Shenango River Named PA’s River of the Year 2021

02/01/2021

​Harrisburg, PA — Winding through Northwestern Pennsylvania, connecting Pymatuning and Shenango lakes with the Beaver River via 82 miles of scenic, peaceful river, the Shenango River has been voted the state’s 2021 River of the Year.

The public was invited to vote online, choosing from among five waterways nominated across the state. Results were announced jointly today by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Organization for Waterways and Rivers (POWR).

Other waterways nominated were the Buffalo Creek, Lehigh River, Loyalhanna Creek and Tunkhannock Creek.

“The River of the Year selection does much more than focus on attributes of the most deserving Shenango, it recognizes the Shenango River Watchers and other supporters who rallied behind it,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “This annual honor recognizes not only our state’s wealth of rivers and streams, but also the dedicated folks who fight to protect them.”

A total of 16,494 votes were cast, with the Shenango River receiving 5,436; Buffalo Creek, 3,079; Lehigh River, 5,287; Loyalhanna Creek, 1,703; and Tunkhannock Creek, 989.

DCNR and POWR will work with the Shenango River Watchers to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the Shenango River as the 2021 PA River of the Year.

The Shenango River Watchers will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund a slate of year-long 2021 River of the Year activities.

Shenango River Watchers was founded in 2001 by a small group of interested and dedicated citizens. The organization began by hosting trash and litter cleanups. Since 2001, it has removed over 1.5 million pounds of trash from the watershed and attracted more than 50 volunteers at each cleanup event.

In addition to cleanups, they conduct water quality monitoring and aquatic life surveying. In the last 20 years, Shenango River Watchers has provided outdoor, hands-on environmental learning opportunities for hundreds of students within the watershed through its annual Outdoor Environmental Education Day.

Shenango River Watchers is currently the only organization in Mercer County whose sole focus is on the clean-up, preservation and protection of the Shenango River and its recreational opportunities. Shenango River Watchers host over 20 annual events including two successful sojourns attracting up to 400 paddlers per event; an outdoor environmental education day with over 250 local students; and a 5k race that attracts over 1,200 runners plus spectators.

They also partner with other groups to host free recreational workshops such as a fly-casting clinics and introduction to kayaking courses, as well as community hikes, volunteer work days and cleanups.

For 20 years the Shenango River Watchers has demonstrated commitment and ability to plan and implement a wide range of events for the benefit of the community and the Shenango River.

“We are thrilled to have the Shenango River chosen as the Pennsylvania River of the Year! . This is a great honor, not just for the Shenango River Watchers but for our region as a whole. Thank you to DCNR and POWR for this fabulous opportunity,” said Shenango River Watchers President. Dr. Brandi Baros. “Thank you to our volunteers, who have cleaned up 1.5 million pounds of garbage from the river and its watershed and turned a neglected waterway into a paddler’s paradise. Every year we see more and more people come out to enjoy the wondrous recreation opportunities the Shenango has to offer, including kayaking, fishing, hiking, and birdwatching.”

In cooperation with DCNR, selection of public voting choices was overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

“POWR would like to commend everyone across the commonwealth for their support for the nominated waterways,” said POWR’s Janet Sweeney. “Enthusiasm for River of the Year continues to grow. This program truly is a wonderful opportunity to showcase all the nominated waterways and the great work being done in Pennsylvania communities on these valuable resources.”

A commemorative River of the Year sojourn is among many paddling trips supported by DCNR and POWR each year. An independent program, the Pennsylvania Sojourn Program, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers. More sojoun information​Opens In A New Window and details on grant applicationsOpens In A New Window are offered by POWR.

Learn more about River of the Year

Article from : https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DCNR_details.aspx?newsid=720&fbclid=IwAR0I27j2DhFXms8oZ28QqBhQNd3XmXghZAZo9RlJjq0zc3_3_Z_N6sbHbhM

2020 Calendar of Events

Public Meeting – March 12  Postponed

7:00 PM Buhl Park Activities Building | Join us for our 2020 Public Meeting as we discuss our 2019 accomplishments and what to expect in 2020. Mark Russell and his research associates will present their findings from their summer amphibian survey. This will be a great opportunity to check your membership standings and sign up for volunteer opportunities.

Earth Fest @ Penn State – April 4  CANCELLED

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Penn State Shenango | Earth Fest is coming up on Saturday, April 4th from 11:00 am until 4:00 p.m. Celebrating 50 years of Earth Day! SRW will have an informational booth and needs volunteers.

Earth Day Cleanup – April 18 CANCELLED

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Hermitage Soccer Fields | Join us for our annual Earth Day Cleanup! We will be picking up trash along Pine Hollow Run that flows behind the schools.

