We'll be trimming, tamping, checking the trail for wear, and picking up any trash we find.

Winter Wonderland Walk
February 12, 2012, the trails of Crooked Creek Lake behind the Environmental Learning Center were a winter wonderland. This suited the warmly dressed hikers just fine as they found at least nine different tracks in the freshly fallen snow, learned about different trees and habitats, and enjoyed the sights. The hike culminated in some friendly networking as they returned to the ELC for delicious hot apple cider, three sister's soup, amazing chili, and excellent corn bread.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
January 16, 2012, Volunteers helped collect over $250 and 200 nonperishable food items for the Community Action Food Bank. Thank you to Kittanning Shop n' Save and Foodland and all of our generous neighbors.

June 18, 2011 we picked up lots and lots of junk along our local rivers!

June 22, 2011 we built and dispatched lots of porcupine cribs to help the fish of Keystone Lake grow up big and strong!

Annual Fish Fry Celebrates 30th Anniversary July 16, 2011, we felt the love as over 70 participants enjoyed fresh fried fish, hushpuppies and much more at Falcon Park as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Crooked Creek Watershed Association!Thank you for your support

Winter Wonderland Walk
At the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center (ELC): Sun. Feb. 13, 2011, 2 p.m. FREE (There's no excuse that you're watching football, so get out, shake the winter doldrums and enjoy the newly fallen snow! We're sure to find some interesting tracks.)

Followup: Great weather this year led to an even greater turn out! And the cornbread, chili and hot apple cider was wonderful when we returned.

Grow an Extra Row

This will be the second season for the CrCWA Grow an Extra Row project where volunteers help their watershed by adding a row to their gardens and then donating the produce to CrCWA to sell at the farmer’s market. Always looking to stand apart from the crowd, last year’s bumper crop was popcorn still on the cob. This year there’s another twist. FREE SEEDS. I’m not talking about everyday variety seeds either, but rare, and sometimes downright bizarre seeds. If you agree to help us out, you will get your seeds for FREE and you can choose from everything from Crosby’s Egyptian beets to Utah celery. There’s certified organic Boothby’s blonde cucumber and Aunt Ruby’s German green tomato. Personally, I’m focusing on growing something that doesn’t mind my severely shaded growing situation. I plan to grow a bumper crop of catnip this year. I already have a strategy to ensure our family felines don’t sample the merchandise.

So contact Adam Cotchen to sign up to help us out and Grow an Extra Row of something you’ve never dreamed of. Did I mention we have seeds for Tom Thumb lettuce, Amsterdam minicor carrot, hailstone radish, organic basil, Italian parsley, cowhorn okra, igloo cauliflower, Lilliput zinnias, skyscraper sunflower, hollyhock, and even golden midget watermelon? Get dirty, get green, and get involved in your watershed.

Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteer Day
CrCWA, Armstrong Conservation District, and AmeriCorps, and community volunteers logged 77 hours Monday, January 18, 2010 collecting food items and monetary donations to benefit the Armstrong County Community Action Food Bank. Voluteers gave away free reusable shopping bags made of recycled plastic at Shop 'N Save and Foodland in Kittanning. They also gave out watershed information and encouraged people to use their reusable shopping bags instead of paper or plastic.Read about it in the Leader Times. Thank you to all who made this event a true community success.

Adam Cotchen, OSM/VISTA at Farmer's Market
Working to Reduce Pollution in High-Quality Cold Water Stream

Since March 2009, through the combined efforts of the Office of Surface Mining and AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America, the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team has placed a full-time volunteer to work with the Crooked Creek Watershed Association. A unique partnership between the OSM, AmeriCorps*VISTA, and coal country watershed groups allows the ACCWT to target problems associated with the legacy of pre-regulatory coal-mining in Appalachian watersheds. OSM/VISTA, Adam Cotchen, is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries resources. Cotchen will also be working with CrCWA and Indiana County Conservation District to write a Watershed Implementation Plan for the South Branch of Plum Creek. Despite the impaired status of most of the stream due to siltation, the South Branch of Plum Creek is one of the only High-Quality Cold Water Fisheries in Indiana County. By publishing the WIP the watershed will be come eligible for funding through the Clean Water Act Section 319 from the Environmental Protection Agency for efforts to reduce nonpoint source pollution issues. The scope of the plan is to work with landowners in the watershed to implement Best Management Practices to reduce sediment pollution to a level that would lead to removing the streams impaired status.

