ABOUT OUR PROJECT
This Atlas Project is a public outreach and educational service of the Spring Creek Watershed Commission.
The Spring Creek Watershed Atlas began in 2015 thanks to the vision of Barbara Fisher and the initiative of a workgroup of volunteers including Barbara and Bob Donaldson, Bob Carline, Bob Eberhart, Todd Giddings, Bill Sharp, Bob Vierck, Betsie Blumberg, Paul Bartley, Michele Halsell and Judi Sittler. During the past few years, Joanne Tosti-Vasey, Dave DeWalle, Doug Mason, Lexi Orr and Gay Dunne have joined the work group. Caitlin Teti serves as webmaster.
The human population and consequent development in the Spring Creek watershed has been steadily growing. From 2000 to 2010 the population in Centre County increased by 13.4%, and there is no reason to assume that this growth rate will precipitously decline in the near future. This continued development will result in conversion of agricultural and forestland to urban infrastructure. As this conversion proceeds, we will be faced with a strain on the quality and quantity of water resources, a loss in natural areas and sensitive plant and animal habitats, a reduction in recreational opportunities, and a general decline in the quality of life that we now enjoy. Threats to our water resources are of particular concern, because our drinking water supply is tightly coupled with the quantity and quality of groundwater. Decisions that are made today will have profound effects on our natural resources far into the future. Therefore, it is imperative that we have an informed citizenry making these critical decisions.
Despite these threats, the Spring Creek Watershed is fortunate to have a strong cadre of conservation-focused non-profit organizations, environmental educators, and county conservation districts, each of which is essential to stewarding our natural resources and educating the public, decision makers, land owners, and the next generation of environmental leaders. These entities have generated a wealth of watershed data and educational resources but, unfortunately, have no easy way to share these resources with one another or the public. The Spring Creek Watershed Atlas establishes a one-stop, watershed shop to provide an interactive, accurate, up-to-date, watershed database to engage the public and aid developers, local businesses and homeowners in making educated decisions about reducing their impact in their local watershed.