clarks creek is to be preserved and enhanced
clarks creek is to be preserved and enhanced

The mission of the Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association (CCWPA) is to preserve, protect and enhance the environmental integrity of Clarks Creek, and to advocate the conservation and sustainability of its natural resources while promoting restoration and safety within the watershed.

CCWPA Activities


Have you walked the paths at DETWEILER PARK since it opened in June? Do you wonder about the Clarks Creek water quality these days? Do you want to know what life was like in what is now called Middle Paxton Township — before the first European settlers arrived? Have you considered joining one of our spirited "Work to Improve the Watershed" volunteer events?

Steve RunkleIf the above topics interest you, plan to attend our 2017 ANNUAL MEETING & PUBLIC PRESENTATION:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at 7:00 pm
(6:30 pm social half-hour)
Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center
1451 Peters Mountain Road
Dauphin, PA 17018

Our 2017 Annual Meeting Includes acknowledged Susquehanna Basin historical expert Stephen A. Runkle, who will present an illustrated lecture on "Native American Life in the Susquehanna River Basin."

Steve Runkle's talks have been popular and successful for years now all over central Pennsylvania, and this is a great chance to learn about the almost-forgotten history of our region.

Please come — and bring a friend! Children are welcome, too! RSVPs are helpful but not mandatory; you may use our
"CONTACT US" FORM to RSVP, or send us an e-mail to say you are coming!

Other presentations of interest at the Annual Meeting will be a Creek Water Quality Report from Specialist Rob Frank; a report on the past year's activities of the CCWPA, and the annual Board Elections!

WHAT A HAUL — Our 13th Trash Pickup Was a Great Success!

Volunteer crew

Volunteers with the Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association gathered on Saturday, May 20, 2017, as part of the Great American Clean-up of Pennsylvania and the PennDot Adopt-a-Highway Program, and picked up trash along two miles of PA Route 325 in Clarks Valley.

Pictured, left to right, are volunteers John Mimnall, Mike Blum (Secretary of the CCWPA), Kayleigh DeRosa, Allison Kiser, Mary Hochendoner (leader of the Adopt-a-Highway effort), Judy Kiser, Denise Scotland, Arlene Taylor, Paula Zankel (President of the CCWPA) and Calliope Pappadakis.

This was the 13th such session for the CCWPA; all have been under the leadership of Mary Hochendoner, a founding member of the CCWPA.

In 3 hours, the hard-working volunteers picked up and REMOVED from the Clarks Creek watershed, and therefore out of the Susquehanna River and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay: 580 cigarette butts; 138 food wrappers; 123 beverage cans; 99 tobacco packaging products; 98 plastic beverage bottles; 59 plastic pieces; 49 stirrers; 45 glass beverage bottles; 42 plastic lids; 25 plastic bags; 24 paper plates and cups; 18 plastic take out containers; 17 plastic plates and cups; 17 glass pieces; 15 foam plates and cups; 13 pieces of other plastic/foam packaging; 13 knives, forks, and spoons; 12 plastic bottle caps; 12 plastic bags; 12 plastic grocery bags; 12 other plastic bottles; 12 foam pieces; 8 metal bottle caps; 6 pieces of construction materials; 5 strapping bands; 5 used road flare remnants; 4 cigar tips; 2 syringes; 2 fishing lines; 2 cigarette lighters; 2 foam take-out containers; 1 used firework remnant; 1 tire; 1 used tampon; and last but not least, 1 burst balloon!

The next session is scheduled for SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2017, at 9 am!

We will meet at FLEMISH DOWN (1231 Clarks Valley Road) at 9 am for orientation and distribution of gloves, tools and trash bags. The pick-up session, which is under the direction of Mary Hochendoner, lasts until noon, after which we will have a PIZZA PARTY PICNIC to thank the volunteers!

Use our CONTACT FORM to let us know you're coming, or send us an e-mail. In case of inclement weather, Mary Hochendoner will e-mail all the volunteers, so it's important you contact us. The rain date is two weeks later — November 4.

