River of the Year Gala – Oct 22

As a wrap up of our 2015 River of the Year celebration, The Conewango Creek Watershed Association is hosting a year-end Gala on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at Jackson Valley Golf Club on Rt. 69 between North Warren and Sugar Grove.  This is our last celebration event of the River of the Year events.

The Gala will start with a happy hour starting at 5:30 pm (cash bar) followed by a dinner served, buffet-style at 6:30 pm. The main course will be a “Low Country Boil” with potatoes, corn, shrimp, and sausage with spices. The price will be $21.50 per person including coffee, soft drinks, tax and gratuity. An alternate meal for those with allergies or other needs will be provided on a limited basis.  RSVP by 3 PM, Monday, October 19!

After dinner our featured speaker, Robin Foster, PhD candidate from SUNY at Buffalo, NY will talk about an elusive and intriguing resident of Western New York and Northwest PA: the Eastern Hellbender. The Hellbender is a sign of the general health of a waterway and efforts are underway to to see if these primordial amphibians exist on the Conewango. 

Robin Foster is a PhD Candidate at the University of Buffalo Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior.  After several years as an elementary school teacher, she decided to pursue her passion for wildlife and began a new career in conservation biology.  She obtained both her BA and MA degrees in biology from SUNY Buffalo State.  Robin has been involved with eastern hellbender research and conservation since 2004.  She has spent many hours in the field handling these gentle giants and is passionate about sharing these experiences with others to help spread the word about the importance of these salamanders and their freshwater habitats.

The Hellbender:  Allegheny’s Living Fossil

The Eastern Hellbender is a unique aquatic salamander found only in the eastern United States.  Hellbenders are “living fossils” that have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years, giving us a glimpse into our ecological past.  In recent years, this iconic species has declined significantly in New York and throughout its entire range.  We will discuss the natural history and conservation of this fascinating species, and learn how we can all aid in its conservation here in the Conewango watershed and throughout the Allegheny region.

We will also have a slide show and videos of highlights of all of our River of the Year activities playing throughout the evening. And the winner of our kayak package will be announced.

This Gala will also serve as our annual member meeting, and the election of directors will take place then. Any member in good standing (dues paid, etc.) may nominate another member in good standing for a director position. Each member in good standing has one vote for election of these positions. We are looking for directors willing to serve, especially from the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties area (New York State portion of our watershed). If you are interested in serving or in nominating someone else, you can do so by making the nomination at the Gala at the time of the election.  A director term lasts 3 years.

If you have questions, you can call 814-726-1441 or email us at info@conewangocreek.org.

If you have not paid your dues for 2015 or know someone who would like to join, dues will be collected at the event or you can renew beforehand. Checks can be mailed to our office or you can renew/join on our website here at www.conewangocreek.org.

We look forward to seeing you at our one-of-a-kind, year-end wrap up event for our River of the Year Celebration.      RSVP by 3 PM Monday October 19!

For more information you can email us through the site or call our office at 814-726-1441.

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