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Creative Solutions- Orion Grassroots Network Helps EPCAMR Raise Funding For Kids In Creeks
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The Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation partnered with the Orion Grassroots Network to help raise $300 in new funding for the "Kids In Creeks" program.

Several months ago, as an added benefit to EPCAMR's membership in the Orion Grassroots Network EPCAMR was challenged to go out and get votes online for a small fundraising campaign to support Kids In Creeks.

OGN is a group that assists grassroots non-profit organizations by providing services that allow them to be engaged in ecological, economic, and cultural changes within their region.

EPCAMR was asked to be a part of the OGN’s newest program, the Wish List where $300 was going to be awarded to 1 of 5 member groups who had to go out and solicit the most online votes over a 30 day period for a project or program that they needed funds to support.

EPCAMR had put out the call for help to its volunteer base for votes and was chosen by other OGN members as the top vote getter for our “Kids in Creeks” Campaign to get youth into abandoned mine drainage streams and healthy streams for outdoor environmental education learning experiences and won by a landslide!

Erik Hoffner-OGN Coordinator, and Scott Walker, Orion Society-Marketing Director helped set up a funding drive at the Fundable website that allows people to pledge whatever they can towards a project they care about.

These drives are wonderfully risk-free, no one pays anything if the goal isn’t reached in the given time frame of 26 days. Pledges came in over a 3 week period, and we met the goal. The OGN will have helped EPCAMR meet the goal of getting kids wet come this Fall when school starts and outdoor environmental education programs ramp up.

EPCAMR decided to zero in on things that they needed to better allow their staff of two and occasional seasonal interns to reach more youth who don’t get the opportunities to explore the outdoor environment in formal school settings and have not learned much about local environmental issues plaguing their local watersheds, particularly with abandoned mine drainage in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern PA.

EPCAMR needed waders for kids, bug viewers to look at and identify aquatic macro-invertebrate insects (bugs), triangular and vertebrate aquatic nets to catch fish, laminated 3-D bug scans to more closely identify aquatic insects, and a guidebook to the Ecology of Aquatic Insects. All of these supplies for just around $300! We focused on the waders for the most part.

“We focused our campaign on getting waders for the kids to actually get them in the streams, regardless if they are orange-colored or not," said Robert Hughes-Executive Director of EPCAMR. "They need to experience first hand, in the water, the impacts to the health of the stream ecosystem and the delicate balance it faces when pollution from abandoned mines is all around them.

"They don’t realize that it is entirely possible for them to be a part of the solution in the future to cleaning up their hometown watersheds, should they go into an environmental field of interest. We tell them that you can’t judge a stream by its color. You need to get in them to discover how to clean them up, if you want to be a part of the solution.

“We want to continue to support place-based environmentalism, related to nature and our environment, and ways in which we can engage our youth to participate actively and not turn their heads away from the past mining scars in our region, but to tackle them head on in the future as we are today!” said Hughes.

EPCAMR was featured in The Orion Magazine in February 2007 ("Limestone Cowboy") as a spotlight member organization.

8/31/2009

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