Photo credit: NBLT Staff – Valmont Bog

North Branch Land Trust announced it has received a $1,500 grant from the PPL Foundation. These funds will support the Land Trust’s Loving Our Local Waters/ Amando Nuestras Aguas Locales water stewardship program.

North Branch Land Trust will host youth watershed education programs at their Valmont Bog Preserve located in Valmont Industrial Park, Hazleton, Luzerne County. Area youth will explore the wetland, learn about the water cycle, identify native and invasive species, and design bilingual stewardship signage.

North Branch Land Trust’s Executive Director Ellen Ferretti identified the need for a program such as this. “During the pandemic, many people discovered the love for the outdoors, and many organizations rightfully encouraged it. But the stewardship message lagged too far behind, so many of these special places were ‘loved to death’ by visitors. So often, visitors to our great outdoors simply would benefit from an understanding of how to be a good steward and how to take care of that beautiful stream, trail or hillside that is giving you such joy. North Branch Land Trust believes that communication and education are important steps to responsible outdoor recreation, and when you can communicate and educate in these outdoor spaces where you can splash around cattails and tadpoles, well, that’s a lesson that is hard to forget!”

The Land Trust will also be hosting a design contest seeking submissions for bilingual stewardship signage from those living, working, or learning in Northeastern Pennsylvania. By creating an empathetic connection to Northeastern Pennsylvania’s natural resources and making it more accessible, North Branch hopes to foster a love and understanding of our shared natural resources Digital versions of the winning designs will be permanently hosted on their website at to be made available to any conservation group aiming to update their stewardship signage, and North Branch hopes to eventually install permanent versions of these signs at all their preserves, beginning with Valmont Bog.

If you would like to be notified of participation dates for North Branch Land Trust’s Loving Our Local Waters/ Amando Nuestras Aguas Locales programs, please email [email protected]. If you would like to volunteer with this or other programs at North Branch Land Trust, email [email protected].