STREAMLINES: News and events from BWA
Above: Common yellowthroat (Nancy Tully photo)
Below: The centerpiece of Camp William Penn is the manmade lake with docks and a pavilion. (Carol Hillestad photo)
Virtual birding at Camp William Penn
Darryl and Jackie Speicher of Pocono Avian Research Center think the quarantine is for the birds – a great time to try birding, that is.

The avian experts lead the way in Brodhead Watershed Association’s new “virtual birding” video at Camp William Penn in northeastern Pennsylvania. View this armchair adventure (see below for links), and then, if you can, get out to hike the trail yourself, remembering to keep at least 6 feet away from other hikers.

Wide, grassy trails guide hikers toward birds sightings — the American robin, the cedar waxwing, the iridescent green mallard. The “oh wow” birds are regulars here, too — great blue herons, American bald eagles and osprey.

• For the virtual birding, go to BWA’s YouTube channel. Thanks to Barbara Case of Laughsalot Studios for the videography.
• Go to for information on other hikes in the Get Outdoors Poconos series. The series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
• Camp William Penn is part of Delaware State Forest and open to the public, so you can go birding or walking there yourself. For trail maps and other information, click here.
HIT THE TRAILS THIS MONTH: September is Trails Month in Pennsylvania! Our state has more than 650 trails totaling more than 12,000 miles. We also have more than 2,000 miles of official state-designated water trails. To find a hiking trail near you, visit or ExplorePATrails.
Starting Sept. 16: Online auction for the outdoors
Brodhead Watershed Association is bringing the outdoors online for its annual auction fundraiser, to be held virtually Sept. 16-26, 2020.

Each year during BWA’s annual Members & Friends Celebration, generous donors duke it out over the best stuff in the ever-popular Silent Auction. It’s one of BWA’s biggest fundraisers of the year, and does so much to help protect water quality in the Poconos.

While the in-person celebration and auction have been moved online this year because of COVID-19, the event carries the theme of “Get Outdoors Poconos,” featuring exciting experiences, outings, gift certificates from restaurants and more! The prizes – more than 60 items – have a retail value of approximately $8,000.

Up for bids will be Longwood Gardens tickets, a rain barrel hand-painted by John James, a one-night stay with breakfast at Skytop Lodge, a three-season garden tour and native plant landscape consultation, guided flyfishing experiences, river paddling and more!

Bidding is open 11:59 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, and closes at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. BWA will mail prizes such as gift certificates to winners via postal mail. If the size of the prize precludes mailing, pickup will be arranged in East Stroudsburg.

To see the prizes and for information, visit BWA's page on

For information, email or call 570-839-1120.

Supporting the BWA’s mission with their generous sponsorship are Vigon International, Sanofi, Mike & Patty Stein and Mark Dodel & Patricia Rylko and Edie Stevens.
Members & Friends Celebration moves online
BWA's annual Members & Friends Celebration will go online this year, 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, via Zoom. The event is free.

Keynote speaker Cindy Dunn, Pennsylvania’s secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources, will talk about the extreme popularity of state parks during the pandemic and how DCNR handles the effects of that.

Details and registration information will be sent to members and friends via an emailed special bulletin soon. Watch for it!
Above left: To protect nearby Mill Creek, an infiltration project was completed at Mountainhome United Methodist Church. As stormwater runs off from the church’s roof and parking lots, it will follow the slope downhill to this area, where water can slowly sink into the ground instead of scouring away into the creek, carrying debris, oil and other contaminants. Above right: Friends, family, neighbors and Scouts joined in building a water-pervious walkway at the church. The walkway replaces a previous asphalt path.
Mountainhome church digs in to protect Mill Creek
Mill Creek is one of the cleanest, purest waterways in Monroe County, according to a 2019 study. Keeping it that way is the goal of an Eagle Scout project and a stormwater infiltration project at Mountainhome United Methodist Church.

“Mill Creek is directly downhill from the church. The church roof, asphalt parking lots and an asphalt walkway were funneling dirty stormwater right into the creek,” said Edith Stevens of Brodhead Watershed Association, which helped coordinate the projects.

The project includes a pervious walkway and underground stormwater infiltration trench.

For information and more photos of this Greening Mountainhome project, click here.
Webinars: Growing a Stronger Pike County
Pike County Conservation District and the Pike County Office of Community Planning will host a special two-part webinar series – Growing a Stronger Pike County – on Fridays, Sept. 18 and 25. Both webinars will run 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Elected officials and their advisors face enormous challenges when it comes to land use. This two-part series shares information about local comprehensive plans – the future vision of a community, and the tools that implement the plans; the zoning and subdivision and land development codes. Implementation of local comprehensive plans and codes conserves natural areas that reduce sediment and pollutants and conserve clean water for all.

Who should attend? Elected officials, planning commission members, environmental advisory council members, township and borough staff and other municipal officials involved in planning and land use decisions, recommendations, and enforcement.

Registration is required, but there is no charge for the two sessions.

To register and receive the Zoom webinar link, contact Pike County Conservation District at 570-226-8220 or email

Our newest BWA members in September are: Christine Murray of Bethlehem and Loretta & Manny Butera of Yardley.

Friends, are you considering becoming a member of BWA? Now is the perfect time to do it! New members who join in September will receive a free BWA tote made of unbleached cotton. Join today! It's easy to do online; click here.
BWA thank Edie Stevens for joining the Watershed Stewards, an increase over her previous support of the Environmental Partnership program. If you would like information about the program, click here.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides new incentives for donors to contribute to their favorite charities this year.

There is now a $300 above-the-line ($600 for couples!) charitable income tax deduction. If you make a donation in 2020, and don’t itemize on your 2020 taxes, then you can give $300 to charity and get a full $300 tax break in addition to the standard deduction. That means your donation is 100% deductible!

You can still benefit even if you do itemize. The CARES Act allows for cash contributions to qualified charities to be deducted up to 100% of your adjusted gross income for 2020. There are also benefits for making a tax-free transfer from an IRA to a charity. Please check with your financial advisor regarding these policies.

This is a difficult time for everyone, and we truly appreciate your continued support!