In the interests of archival reporting, here are some old articles about the CCWPA:


Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 7:00 pm
(6:30 pm social half-hour)
Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center
1451 Peters Mountain Road
Dauphin, PA 17018

Our 2016 Annual Meeting Included:


The Members of the Association unanimously approved the following resolution:

RESOLVED: that the Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association, Inc., endorses the following candidates for election in November, 2016, because of their pro-Environmental stances, polices and voting records:

ROBERT F. TEPLITZ for Pennsylvania State Senator, District 15
JODY REBARCHAK for Pennsylvania State Representative, District 104
KATIE McGINTY for United States Senator from Pennsylvania
Creek Water Quality Report from Specialist Rob Frank;
Report on the Past Year's Activities;
Board Elections!

BOARD ELECTION Elected to a two-year term on the Board:
Michael Blum -- term through September 2018
Arlene Taylor -- term through September 2018
Brett Zankel -- term through September 2018

2015 Annual Meeting Included Watershed Purity Demo; Board Election; Review of Our First Five Years!


Thursday, September 24, 2015, at 7:00 pm (6:30 pm social half-hour)
Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center
1451 Peters Mountain Road
Dauphin, PA 17018

Watershed Specialist Jennifer FetterOur special guest Jennifer Fetter (pictured), Watershed/Youth Development Educator of the Penn State Extension, and a specialist in Watershed Education, 4-H Science and Greening the Lower Susquehanna, took the membership through a fascinating role-playing exercise that shows the real challenges in keeping watersheds viable!

Afterwards — President Paula Zankel presented an overview: FIVE YEARS OF CCWPA — ACCOMPLISHMENTS, WORKS IN PROGRESS, AND THE FUTURE!

BOARD ELECTION Elected to the Board of Directors:
Sherry McLain -- term through September 2017
John Mimnall -- term through September 2017
Paula Zankel -- term through September 2017

Our 10th Adopt-A-Highway Clean-Up Session Achieved Great Success!

On Saturday morning, October 24, 2015, under the direction of Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association founding member Mary Hochendoner, volunteers from the CCWPA, as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program, filled 13 large bags of trash along a span of Rte. 325 (Clarks Valley Road) in Dauphin, PA.

The CCWPA October 2015 Trash Pickup Crew Says Mary Hochendoner, "I wish to thank our eleven enthusiastic and energetic volunteers, who gave up their morning to help. To date, our efforts have removed 3,680 pounds of trash from our two-mile stretch of Clarks Valley Road!" According to Hochendoner, the CCWPA has received a citation of thanks from the Ocean Conservancy for participating in this year's International Coastal Cleanup. "The Ocean Conservancy people know that by our removing trash from our watershed along Clarks Creek, we reduce the trash that flows into the Susquehanna River, the Chesapeake Bay, and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean," Hochendoner concludes.

Volunteers in addition to Hochendoner (who coordinated the effort) included John Mimnall, Tanya Dierolf, Andrew Bliss, Jack Bliss, Denise Scotland, Sherry McLain, Arlene Taylor, Paula Zankel, Mike Blum and Karen Stilp.

The CCWPA October 2015 Trash Pickup Crew As part of the effort, every separate piece of trash picked up on both sides of the road was noted and charted, so that the total picked up on October 24 included 361 cigarette butts, 75 food wrappers, 62 plastic beverage bottles 52 beverage cans, 37 tobacco packages, 34 plastic pieces, 23 non-grocery plastic bags, 17 plastic lids, 17 glass beverage bottles, 17 car parts, 15 glass pieces, 15 straws/stirrers, 14 paper cups or plates, 11 pieces of construction materials, 10 foam cups or plates, 8 plastic takeout containers, 7 plastic grocery bags, 7 small foam pieces, 6 motor oil bottles, 6 metal bottle caps, 5 long strapping bands, 5 plastic bottle caps, 5 paper bags, 4 plastic forks or spoons, 3 pieces of string, 2 bait containers, 2 foam packages, 1 foam takeout container, 1 six pack holder, 1 e-cigarette, 1 AAA battery, 1 flosser and 1 pocketknife.

Says CCWPA President Paula Zankel, "I join with Mary in thanking everyone who helped us preserve the watershed, the bay and our planet from these pieces of trash!"