Trail Work Day – April 19  CANCELLED

10:00 AM Kidds Mill Bridge | Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. We will meet at Kidds Mill Bridge.

Wild Flower Hike – April 26 CANCELLED

1:30 PM Big Bend | Join us for a Wildflower Hike on the Shenango Trail. We will meet at the Big Bend parking area at 1:30 PM and carpool to New Hamburg where we will begin the 4 mile hike back to Big Bend. Please be dressed for the weather and wet, muddy trail conditions.

Fly Casting Clinic – May 3  CANCELLED

2:00 PM Buhl Park | Have you ever wanted to know more about fly fishing? Have you tried fly fishing, but you aren’t sure you have the proper equipment? Are you an avid fly fisherman, but you don’t know or have not perfected all your casting skills? If you answered yes to any or all of the above, we have a treat for you! Ted Fauceglia, author of Mayfiles, Major Eastern and Midwestern Hatches, renowned photographer and certified casting instructor has offered to give a free Fly Fishing Casting Techniques Seminar/Clinic at Buhl Park on Sunday May 3rd.

Trail Work Day – May 3  CANCELLED

10:00 AM Big Bend | Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. We will meet at the Shenango Trail Trail Head at Big Bend.

Environmental Education Day – May CANCELLED

Intro to Kayaking – May 28 CANCELLED

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Buhl Park| Buhl Park, the Department of Conservation and Natural Recourses (DCNR ) and the Shenango River Watchers are
partnering to provide an introduction to kayaking class on Lake
Julia. The group will meet on the front lawn of the Casino.
A limited number of kayaks, paddles and personal flotation
devices will be provided or you may bring your own equipment.
This course is open to adults and children over the age of 12.
Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied
by a participating adult. Registration is required by calling 724-981-5522 and is limited to 10 individuals. This class is FREE, but you must register through the Buhl Park office prior to the event! Class limited to 10 participants!

Trail Work Day – June 14

10:00 AM Big Bend| Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. We will meet at Big Bend.

Intro to Kayaking – June 16 CANCELLED

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Buhl Park| Buhl Park, the Department of Conservation and Natural Recourses (DCNR ) and the Shenango River Watchers are
partnering to provide an introduction to kayaking class on Lake
Julia. The group will meet on the front lawn of the Casino.
A limited number of kayaks, paddles and personal flotation
devices will be provided or you may bring your own equipment.
This course is open to adults and children over the age of 12.
Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult. Registration is required by calling 724-981-5522 and is limited to 10 individuals. This class is FREE, but you must register through the Buhl Park office prior to the event! Class limited to 10 participants!

Summer Solstice Paddle Fest – June 20 CANCELLED

7:00 AM Pymatuning State Park| Enjoy a float down one of Pennsylvania’s Official Water Trails! After the float, enjoy live music and a cookout with fellow paddlers. $15 per paddler. More information coming soon.

Trail Work Day – July 12

10:00 AM New Hamburg | Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. We will meet at the New Hamburg Canoe Launch.

Trail Work Day – July 26

10:00 AM Big Bend | Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. We will meet at the Big Bend.

Trail Work Day – August 9

10:00 AM Kidds Mill | Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. We will meet at Kidds Mill near the covered bridge.

Trail Work Day – September 13

10:00 AM TBD| Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. Our meeting place is To Be Determined.

Trail Work Day – October 11

10:00 AM TBD| Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. Our meeting place is To Be Determined.

Fall Paddle Fest – October 17 CANCELLED

7:00 AM Pymatuning State Park| Enjoy a float down one of Pennsylvania’s Official Water Trails! After the float, enjoy live music and a cookout with fellow paddlers. $15 per paddler. More information coming soon.

Fall Hike – October 25 CANCELLED

1:30 PM Big Bend | Join us for a Fall Hike under the beautiful fall foliage on the Shenango Trail. We will meet at the Big Bend parking area at 1:30 PM and carpool to New Hamburg where we will begin the 4 mile hike back to Big Bend. Please be dressed for the weather and wet, muddy trail conditions.

Trail Work Day – November 8

10:00 AM TBD| Join us for a work day on the Shenango Trail. Our meeting place is To Be Determined.

Gobble Wobble – VIRTUAL EVENT!

Our annual Thanksgiving Day 5k in Buhl Park in Hermitage PA is going VIRTUAL! Registration is online only. This year, all proceeds benefit the Shenango River Watchers.

Registration fee for ALL participants is $10 this year.

Register at gobblewobblerace.com

T-shirts will be available for purchase with your registration until November 5, 2020. T-shirts must be picked up from the Shenango River Watchers office Wednesday November 26th between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

Public Meeting


Due to current health concerns the Public Meeting scheduled for Thursday March 12th will be postponed until further notice. The health of our members and volunteers and their families is important to us and we appreciate your understanding.