Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Get involved in projects that support our state parks and forests by volunteering for the nonprofit organization that is working to provide a voice for Pennsylvania’s 124 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest land, the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF). PPFF supports Friends groups in the Pennsylvania Wilds, including Cherry Springs Dark Sky Association, Friends of Black Moshannon, Friends of Cook Forest, Friends of Ole Bull and Friends of Parker Dam. Find volunteer opportunities with PPFF here.
Allegheny National Forest
Concerned citizens help the forest to provide better wildlife habitat, identify and preserve historic sites, and build and maintain trails within the Allegheny National Forest. Volunteer opportunities include (but not limited to): trail construction and maintenance, litter pick-up and an Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program. Details here.
Keystone Trails Association
The Keystone Trails Association works to provide, protect, preserve, and promote recreational hiking trails and hiking opportunities in Pennsylvania. They organize hands-on stewardship events and training workshops to maintain and expand hiking trails throughout the Commonwealth. Learn more here.
Trails at Jakes Rocks
The Trails at Jakes Rocks include 30+ miles of mountain biking trail, and there is a group that is dedicated to keeping it in shape. Learn more here.
PA Trail Dogs
The PA Trail Dogs Mountain Club is a volunteer group working to maintain trails in central PA for year-round outdoor recreation. The group adopts out sections of local trails to volunteers who agree to take care of them and ensure they’re open during the summer months. Details here.
County Conservation Districts
In 1945, Pennsylvania state legislators recognized the need to support grass-roots conservation efforts. As a result, the Conservation District Law was passed, and county conservation districts were created. Today there is a conservation district established in every Pennsylvania county except Philadelphia.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) offers many ways for stewards to get involved in projects across their coverage area, which includes much of the Pennsylvania Wilds. Volunteers can plant trees, help clean and stabilize rivers and streams, plant flowers or take care of a community garden, or help maintain and restore WPC’s Nature Preserves, among other opportunities. Learn more here.
Allegheny Outfitters organizes an annual cleanup for the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek in Warren County, part of the Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds landscape of the PA Wilds. Since 2009, more than 2,800 volunteers have donated almost 23,000 hours and have removed almost 400 cubic yards of trash and 100,000 lbs of metal from the watershed. Details here.
CleanScapes is a nonprofit organization and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful affiliate that coordinates cleanups in the floodplains and hillsides of Clinton and Lycoming Counties, part of the I-80 Frontier and Pine Creek Valley landscapes of the PA Wilds. There are land cleanups and river cleanups, depending on season and identified locations. Since CleanScapes cleanups began in 2000, 127 cleanup events have been held, engaging 4,680 volunteers who cleaned up more than 2,439,340 pounds of trash and 13,415 tires from waterways and hillsides. More than 49,245 pounds of metal has also been recycled. Connect with CleanScapes here.
Susquehanna Greenway Partnership
The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the Susquehanna Greenway within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. SGP’s goal is to build an active network of trails, open space, and communities that enable you to walk, bike, or paddle from town to town. SGP enlists Water Trail Stewards to help maintain the greenway and also plans occasional roadside cleanups to prevent litter from reaching the river. Details here.
Are you a resident or do you own property in the region? Are you here so much that it feels like you own property in the region? Consider participating in the Adopt-A-Highway Program offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Individuals and groups are able to adopt a section of roadway, typically about 2 miles, and help keep it litter free. Typically, roadways that have been adopted are cleaned up twice a year, in spring and fall. Details here.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Adoption Program
Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) has managed an adoption program that allows individuals and groups to ‘adopt’ local areas they care about and help keep them clean and beautiful. The KPB adoption program compliments PennDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program and is available for most municipal roads, trails, waterways and city blocks as long as KPB has the consent and support of the owner/maintainer of the property (usually the municipality). Details here.