A large crowd attended the ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, at 7:00 pm (6:30 pm Social half-hour)
Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center
1451 Peters Mountain Road
Dauphin, PA 17018

DeHart Dam SpillwayThe Meeting began with a PUBLIC PRESENTATION, directed by Mary Hochendoner, entitled "Questions about the DeHart Dam Emergency Plan."

In this presentation, Ms. Hochendoner reviewed the history of the DeHart Dam Emergency Plan; its flaws and weaknesses as discovered and discussed by the Dam Committee, which sought and received input from many sources including the Fire Departments, Emergency Responders, Governmental Officials, and more; and the projected course of the revisions and upgrades to the plan, now being processed by Capitol Region Water, the successor organization to the Harrisburg Authority, and the owner and operator of DeHart Dam.

Members of the Board and the committee will meet with the Capitol Region Water staff later this fall to share input and further establish a good working relationship between the two groups. Ms. Hochendoner's presentation was illustrated by projections and printouts of large topographical maps of the entire watershed showing "inundation disaster consequences."

BOARD ELECTION Further business of the Association included the election of members of the Board of Directors. Current members whose terms continue are:
Sherry McLain (term expires September 2015)
Paula Zankel (term expires September 2015)
Unanimously elected to 2-year terms beginning September 2014 were:
Mike Blum
Arlene Taylor
Brett Zankel

Doc Fritchey, Clarks Creek Watershed Volunteers Plant Seedlings along Clarks Creek

planting new seedlings On May 11, 2013, a dozen Trout Unlimited - Doc Fritchey Chapter volunteers were joined by two members of the Clarks Creek Watershed Protection Association to plant white pine seedlings along the "Fly Fishing Only" section of Clarks Creek, near the Appalachian Trail Crossing of the creek and within the PA State Game Lands.

The program, begun last year by the PA Game Commission, is intended to introduce white pines to replace the native hemlocks dying as a result of woolly adelgid infestations in Clarks Valley. At least 650 seedlings were planted on May 11; past experience indicates an expected 80-90% 1 year survival rate.

Wildflower Discovery Session Blooms!

The CCWPA, the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy and Flemish Down, LLC, co-sponsored a WILDFLOWER DISCOVERY WALK on Sunday, May 5, on the property known as BAILEY'S GROVE on Route 325.

Jane Earle discovers wildflowersUnder the direction of botanist Jane Earle and Appalachian Land Services President Josh First, 21 individuals spent 2 hours at Bailey's Grove, looking for regenerative species, flowers, checking the status of invasive species, seeing how forests are regenerated, and more.

Among the wildflowers spotted were Bluets, Violets, Wood Anemones, Trillium, Solomon's Seal, Trout Lilies, May Apples and Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Invasive species included multiflower rose, Tree-of-Heaven and Japanese Honeysuckle. In addition, many "garden escapees" were noted, especially nearer to residential areas.

5th Session of Adopt-A-Highway Sees 15 Bags Filled

On Saturday, April 13, 2013, six CCWPA volunteers, including Mike Blum, Larry Hochendoner, Mike Horgan, Sherry McLain, Calliope Pappadakis and Arlene Taylor, under the direction of volunteer coordinator Mary Hochendoner, collected 15 bags of trash from the Watershed Preservation Association's dedicated 2 mile stretch of Clarks Valley Road in Dauphin County (Middle Paxton Township).

5th Adopt a Highway CleanupAs part of the "Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful / Great American Cleanup" Initiative, the group recorded every bit of trash collected. This list revealed that the group removed from potentially polluting the creek, Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay a total of 328 cigarette filters, 155 food wrappers/containers, 100 beverage cans, 82 plastic beverage bottles, 62 car parts, 56 glass beverage bottles, 42 cigarette packages, 23 plastic bags, 20 straws/stirrers, 19 caps/lids, 16 cups (paper, plastic and styrofoam), 8 utensils, 7 miscellaneous piece of building material, 6 paper bags, 6 items of clothing, 1 plastic six pack holder, 1 (empty) condom box, and 1 tire.

This was the fifth Adopt-A-Highway session for the Association, and the first one of 2013. In all, the Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association is approaching the ONE TON mark of trash and refuse removed from just a 2-mile stretch of Route 325!