Learn more at

Baker Trail spring maintenance: May 15, 2010, 9-noon; meet at Crooked Creek ELC Spring Center to help maintain our adopted section of the Rachel Carson trail.

Riversweep: June 19, 2010
Clean 'em up and we can all enjoy our rivers.

25th Annual Fish Fry: July 17, 2010
Great food, great prizes, and great fun. Plan to join us!

Adopt-A-Lake: July 27, 2010
Help us build and place 15 porcupine cribs in Keystone Lake. Great habitat for the baby fishes.

Fall Foliage Hike
November 8, 2009 on CrCWA adopted section of Baker Trail. Hikers helped maintain the trail over hill and over dale, cleaning and pruning. Plus, the group spied a tiny ring snake, and an equally tiny tree frog. Excellent weather for a hike!

Adopt-A-Lake 9/09 CrCWA and Volunteers Build Porcupine Cribs to Help Fish Mature in Keystone Lake
For Release: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, Crooked Creek Watershed Association (CrCWA) conducted its sixth Adopt-A-Lake project at the NuMine Boat Launch on Keystone Lake. Ben Page and Mike Swartz, PA Fish and Boat Commission (PAF&B), with CrCWA volunteers, Adelphoi Village students and members of CareerTrack, built 15 Junior Porcupine Crib fish habitat structures.

CrCWA has worked to improve Keystone Lake fish habitat since the 1970’s. We were chosen to participate in the PAF&B Adopt-A-Lake program in 2002. The Adopt-A-Lake program was started by the PAF&B Habitat Management Division, to address the need for riparian and aquatic improvements in the waterways of PA and to assist groups that want to improve habitat. It is a cooperative partnership between PAF&B and CrCWA. The PAF&B provides technical assistance in planning, supervising construction, a boat, and a 50 percent match for materials. CrCWA provides volunteers for construction, mobilization of materials and 50 percent of material costs.

There are eight different structures designed to improve fish habitat, each with a different goal. "These structures will help improve fish populations by providing habitat for juvenile fish to avoid predation and grow to maturity," said Adam Cotchen, OSM/VISTA Watershed Coordinator for CrCWA. "The structures mimic naturally occurring fish habitat and are placed in locations where native habitat is lacking."

CrCWA has participated in the Adopt-A-Lake program for six years and has built almost 150 structures. This year we had 30 volunteers. “It is encouraging to see so many volunteers come out and spend their time building these structures. Today, more than ever, people seem increasingly interested in helping conserve our natural resources,” said Miranda Shoemaker, OSM/VISTA for Armstrong Conservation District.

For the success of this years’ project we would like to thank CareerTrack, Adelphoi Village, CrCWA volunteers, PA Fish and Boat Commission, The Bauer Company, Boyer Lumber, States Rental Service and Nathan Duchon. For more information about CrCWA, contact Pam Meade, 724-783-6692 or visit

Crooked Creek wins first place in Outreach and Education
Congratulations to the Crooked Creed Watershed Association for their first place win for Outreach and Education at the 7th Annual Ohio River Watershed Celebration. CrCWA took home a $500 award and was praised as being vital to the ovreall recovery of our local streams and rivers. Yea, Crooked Creek!

Adopt-A-Lake Project
July 28, 2009
Build porcupine cribs at NuMine Boat Launch

24th Annual Fish Fry and Raffle
Saturday, July 18, 2009 at Falcon Park.
Thanks for coming! It was tasty good fun!

Cowanshannock Trail Spring Wildflower Walk
Sunday, May 3, 2009

Winter Wonderland Walk
Sunday, January 25, 2009
2:00 p.m. at Environmental Learning Center (meet in parking lot). Enjoy a winter walk, hot apple cider, and chili!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Project

Monday, January 19, 2009

Star Party

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Find out more about the Young Outdoor Naturalist Adventure Camp.
Download the brochure: images/adventure camp brochure '08.pdf

Carnivorous Plants of Pennyslvania
Did you know that we have meat eating plants living right here in Pennsylvania? The Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center will host the program “Carnivorous Plants of Pennsylvania” presented by the Armstrong Conservation District’s Americorps Member, Mike Basista, on June 29, 2008 at 2pm. Come learn more about these fascinating but little-known plants. Call or write for more info.

