York County Stream Team Strikes Again!

Event Details: November 12, 2019 in York County


Meredith: For the second year in a row, I had the unique opportunity to train the York County Stream Team on ALLARM’s community-based stream monitoring protocol. The Stream Team program is an initiative that I have watched develop during my time at ALLARM, and I have been continually inspired to see new Stream Teams organize and take control over their local waterways.

Last fall, I had the privilege of journeying to York County to train the very first Stream Team on the newly established protocol and procedures. This workshop was highly anticipated and required a new level of preparation and planning considering it was the first of its kind. I recall walking into the room and feeling as though this was what community work was all about, especially as I watched soon to be volunteers stream into the room. I was amazed by how full the large room became, encouraged by the fact that one county could produce such a strong turnout of people equally excited as I was about being a part of Stream Team. In my small training group, I listened to the diverse interests, backgrounds, and experiences of the volunteers and was honored to provide them with the resources they desired and required to answer their monitoring questions. Leaving the first Stream Team workshop, I felt certain that this new initiative would reshape ALLARM’s work in a significant way as it consolidated and re-established so many of ALLARM’s founding principles into one unified program.

Almost exactly one year later, in November of this year, I once again traveled to York County to replicate our Stream Team training, this time with a new crowd of invigorated future volunteers.

Grace: Before helping groups run through water testing, our director Julie Vastine gave a presentation about ALLARM and the Stream Team program before Rachel Krewson shared about water quality and control parameters, equipment, and how to collect a water sample. Meredith Jones then presented about the conductivity, pH, and nitrate-nitrogen tests that the Stream Team volunteers would be doing on the water samples.

Meredith: I noted the changes in the protocol and programming of Stream Team, as it had become cleaner and the kinks had all been worked out. As I practiced for the training, I was reminded of the previous workshop and excited by the fact that the same county had even more people ready to join the Stream Team. Many of these new volunteers were involved in the PennState Extension Master Watershed Stewards program, which gave them a strong foundation of information to supplement their monitoring goals. In my group, I was fascinated to hear about the volunteers’ past experiences conducting stormwater quality tests and investing their time and energy into their waterways. I was overwhelmed by pride as they enthusiastically followed the minute details of the protocols to ensure the best possible data values, and asked questions along the way. I left the workshop feeling accomplished and lucky to witness this full cycle of Stream Team’s presence in York County.

Meredith Jones ’20 Presenting on the supplies ALLARM provides volunteers to properly clean their glassware.

Grace: This was my first Stream Team workshop, and I had a wonderful experience! I had only been working for ALLARM for a few weeks prior to this, so it was a bit nerve wracking to go into a workshop and train others so soon after starting. However, I worked in a group with Rachel Stosur and we were able to train a group of wonderful volunteers! All of the volunteers in our group were knowledgeable and passionate about helping to monitor their local streams, and I’m looking forward to helping out at workshops in the future!

Stream Team Training Group washing dishes using ALLARM’s protocol as the last step to the workshop