Once Again, We Attended Trout Season Opening Day

Trout Season Opens 2013 It's become a tradition — members of the CCWPA standing by Clarks Valley Road on the opening day of Trout Season on March 30, 2013, waving at incoming fishermen and (if possible) distributing literature about our watershed to the very people who are taking advantage of it!

This year, volunteers Sherry McLain, Paula Zankel, Mary Hochendoner, Arlene Taylor, Michael Blum and Brett Zankel participated. It was cold (as usual) but much fun was had by all!

General Meeting Report from March 13

The Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association first General Meeting of 2013 was held Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 7 pm in the Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center at 1451 Peters Mountain Road in Dauphin.

example of woolly adelgid hemlock blight The Agenda includes a presentation by the PGC on the Woolly Adelgid hemlock blight in our valley, and on the Game Commission's work, in close cooperation with Trout Unlimited, to replant seedlings on the creek banks in areas of the game lands where they are needed for the health of the creek. The meeting will included information on all upcoming CCWPA activities and updates on our ongoing work. A complete set of MINUTES will be published soon!

We Greeted Fishermen on the First Day of Trout Season

Your Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association again set up on the side of Route 325, greeting incoming fishermen and urging them to AVOID LITTERING and RESPECT THE WATERSHED! This effort was accompanied by the debut of our "Burma Shave"-style signs, strategically placed on the shoulders, which said "Clarks Creek ... Is a Beautiful Place ... Pick Up Your Litter ... Don't Leave a Trace!" We also had literature to distribute and signed up 2 new members!

We're Helping Plant Trees by Clarks Creek

reseeding saplings in Clarks Valley The Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association, in cooperation with Trout Unlimited / Doc Fritchey Chapter and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, will be participating in a SEEDLING PLANTING session on Saturday, April 6.

Detailed information about this will be disseminated at the March 13, 2013, General Meeting (about which please see above).

We Went to the Movies and Met Lots of Friends!

CCWPA exhibit at Movie NightSherry McLain, Mary Hochendoner, Karen Stilp and Mike Blum, assisted by Arlene Taylor, represented your CCWPA at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour on Wednesday, February 13th, at the Grace Milliman Pollock Performing Arts Center, located at 340 North 21st St in Camp Hill.

These films showed people doing great things for their communities and the environment, from around the world and into your own backyard! We exhibited our work, made lots of friends and learned many things about the condition of water around the world.


2012 Annual Meeting Notes

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association was held on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, at 6:30 pm, in the Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center at 1451 Peters Mountain Road in Dauphin.

Following a review by President Sherry McLain of the year's activities, the slate of candidates for the three open Board positions was presented and unanimously approved:
Michael Blum
Arlene Taylor
Brett Zankel

Guy Alsentzer from the Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna Committee heads reported on various activities, chief among them the upcoming ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY session on October 6.

After the business meeting, Guy Alsentzer of the Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna presented his views on the environment, fracking, the relationship between business and the passage of environmental protection, legislation, and more.

For more information, see our FACEBOOK page.

June 19th Stormwater Management Education Session a Big Success!

Planner GIL HIRSCHEL led a tour and information session about Stormwater Management Practices at the Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center, 1451 Peters Mountain Road. Everyone really enjoyed Gil's spirit and his descriptions and demonstrations of the many useful and interesting ways stormwater runoff can be controlled and put to good uses!

Gil teaches the groupAmong the materials everyone enjoyed seeing and reading (and taking) are brochures and fact sheets related to stormwater management from the Department of Environmental Protection and the four agencies that share the Dauphin County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center.

Please see our Facebook page for a series of photos about this important educational event!

Our April 7, 2012, Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup in Clarks Valley Collected 440 Pounds of Trash!

The Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association (CCWPA) held its third Adopt-A-Highway cleanup session on Route 325 (Clarks Valley Road) in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, April 7.

The 13 volunteers, under the direction of CCWPA Outreach Coordinator Mary Hochendoner, collected 22 garbage bags-full of trash.