23rd ANNUAL CrCWA FISH FRY, Saturday, July 19, 2008, starting at 2:00 til sunset. ALL ARE WELCOME! Small pavilion, Falcon Park, Rt. 66, south of Ford City. Donation: $5/person. Drawing for a 14-foot Old Town Canoe package. Enjoy food, fun, friends and terrific door prizes! Fish, french fries, and cold refreshments provided by Crooked Creek Watershed Association! A covered dish to add to our feast is appreciated. Info: call Pam Meade 724-783-6692 or Dennis Hawley 724-763-6316. Tickets may be purchased at the park.

Adopt-A-Lake Project, July 29, 2008
Get the kids interested in conservation! Bring them to Keystone Lake NuMine Boat Launch off Rt. 85, Tuesday, July 29, 9:00a.m. to noon to help assemble porcupine cribs, an ideal home for fish and other aquatic life. Next, the kids get to ride along with the PA Fish and Boat Commission in a special boat to watch them sink the habitat structures! PFD's provided for the kids. Questions? Call Pam Meade 724-783-6692 or Dennis Hawley 724-763-6316.

2008 porcupine crib assembly


For six years, CrCWA has been participating in the PA Fish and
Boat Commission Adopt-A-Lake Program at Keystone Lake. This July,
35 volunteers from CrCWA, Ford City Girls Scouts, Career Track, Inc.
and Adelphoi Village built 12 Junior Porcupine Cribs (habitat for
young, small fish to hide from the big fish) and placed them in a
predetermined area in Keystone Lake. CrCWA has built and placed 75
habitat structures in various areas of the lake. If you want to know
where the fish might be, CrCWA has Hydrographic Maps of Keystone Lake,
with brush piles and habitat structures marked, available for purchase.

Biological Inventory of Armstrong County's Natural Areas
Learn more about unusual mussels that should be considered a national treasure!
Thursday, May 29, 2008 7:00 pm at the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center
A two-year effort to identify Armstrong County's most ecologically significant natural environments will continue with a public presentation of the team's first-year findings at the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center. With funding provided by the Wild Resource Conservation Program, the biologists with the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) are in their second year of a county-wide inventory to locate and document undisturbed wetlands, forests and other high-quality natural habitats harboring uncommon animal and plant species. The inventory is a natural partnership between local governments, the state, and private organizations, and increases the available information about the county and state's biological diversity.

The presentation of the project will include a visual overview of the project, what has been found so far, and the project goals for the coming year. PNHP biologists have been in selected parts of the county to document the best natural habitats. So far, the project team has identified freshwater mussels as one of the most ecologically significant groups of organisms in the county. The program will feature a presentation on freshwater mussels of the Allegheny River and their unusual life history. For instance, did you know that many freshwater mussels spend the earliest part of their life attached to the gills of specific fish hosts? Some adult mussels actually display a "lure" to entice fish close enough, and then release their young to attach to the fish. The larval mussels don't hurt the fish, but grow on their gills into juvenile mussels that then drop off onto the stream or river bottom. The PNHP tam will also present a collection of freshwater mussel shells to the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center for inclusion into their natural history programs.

Native American Artifacts

On Sunday, October 17, 2004, at 2:00 p.m., a "Native American Artifacts of Western Pennsylvania" program will be presented by Ed Divers.
Mushrooms - WILD!
On Sunday, October 24, 2004, nationally known mushroom expert andphotographer, John Plischke, will give a talk on edible wild mushrooms and how to prepare them. Afterward, there will be a slide show and mushroom hunt.
Fall Foliage Hike
The Second Annual Fall Foliage Hike was held on Sunday, October 10, 2004, at the ELC at 2:00 p.m. Everybody meandered through the woods, enjoying the colors of the leaves and making some delightful discoveries. If you missed the event this time around, come and join us for next year's trek.
3rd Annual Riverboat Cruise
The Third Annual Riverboat Cruise was held on Thursday, September 16, 2004, and the four hour cruise down the Ohio River was enjoyed by all.
River Blast 2004
Again this year, CrCWA joined Cowanshannock Creek Watershed Association, the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center, Armstrong Rails-to-Trails and the Armstrong Conservation District at Kittanning River Front Park for River Blast 2004, The event, held on Sunday, September 12, from noon to dusk, included food, fun, crafts, live music, boat shows, a water show, a car show and much more.
CrCWA's 1st Annual Summer Raffle
CrCWA sold tickets for a canoe package raffle - the proceeds from which will enable CrCWA to continue the clean-up of Crooked Creek Watershed. Two hundred tickets were sold and, at Riverblast 2004, on September 12th, Steve Wilson from Kittanning, a new life member, was announced as the winner!
The 19th Annual Fish Fry (2004)
Crooked Creek's 19th Annual Fish Fry was held on Saturday, July 17, 2004, at Falcon Park, Route 66 (south of Ford City) at the small pavillion - from 2:00pm until dark. Fish and beverages were provided by the event's host, CrCWA. Lots of delicious covered dishes were brought to share. Even though it rained all day, over 55 kids, adults and four legged friends enjoyed the great food, good friendship, the beauty of Falcon Park and the many door prizes that were awarded. If you missed this year's event, be sure to come next year. It will be extra special: the 20th Annual Fish Fry and the 25th Anniversary of CrCWA - Saturday, July 16, 2005 - same time, (2:00pm), same place (Falcon Park small pavilion).

