Our Conference

May 19 - 20, 2015
Harrisburg, PA

Join us to learn new skills, see how clean water goals are being met locally, hear policy updates, and discuss best practices to reduce polluted runoff and increase conservation measures.

 Sessions will include:

  • Best practices for building new partnerships
  • Focus groups, polling, surveys and other research tools
  • Responding to the impacts of natural gas pipelines on local communities
  • Innovations in agriculture

Great field trips:

  • Paddle on the Susquehanna River
  • Take a walking tour of Harrisburg and learn about the City Beautiful Movement and future plans
  • See what the Gettysburg National Military Park is doing to create a sustainable environment
  • Visit the Conewago Creek Initiative's best land management sites
  • Join with a Harrisburg community group to pick up trash in their neighborhood
Susan Stranahan to be keynote speaker 
We are thrilled that author Susan Stranahan will be the keynote speaker during Tuesday evening's dinner event. Susan was a member of The Philadelphia Inquirer team awarded a 1980 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Three Mile Island accident. For 28 years, she was a reporter primarily covering environmental issues at The Inquirer. She taught environmental writing at the University of Pennsylvania and wrote a book, “Susquehanna River of Dreams.” Susan is an inspiring speaker who is passionate about the Susquehanna and understands the importance of community engagement. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

8:30 am - Registration opens

9:00 – 9:15 AM

Welcome – Mayor Papenfuse

9:30 – 10:30 AM

Plenary - Welcome to Harrisburg

Moderator: Tanya Dierolf, Capital Region Water

Shannon Williams, Capital Region Water

Andrew Gavin, Susquehanna River Basin Commission

Doug Neidich, Greenworks Development

10:45 AM – noon


Successful Community Outreach

Moderator: Brenna Goggins, Delaware Nature Society

Fritz Schroeder, Lancaster County Conservancy

Ed Sterli, National Parks Conservation Association

Nydia I. Ocasio, Prince George’s County Dept. of Parks and Recreation

Innovations in Agriculture

Moderator: Kim Snell-Zarcone

Jennifer Reed-Harry, PennAg Industries Associations

Peter Hughes, Red Barn Consulting

Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture

Impacts of pipelines from drilling on local communities

Moderator: Aaron Mintzes, Earthworks

Katy Dunlap, Trout Unlimited

Linda Farrell, Pipelines Safety Coalition

Nadia Steinzor, Earthworks

The Art of Preaching

Speaker: Rev. Dottie Yunger

12:30 – 1:30 PM


Speaker: Jalonne White-Newsome, We Act for Environmental Justice


2:00 -5:00 pm - Field trips

    1. Paddle trip on the Susquehanna River

    2. Gettysburg National Military Park tour

    3. Conewago Initiative

    4. Walking tour of Harrisburg

    5. Neighborhood clean-up

6:00 - 10:00 pm - Dinner and music at Whitetail Lodge

Keynote: Susan Stanahan


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

8:00 - 9:00 am - Breakfast roundtables

9:15 - 10:15 am - Plenary - Looking towards 2017

10:30 - 11:45 am - Workshops and breakout sessions

How local jurisdictions are coping with climate change

Moderator: Liz Deardorff

Skip Stiles, Wetlands Watch

Jennifer DeMooy, (DNREC) Harvest to Hope

Susan Julius, US EPA Office of Research and Development

Focus groups, polling, surveys and other research tools

Presenter: Jonathan Voss, Lake Research Partners

Protecting Drinking Water

Moderator: Stella Koch

Panelists: Jillian Fry, Center for a Livable Future

Adrienne Kotula, James River Association

Angie Rosser, West Virginia Rivers Coalition

Michele dePhilip, The Nature Conservancy

Harry Campbell, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Potomac Piranhas

Presenter: Gore Bolton

12:15 - 1:30 pm - Leadership Awards luncheon to honor John Dawes

1:45 - 4:00 pm - Workshops

Social marketing for social change

Presenter: Kacey Wetzel, Chesapeake Bay Trust

Increasing diversity in your organization

Presenters: Jill Witkowski, Choose Clean Water Coalition

Ramon Palencia-Calvo, Maryland League of Conservation Voters

Hedrick Belin, Potomac Conservancy

Engaging communities around fracking: The power of local control

Moderator: David Lilliard, West Virginia Rivers Coalition

Presenters: Dave Ball, Peters Township Council

Albert Pollard, consultant and former Virginia delegate

Brook Lenker, Fractracker

4:00 pm - conference ends