As part of the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful / Great American Cleanup movement, the CCWPA logged the following individual items picked up: CCWPA Adopts a Highway - Route 325
  • 397 cigarettes and filters
  • 219 food wrappers/containers
  • 195 plastic beverage bottles
  • 180 beverage cans
  • 158 cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • 131 glass beverage and liquor bottles
  • 79 tobacco packaging wrappers
  • 62 plastic bags
  • 61 caps and lids
  • 45 car parts
  • 36 pieces of building material
  • 36 straws and stirrers
  • 12 paper bags
  • 11 pieces of clothing and shoes
  • 9 napkins
  • 5 strapping bands
  • 5 pull tabs
  • 5 oil/lube bottles
  • 5 batteries
  • 5 cigarette lighters
  • 5 toys
  • 4 tires
  • 4 six pack holders
  • 4 shotgun shells & wadding
  • 4 pieces of rope
  • 4 cigar tips
  • 3 signs of various sizes
  • 2 balloons
  • 2 pieces of plastic sheeting
...and one each of: bait packaging pallett, baby wipe, Q tip, pencil, syringe, and shot glass.

The total estimated weight of items collected was 440 pounds.

The all-volunteer clean-up squad included Sally Banks, David Blum, Michael Blum, Terry Fetterhoff, Larry Hochendoner, Mary Hochendoner, Ian Lauver, Joe Lauver III, Tina Lauver, Sherry McLain, Calliope Pappadakis, Jim Shope, Karen Stilp and Arlene Taylor.

Two previous cleanups of the same two-mile stretch of PA Rte. 325 yielded 61 bags of trash; the total amount so far collected in three sessions is estimated to be 1660 pounds of trash.

"It makes us feel great, preventing this much trash and garbage from either staying in our watershed or polluting the creek, river and Chesapeake Bay," says Mary Hochendoner.

Please see our Facebook page for a photo of our volunteer crew and more information.

We had a great time at CCWPA's January 2012 General Meeting!

Tuesday, January 17
Dauphin County Agricultural Extension Building, Peters Mountain Road

Once again, we showed that the CCWPA turns out when the food is good! We had 21 folks at our first General Meeting of 2012, and everyone had a great time, great food, and an educational experience!

We were all pleased to meet MEGAN BLACKMON, the new Dauphin County Watershed Specialist, replacing Mike Yanchuk, who was instrumental in founding this organization. Megan comes to us from VISTA/AMERI-CORPS work in Schuykill County, and has many terrific ideas for how CCWPA can help the watershed.

We were also pleased to have a presentation from ADAM SHICKLEY of the Yellow Breeches Education Center, who showed us the water testing results he and his students had gotten from Clarks Creek!

Please see our Facebook page for more information. We will post the minutes of this meeting as soon as they are approved!

JUNE 2011 General Membership Meeting & Creek Exploration a Huge Success!

Mike Yanchuk collecting samples Watershed Specialist MIKE YANCHUK led an enthusiastic crowd of CCWPA members and friends in a Clarks Creek Exploration on Tuesday, June 21, at the Appalachian Trail crossing point.

He first demonstrated how to check the water temperature and flow, and then showed techniques of macroinvertebrate collections and sorting.

The adults and children were fascinated by the macroinvertebrates that were harvested from the creek, and in all the various fauna that a typical creek contains.children look at pictures of what is in the creek

Please see our Facebook page for a series of photos of this important educational event!

Special thanks to the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited for their participation and help!

CCWPA Board Explores DeHart Dam and Reservoir

beautiful DeHart Reservoir at moonriseOn Monday, June 13, DeHart Dam Supervisor Dan Galbraith took the entire CCWPA Board on a 3-hour exploration and information session regarding DeHart Dam and Reservoir.

The fascinating overview covered everything about the history and workings of the dam; its governance under the auspices of the Harrisburg Authority; how it is maintained and tended; and even how the Harrisburg Authority timbering project stands in relation to the dam and its surroundings.

Please see our Facebook page for more photos of our exploration and information session.

For information on how to JOIN the CCWPA, select this link!


© 2011-2017 Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Clarks Creek Watershed Preservation Association • P.O. Box 75 • Dauphin, PA 17018
Questions about this web site? Ask the webmaster!