— with the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards and Nurture Nature Center
What is a Watershed?
Water that falls from the sky in the form of precipitation (e.g., rain, sleet, snow, etc.) hits the earth and has to go somewhere. Some of the precipitation runs into creeks and streams which eventually flow into large bodies of water such as rivers, bays, and oceans. Some of the precipitation filters into the ground and becomes groundwater, which is responsible for keeping streams and creeks flowing during times of drought. Where and how water flows over and under the land and ultimately into a large body of water defines a watershed and typically names it too. Everyone lives in a watershed and every landowner has a responsibility to ensure the water that runs off or filters through their property flows as slowly as possible and enters local waterways as clean as possible.
Why should you certify your property to be watershed-friendly?
The goal of this project is to expand the number of watershed-friendly properties throughout the Commonwealth while at the same time educating residents, communities, educational institutions, and businesses about the value of a healthy watershed and best practices for improving water quality. Healthy landscapes make healthy communities. Certifying your property has many benefits including:
- Protects your local streams and rivers and all the life that depends on clean water.
- Promotes habitat for birds, fish and other wildlife.
- Recognizes your commitment to best practices managing water on your property
- Educates others about healthy watersheds
- Brings awareness to the program
- Helps support the Master Watershed Steward Program
- Provides you with tools and resources to achieve a watershed-friendly status
- Gives you “bragging rights” for all of your hard work
Watershed-Friendly Property Certification
Watershed-Friendly Property Certification recognizes landowners who incorporate best practices in managing and protecting water resources and provide habitat for wildlife and pollinators on their property. In addition, the certification recognizes landowners who make a commitment to minimize their potential impact on water quality by using less harmful chemicals and maintain good housekeeping of their property. In order to achieve this certification, individuals and organizations must commit to working towards the objectives of the Watershed-Friendly Property Program, which include:
- Reducing stormwater runoff
- Reducing pollution
- Conserving water
- Supporting wildlife and pollinators
What do you need to do to certify your property?
1. Complete the online application. For a preview or printable worksheet of the application click here.
2. If you qualify, you will receive a certificate from Penn State Extension verifying that your landscape is watershed-friendly. If your property does not qualify, please use the helpful resources on the application page to find out what you can do to make your property more watershed-friendly.
3. Qualifying property owners will be eligible to order a Watershed-Friendly Property sign. Your sign will be shipped to you within two weeks.
The certificate and the sign show your commitment to managing a healthy watershed.
To see a photo gallery of certified properties, click here.
Do you need help or have questions?
Contact a Master Watershed Steward here.