Other Sojourns Planned for PA Rivers throughout Summer
HARRISBURG, Pa., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Registration is now open for the first ever sojourn along northeastern Pennsylvania's Lackawaxen River, which the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources designated as the state's 2010 River of the Year in January because of its natural bounties and historical significance.
The three-day event is expected to draw hundreds of paddlers, campers and other outdoors enthusiasts to the waterway from June 12-14. The sojourn is among a series of events being held across the state during June to observe Pennsylvania Rivers Month.
Calling the Lackawaxen "a recreational treasure," DCNR Secretary John Quigley noted the river that flows through Pike and Wayne counties drains the forests on the Pocono Plateau, a largely rural and conservation-minded landscape where communities are closely connected to the environment.
"It is this vital connection of local residents and visitors to the Lackawaxen that we strive to promote and protect with our selection," Quigley said. "This upcoming sojourn and other future educational events planned by river supporters can only strengthen those bonds."
The Lackawaxen sojourn will explore about 20 miles of the river's middle and lower sections. The event will combine guided paddling, camping, recreation and a collection of educational, environmental and historical programs.
"The Lackawaxen is a popular river and access is limited," said Richards Rhodes of the Lackawaxen River Conservancy, the lead organization sponsoring the event. "Beginning boaters to serious paddlers should take advantage of this unique opportunity."
On Saturday, June 12, sojourn participants can gather at Camp Watonka in Hawley, Wayne County, for registration, water safety and swift-water rescue training. A River of the Year reception and dinner will also be held that day.
On Sunday, June 13, paddlers will enter the river at Honesdale and travel to White Mills for lunch and a historical program presented by Dorflinger Museum. Afternoon events will include a paddling trip to the Bingham Park Public Access in Hawley, a welcome from the town's mayor, Kevin Hawk, dinner and evening activities.
For the final day, Monday, June 14, watercraft will be launched on the lower Lackawaxen, where lunch will be served to sojourn participants, and state and local officials. The trip will end at Kittatinny Luke's Landing, Barryville, N.Y.
Inclement weather and/or high river conditions may force scheduling changes.
The sojourn program is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) in partnership with DCNR, as well as dozens of local organizations. POWR's mission is to advocate for protecting, restoring and enjoying water resources, and to conduct programs that foster stewardship, communication, leadership and action.
"While infrequently recognized as such, this program is nationally unique," said POWR Executive Director Jon Meade. "No other state has as many paddling trips organized in a similar fashion—a set of paddling trips on major rivers across the state, facilitated by local organizations, that engage thousands of individuals and hundreds of local businesses and nonprofit organizations."
Meade said the annual paddling events encompass more than 500 river miles, span more than 50 on-the-water days, and engage more than 4,000 participants.
Some sojourns have occurred for more than 20 years, while others, like the Lackawaxen River Sojourn, are new this year. Other upcoming river sojourns include: the Schuylkill River from June 5-11; the Upper Allegheny River from June 12-13; the Juniata River from June 12-19; the West Branch Susquehanna River from June 13-19; the Delaware River from June 20-26; the Lehigh River from June 25-28; and the "Ohiopyle Over the Falls Festival" on the Youghiogheny River on Aug. 21.
One sojourn began June 3 and ends Monday, June 6, on the Kiskiminetas-Conemaugh River in southwestern Pennsylvania; others were held last month on Swatara Creek (May 1-2) and the Allegheny-Kiskiminetas-Conemaugh River (May 12-16).
Pennsylvania has designated a River of the Year since 1983 to draw attention to the state's waterways. The chosen river is featured on posters sent to watershed organizations, local municipalities and interested individuals throughout the state.
Lackawaxen sojourn registration information and other details are available at www.riveroftheyear.com, or by mail at The Lackawaxen River Conservancy, P.O. Box 176, Rowland, PA 18457. For online registration assistance or questions, contact Dejay Branch, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone (646) 205-2724 or (570) 685-8875.
Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources