Additional PAGE LINKS:
- Great Non-Profits
- Importance of the Swatara Creek
- Membership Application
- Volunteer Form
- Swatara Creek YouTube Channel
- Swatara Watershed Park:
Additional PAGE LINKS:
SWA Mission: “To promote the conservation of the natural resources of the Swatara Watershed by conducting scientific investigations and research, disseminating information, conducting educational programs, sponsoring conservation projects and all activities incidental thereto.”
The Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Inc. was founded in 1970 in response to encouragement from the Chamber of Commerce and State and federal agencies to promote conservation of the Swatara Creek Watershed. The corporation was active in the 70’s then became dormant. Approximately 1986 a group of citizens became concerned about landfills being projected close to the Swatara Creek in Schuylkill County, PA. As a result, they formed an association known as Citizens Coordinating for Clean Water (CCCW). This group ultimately became active with regard to broader aspects concerning the Swatara Creek Watershed. The increased size of the organization to over 100, expanded activities, and availability of government and private grants to support some of its educational activities caused CCCW to consider incorporating. Several of the directors of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association were involved in the affairs of CCCW and it was suggested as a matter of economy to reactivate Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Inc. whose original purpose matched those of CCCW. The last directors of the corporation met and agreed to become active again and to assimilate the activities of CCCW. In 2009, the organization’s name was shortened to Swatara Watershed Association.
Jo Ellen Litz has been president of the Swatara Watershed Association for over 30 years. As a First Class Girl Scout, it’s her passion to protect Clean Water. Her father took her trout fishing so she got to see what clean water is all about. Her grandfather took her swimming in the Little Swatara Creek where here sister came out with leeches all over her body. Her mom took her swimming at Lion’s Lake where pig manure ran into the entrance, and she’d get painful boils in the days that followed. Her husband took her scuba diving in lakes, rivers, grotto’s, and oceans where she saw American Eels, starfish, whales, dolphins, sea horses, barracuda, and many other creatures. She is certified as a Rescue Diver, and volunteered on teams that recovered drowning victims and discarded guns used in homicides.
A graduate of Cedar Crest High School, Lebanon Valley College, and Kennedy Western University, Jo Ellen also ran Lebanon (Auto) Body Shop where she handled hazardous waste, and she serves in her 5th term as a Lebanon County Commissioner. She brings a unique blend of conservation, business and government experience to the table.
Ben has more than forty years of outdoor experience. As a child, Ben’s family camped at state and national parks in 40 states. As a teenager he joined Boy Scouts. In the 1970’s Ben celebrated in his first Earth Day as a volunteer. In high school Ben added lifeguarding to his skill set and in college began work as a fitness instructor too. Running since the age of ten, Ben has competed in 5K, triathlon, and numerous cross sport challenge races. Ben’s outdoor enthusiasm has taken him abroad to hike, kayak and ski. In 2012 Ben joined the Swatara Watershed Association, and later the same year established the outfitter Cocoa Kayaks of Hershey. In 2013 Ben accepted a board member position in the Swatara Watershed Association (SWA). Since most SWA projects are in the outdoors, Ben finds tremendous fulfillment as a volunteer.
Fred is a retired earth and science teacher who loves the outdoors. He is always ready to help with a cleanup, down a dead tree, or share his knowledge of the Spotted Lantern Fly. Fred shepherds the Little Swatara Creek, and serves as secretary on the Bethel Berks Environmental Advisory Council.
Denny is good with numbers, so good that he’s with VITA (Volunteers in Tax Assistance) for the elderly and low income. SWA feels fortunate to have Denny’s expertise and attention to detail watching over our funds
Board members: Mike Adams, Hershey Outfitters; Bob Arnold, Hershey Foods, retired; Gavin Bender, student and Eagle Scout; Charles Cravotta, USGS; Stephanie Harmon, Watershed Specialist, Lebanon County Conservation District; Ann Lasky, retired nurse, Quittapahilla Creek rep; Jack Stouffer, retired from Milton Hershey School; Tom Embich, retired Earth Steward Environmental consultant, HACC instructor, founding member;and Mike Willeman, Construction Drafting Services.