Fish Frys
are FUN

Final Public Meeting
On Tuesday, June 22, 2004, CrCWA was proud to host a picnic at Crooked Creek Lake Park to present the completed copy of our Lower Crooked Creek River Conservation Plan. With the help of our consultants, the Western Pa. Conservancy Watershed Assistance Center, the steering committee worked for one and one half years to compile the data that is incorporated in this plan for the lower Crooked Creek watershed. (The completed River Conservation Plan may be viewed here.)

More than 35 interested and supportive folks came to enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, delicious picnic salads, and pride and satisfaction in this project. (See photos below.)

The steering committee and the Board of Directors would like to express our thanks to the staff of the Watershed Assistance Center, especially, Carla Ruddock, Jessica Boil, and Mark Keylar, for all their help, time and expertise.
Riversweep 2004
On Saturday, June 19, in conjunction with nine other states in the Ohio River Basin, CrCWA participated, for the first time in RIVERSWEEP. We chose the Rosston Boat Launch as our first cleanup site. More than twenty volunteers helped to clean up the launch and Allegheny River Bank, and enjoyed free snacks, a souvenir t-shirt, and the knowledge that they were cleaning up their community. Thanks to the kids, scouts, neighbors and directors who made this first RIVERSWEEP a success. Hope to see you next year!
Chemsweep 2004
On Saturday, June 12, 2004, at the Armsdale Recycling center, the Household Hazardous Waste collection was held for the first time in Armstrong County. There were 131 households represented and they brought in over 11,000 pounds (that's right, 11,000) of hazardous waste which might have otherwise found its way into a land fill or in a creek or stream.

CrCWA's thanks and appreciation are extended to everyone who took the time to participate.

If you missed this one and would like to participate, there will be similar events in adjoining counties: Indiana, Butler and Westmoreland. Call them for more details.

"Spring Has Sprung" Stroll
On Sunday, April 18, 2004, CrCWA sponsored a its first annual "Spring Has Sprung Wildflower Stroll" in the woods around the ELC. The group included members of CrCWA, members of the Pittsburgh Botanical Society, members of the Master Gardeners, members of the Pittsburgh Field Institute and visitors with no affiliation whatsoever. Many species of beautiful wildflowers were in bloom and some unexpected discoveries were made. Afterwards, the hikers retired to the ELC for refreshments and visiting. (See photos below.)
Winter Wonderland Walk
On Sunday, January 18th, 2004, CrCWA hosted a "Winter Wonderland Walk" at Crooked Creek. The turnout was terrific. Afterwards, the hikers sat around the fireplace at the ELC, visiting, sipping on hot chocolate and marshmallows and munching on snacks. Everybody had a great time getting to know about the woods in the winter and getting to know each other. A good time was had by all! (See photos of the hike below.)
Fall Foliage Tree Hike
On Sunday, October 12th, at 2:00 p.m., Crooked Creek Watershed Association conducted a Fall Foliage Tree Hike at the Environmental Learning Center at Crooked Creek Lake on Route 66, south of Ford City.
Crooked Creek Watershed Non-point Source Pollution Assessment/DEP (Growing Greener): $67,500
Completing a non-point source pollution assessment is a critical first step in implementing restoration or protection projects within a watershed. This project is designed to collect both existing and critical new water quality data, which will then be analyzed and formulated into a watershed restoration plan. When completed, the restoration plan will provide an overview of the type and extent of non-point source pollutants within the watershed and establish restoration priorities. Particular attention will be paid to both excessive sediment and nutrient loading sites and abandoned mine drainage pollutants. The association has contracted with CWM Environmental of Kittanning, PA to conduct the assessment. The project is a three-year effort, which is scheduled to conclude in 2005. Be on the lookout for information about the project and for public meeting notices.