by Paul Goraczko, Think Green Correspondent
Once among Pennsylvania’s most heavily polluted waterways, the Schuylkill River now boasts the title of Pennsylvania’s 2014 River of the Year following a five-week online public voting period spanning from November to December 2013.
Last year, the river, which runs past Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus, placed second in the voting; it lost by less than 200 votes.
However, this year the river walloped the competition, receiving 43 percent of the popular vote in a decisive victory over the Kiski-Conemaugh River (21 percent), the Ohio River (12 percent), the Brodhead Creek Watershed (12 percent) and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River (12 percent).
The designation has been bestowed on rivers since 1983 by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, but it is only the second time that the Schuylkill has clinched the title.
According to a press release from DCNR, the winning applicant in the competition, Schuylkill River Greenway Association, which manages the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area, will receive a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund River of the Year activities.
The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is now in need of an original logo to help promote these events and to commemorate the statewide honor.
The contest is open to artists of all ages and the deadline for submission is March 14, 2014.
The winning logo, which will be chosen by April 1, will be used on all signs, banners, flyers, and programming materials for the year-long slate of activities being planned to celebrate the river’s status.
The logo will also serve as the design for the 2014 Schuylkill River Sojourn T-shirt, which is provided to all sojourn participants.
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. March 14.