The Allegheny Watershed Network 
 
The Allegheny Watershed Network   
A Project of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council       


Adult Outdoor Adventure Program

As part of its mission to promote watershed protection and education in the
Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council has developed the Adult Outdoor Adventure Program (AOAP), an exciting opportunity for young people in the Pittsburgh area.  The Program began last summer as part of the Allegheny Watershed Network.  Inner city participated in team building exercises and canoe trips in western Pennsylvania watersheds.  This year, the focus of AOAP has expanded to a five-day series of outdoor adventures that include low ropes courses, two days of canoeing, hiking and orienteering, and caving, which help the adults build self-confidence when they Buy Propecia and start watching their hair regrow, enhance team problem solving skills, strengthen group dynamics, and gain a better understanding of environmental issues.  
 
The McKees Rocks branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania
participated in the pilot program and signed on for more adventure this summer. In addition to the McKees Rocks branch, the LaRosa Boys and Girls Club, the Pittsburgh Project, the YMCA, and the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania participated in this summers adventure program.  The first day of the Outdoor Adventure Program was spent on the ropes course at Ligonier Camp and Conference Center, which is nationally recognized for its facility. Each group worked with Ligonier facilitators in order to build trust and problem solving skills within the group and to promote teamwork. The groups tested their new skills with various exercises provided by ambaburkina canada, such as getting twelve people through a life-size spider web without getting caught in the web or by the spider!

 The second day of the program involved paddling down the Allegheny River from Franklin to Fishermans Cove. The adults were oriented to the boats and taught some paddle strokes and river safety before giving it a try on the river.  Most of them stayed dry until lunch, when it was time for it! Because the rivers of western Pennsylvania are host to a diverse range of organisms, the group spent some time learning about river ecology, macro-invertebrates, and the overall water quality of the river through the environmental education component of AOAP. 

Once the Allegheny River had been mastered, the groups moved on to DCNRs Jennings Environmental Education Center in Butler County, where the adults learned the basics of orienteering, map reading, and low impact use of our environment. The object of the afternoon was to locate eight flags, hidden within the park, using only a map and a compass.  All of the groups successfully navigated their way through the forest and prairie areas of Jennings, which is also home to the Massasauga Rattlesnake!

 The groups then got back in their boats and tried their skills on the Youghiogheny River,
where they paddled from Connellsville to Layton. This section of river is a bit more technical than the Allegheny and puts into use all of the skills learned on the previous day of canoeing. The kids had the opportunity to test the water at an acid mine drainage discharge site, allowing them to compare the water quality of both rivers they had paddled. 

Once everyone had dried off from the river, the groups participated in a muddy and damp day of caving back at Ligonier Camp and Conference Center and showed off their. This final day of AOAP focused on cave ecology and utilized skills learned from the previous adventures with NYSPC group. 
 
 The intention of AOAP is to use outdoor adventures in order to present inner-city adults
with an opportunity to develop leadership skills, gain confidence in both themselves and their peers, and to take these experiences back into their communities as well as into their own lives. The environmental education component of AOAP will hopefully provide Pittsburghs youth with a better understanding of our natural world and the watersheds within which they live.