Susquehanna Vies for ‘River of the Year’ – Heritage Region Solicits Votes

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from MA Overlook

Fans of the North Branch Susquehanna River, seen above from the Marie Antoinette Overlook in Bradford County, have only until Monday, Dec. 14 to cast their votes for the Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers’ “River of the Year” contest. Residents along the winning waterway will enjoy special activities and events throughout 2016. (At top) recreationsits gather along the shoreline of the Susquehanna River at Tunkhannock for the annual River Day celebration. If the North Branch Susquehanna River wins the 2016 PA River of the Year contest, the Endless Mountains Heritage Region can help to sponsor more events of this type.

 

Voting began on Nov. 13 for the 2016 Pennsylvania “River of the Year,” and the Endless Mountain Heritage Region (EMHR) and the Susquehanna Greenways Partnership (SGP) are asking the public to cast votes for the North Branch Susquehanna River.

EMHR manages the Susquehanna River – North Branch, which is part of the National Parks’ Captain James Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has funded the “River of the Year” contest since 1983 for the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

If the North Branch Susquehanna River gets the most votes, EMHR and SGP will split a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund “River of the Year” activities, which can include paddling trips, sojourns, and celebrations in river communities along the North Branch, which flows through parts of Susquehanna, Bradford, Wyoming and Luzerne counties to the confluence with the West Branch.

Plans are already in the making for celebrating the Susquehanna North Branch as the River of the Year,” EMHR Greenways Coordinator David Buck related. “For example, we propose focusing on youth and adult education on the river to cover Native American and European settlement history. We will also be encouraging people to enjoy the river by canoe and kayak as part of three planned river sojourns, paddling to and participating in local river festivals and events.”

Last year’s winner was the Conewango Creek, which meets the Allegheny River at Warren, PA. Conewango Creek Watershed Association board member Ron Keeney related that the PA River of the Year designation gave the creek “monumental exposure to a wide audience from multiple states,” helping to put the rural watershed on the map for would-be recreationalists, environmentalists, and travelers.

Competition is stiff again this year, with the Lackawanna, Lehigh, Ohio and Kiski-Conemaugh rivers also nominated for the title.

In all of these nominated waterways are showcased so many unique natural resources, recreational opportunities and incentives boosting local economies,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn stated.

POWR announced after the first week of voting that the North Branch Susquehanna and the Lehigh Rivers were tied at 41 percent each. With both waterways so far ahead in the contest already, it is crucial that local residents act immediately to help secure the win for the North Branch Susquehanna River.

This is bound to be a close vote because each river has enthusiastic fans,” noted EMHR Executive Director Annette Schultz. “Every vote we receive brings us closer to gaining statewide recognition for our very own Susquehanna River and gives us a reason to celebrate its deep history and environmental significance throughout 2016.”

The North Branch Susquehanna has won the contest three times, sharing the honor with the Main Stem Susquehanna River in 1993 and topping the list the last time in 2004.

Voting will run through Monday, Dec. 14. The public can cast votes online and access additional information about each nominated waterway at www.pariveroftheyear.org .

 

ice Susq at Towanda Mar 15

Fans of the North Branch Susquehanna River, seen above from the shoreline at Towanda in Bradford County last winter, have only until Monday, Dec. 14 to cast their votes for the Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers’ “River of the Year” contest. Residents along the winning waterway will enjoy special activities and events throughout 2016.

Scouts at Wysox

Nearly 80 Boy Scouts from Bradford and Sullivan counties took part in a sojourn on the Susquehanna River last summer, stopping at the Wysox public boat launch for lunch and a lesson about early explorer Etienne Brulé. If the North Branch Susquehanna River wins the 2016 PA River of the Year contest, the Endless Mountains Heritage Region can conduct more events of this type.

Camp Lackawanna

Fans of the North Branch Susquehanna River, seen above at Camp Lackawanna in Wyoming County, have only until Monday, Dec. 14 to cast their votes for the Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers’ “River of the Year” contest. Residents along the winning waterway will enjoy special activities and events throughout 2016.

 

 

 

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Managing Editor of EndlessMtnLifestyles.com, dedicated to providing interesting information about life in the Endless Mountains region of northern Pennsylvania. The website - a meager investment with no immediate return - is meant to be community-based and to reflect the varied tastes of its readers. Submissions from legitimate organizations and event coordinators are welcome and will be published as space and time allow. This website is operated by Endless Mountains Media Services. I am seeking submissions of news stories, promotional press releases, and photos for posting with full recognition for the submitter. I am also hoping to build a base of correspondents who would enjoy being my "ears and eyes" in parts of the four county region where news is happening. I am also a self-employed media consultant and freelance writer/editor, providing professional services for businesses, municipalities, and organizations for which retaining a full time staff writer is not a viable option.

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