Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academy Marks Fourth Graduating Class

Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academyrom Left to Right: Kim Huey, Jackie Tilghman, Jessica Mistr, Linda Gaydos, Karen Aspinwall, Robin Lane-Cragle, Scotty Hartman, Stephanie Hartman, Kristina Riska (Submitted Image, Credit: Van Funk)

ELKTON, MD — Cecil County Government and the University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension announced the recent graduation of the fourth Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) class.  A graduation ceremony was held on December 15, 2021, at the County Administration Building, at which time the following participants were recognized and awarded the title of “Master Watershed Steward.” – Karen Aspinwall, Linda Gaydos, Scotty Hartman, Stephanie Hartman, Kim Huey, Robin Lane-Cragle, Jessica Mistr, Kristina Riska and Jackie Tilghman.

“Keeping our local waterways healthy is vital for our environment, and these graduates now have the ability to play a greater role in that effort,” stated County Executive Hornberger. “I commend them for taking time out of their busy lives to become leaders in maintaining clean watersheds here in Cecil County.”

To obtain the Master Watershed Steward certification, participants are required to complete 50 hours of class instruction; participate in the planning, design, and construction of a class project; and undertake individual or small team capstone projects.  Their class project involved the expansion of an existing rain garden and installation of over 200 native plants at the North East Town Park. This project was completed on October 2nd as part of Cecil Cares Day of Service, in collaboration with the Town of North East, Friends of Cecil County Parks & Rec and the Elk and North East Rivers Watershed Association. A special thanks to the project partners and suppliers which included Chief Mountain Farms, Stancills Inc., Tri Supply & Equipment Inc., Priapi Gardens and Vannoy Contractors, Inc.

The Cecil County WSA is operated through a partnership between the Stormwater Management Division of the Cecil County Department of Public Works and the University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension. The program trains and supports community leaders to serve as Master Watershed Stewards in their neighborhoods and communities who can identify and assess areas to implement small-scale stormwater management practices, educate local citizens, and assist Cecil County in reaching its Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goals.

To date, there have been a total of 36 individuals who have successfully obtained the title of Master Watershed Steward in Cecil County.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about the program or in participating in the next class can obtain additional information at https://go.umd.edu/UGt or by contacting Marshall McSorley of the Cecil County Stormwater Management Division at (410) 996-5265 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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