SCWA had seven members in attendance for the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District Watershed Group Gathering on Thursday March 26th in Martinsburg. Local watershed groups in attendance were: Potomac Riverkeepers, Opequon Creek, Sleepy Creek, Warm Springs Run, Cacapon Institute, and The Blue Ridge Watershed Coalition. There were 26 enthusiastic participants. Some of the topics explored were: capacity building, partnerships with government agencies, and recruitment and retention of new volunteers and members, just to name a few.
One of the highlights was the six-person panel addressing the challenge of approaching and communicating with landowners about best practices for environmentally friendly land usage. Warren Mickey entertained us as he put on different hats to play the parts of the different types of landowners we are likely to encounter, asking the difficult questions that are common in these situations. The cantankerous old farmer was a crowd favorite. The panel fielded his questions, and gave us great advice about approaching a variety of types of landowners to successfully get them to see the advantages of employing ‘best practices’.
Another highlight was the presentation by Deborah Hammond about grant writing and administration. With 31 years experience working in the government with grants, she had great advice about the broad and specific aspects of writing and administering a successful grant.
David Lillard led a discussion involving: how to reach more and younger people through social media, how to get our watersheds more connected, and how to make our events more fun.
SCWA members in attendance: Chuck Marsh, Bob Meadows, Norm Dean, Stan Oaks, Susan Jones, Jim Michael, and Jeff Iliff.
Thanks to Suzy Lucas from EPCD and Dave Lillard from WV Rivers Coalition for putting on this very informative event. Also, thank you to Deborah Hammond for sharing her time and experience with us. I think all participants left with new knowledge and enthusiasm to further our watershed work.