Promoting the conservation and preservation of natural, cultural, and historic resources and encouraging prudent land practices in the Kiski-Conemaugh by restoring and enhancing land and water based natural resources and promoting citizen and environmental stewardship through low-impact recreation.
The Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley
We live in a region with deep river gorges, rolling hills, and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. Sadly, in years past, many of these defining natural features were decimated by decades of coal mining and industrial practices that paid little regard to the environmental consequences. This left the land scarred and the waterways polluted. The Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley was in desperate need of care.
Did you Know?
The Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley spans 1,887 square miles from Johnstown to Freeport, covering portions of Armstrong, Cambria, Indiana, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties. The valley not only boasts some of the state’s highest mountain ridges and deepest river gorges; it features an impressive collection of natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
What is CVC?
In 1994, a group of citizens had a new vision for the valley. They created the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, a community-based non-profit designed to make meaningful contributions to the preservation and restoration of the entire Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley. For over 20 years they have been developing trails, preserving land, monitoring watersheds, and educating the public on the importance of conservation.
The West Penn Trail
The West Penn Trail is a 17-mile multi-use trail, maintained entirely by some great volunteers. It spans from near Blairsville, PA to the historic town of Saltsburg. CVC and the West Penn Trail Council work to raise the necessary funds to acquire land for expansion and to keep the trail open year after year. Plans are underway to extend the trail to Avonmore, and eventually Apollo, creating approximately 40 miles of continuous trail through the valley. We are also working toward connections with the Hoodlebug and Ghostown Trails to our east.
The Stream Team
The Stream Team is currently working in nine regional schools, introducing students to the great outdoors through hands-on learning. We partner with Trout Unlimited and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to bring trout into classrooms, where students have a hand in raising them. In Spring, before the end of the year, the students release their trout into a state-approved body of water and often participate in a day of Outdoor Discovery Workshops.
In addition to education, the Stream Team also focuses on monitoring local streams and rivers, providing invaluable data on Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) to local Watersheds and conservation organizations. This work is important to ensure clean water throughout the valley.
The Upper Basin
The Upper Basin Projects are all about making valuable connections throughout the Johnstown area. CVC is working with partners to design, develop, and expand trails; all while our sister organization, the Stonycreek/Quemahoning Initative (SQI) continues development of Whitewater Park, a 300-yard river park for kayaking & tubing.
CVC relies on volunteers and donations to do its work. In order to keep operation costs low, we promote charitable giving by providing great member outings and events like Green Drinks, the Conemaugh Valley River Sojourn, and the West Penn Trail Triathlon. We invite you to explore our Events Calendar and consider joining us for one of these great fundraising outings. You can make a difference while having fun and enjoying our beautiful river valley. Follow us on Facebook for updates on how your donation dollars are being put good use.
Make a Difference.
Connect with CVC in a way that make sense for you.
When you join CVC, you initiate change. You’ll get our newsletter, access to exclusive CVC outings, and more.
If you share our passion for Nature, consider helping us with trail cleanup, water sampling, or lend us a hand at a CVC event.
When you donate to CVC, you protect Nature. Your donations help us bridge the gap in funding for vital CVC programs.