Check out our latest project in conjunction with the Lions. Handicapped accessible picnic tables and shelters at our fishing pier at the Crooked Creek spillway!
(pictured here with a bit of flooding going on!)
of upcoming events you won't want to miss! Mark your calendar and get involved. EVENTS:
Join us for the Baker Trail Blazing and Upkeep
Saturday, October 17, 2015, 9 a.m. -noon. Meet at the Crooked Creek Outpost Building. We'll be re-blazing, cleaning up trash and reinforcing the trail where needed. See you then!
BOARD MEETINGS: Always the 3rd Tuesday of every month, 7 p.m., Armsdale Bldg.
All are welcome! Mark your caledar 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! July 18, 2015 at Falcon Park. Thank you for coming! It was a fun and delicious experience.
Winter Wonderland Walk January 25, 2015, Crooked Creek
Annual Fish Fry - Saturday, July, 2014, Falcon Park
Freshly deep-fried fish and fries with friends of CrCWA! Play games, relax creekside, enjoy fabulous food and drink. Bring a friend along! Bring a favorite dish to share or just bring your best stories to share! Falcon Park is on Route 66, just south of Ford City.
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!
July 20, 2013 at Keystone Lake
July 20, 2013
River Sweeep June 15, 2013
16 volunteers cleaned up the Rosston boat launch area and some even cleaned up the river banks from 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.
RiverSweep 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.
More Past Events:
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.
to Reduce Pollution in High-Quality Cold Water Stream
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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
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 www.crookedcreekallegheny.com.
Creek wins first place in Outreach and Education Congratulations
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
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
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.
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
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.
years, CrCWA has been participating in the PA Fish and
Boat Commission Adopt-A-Lake Program at Keystone Lake. This
35 volunteers from CrCWA, Ford City Girls Scouts, Career
and Adelphoi Village built 12 Junior Porcupine Cribs (habitat
young, small fish to hide from the big fish) and placed
them in a
predetermined area in Keystone Lake. CrCWA has built and
habitat structures in various areas of the lake. If you
want to know
where the fish might be, CrCWA has Hydrographic Maps of
with brush piles and habitat structures marked, available
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
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.
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.
Sunday, October 17, 2004, at 2:00 p.m., a "Native American
Artifacts of Western Pennsylvania" program will be presented
by Ed Divers.
Sunday, October 24, 2004, nationally known mushroom expert and
photographer, John Plischke, will give a talk on edible wild mushrooms
and how to prepare them. Afterwards, there will be a slide show
and mushroom hunt.
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. (Check back to see photos of the hike!)
Annual Riverboat Cruise
Third Annual Riverboat Cruise was held on Thursday, September
16, 2004, and the four hour cruise down the Ohio River was enjoyed
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 12:00 noon to dusk, included food, fun, crafts, live
music, boat shows, a water show, a car show and much more.
1st Annual Summer Raffle
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!
19th Annual Fish Fry (2004)
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).
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
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.
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!
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.
thanks and appreciation are extended to everyone who took the
time to participate.
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.
Has Sprung" Stroll
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
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.)
Foliage Tree Hike
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.
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.