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Sewickley Creek Watershed group presents first community awards

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Saturday, March 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Sewickley Creek Watershed Association presented community awards for the first time to acknowledge stewards of the watershed.

“We decided this past year that we wanted to recognize other environmental leaders in the community,” said board member Larry D. Myers. Yough High School was given the Environmental Education Leader Award at the association's annual fundraising banquet March 9.

Students of industrial arts teacher Bill Janiro built an interpretive trail and two-sided kiosk with attached benches that displays a sign to explain the abandoned mine discharge remediation facility in the Sewickley Township village of Lowber.

The project, funded by state grant money, was part of the first phase in creating educational programs alongside the lagoons, which filter 99 percent of the iron oxide from Sewickley Creek.

Hepler's Hardware of Youngwood was recognized as Environmental Business Leader. Store founder Bob Hepler and his family have donated materials and services to the watershed association, Myers said.

Jason Farbaugh of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Wildlife Conservation Office was honored for Community Environmental Service.

Water specialist with Westmoreland Conservation District Rob Cronauer and Lou Stout of Sewickley Township both received Volunteer of the Year Awards for their dedication and service to natural resource conservation efforts.

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