PROGRAM Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited
Tony Mione and John Bondura of Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited were our speakers this week. Trout Unlimited is an organization that began in 1959 in Michigan and expanded to Schuyklkill County 27 years ago. Tony proclaimed that they are a very active organization nationwide with clout throughout the country at state capitals and the White House. There are currently 53 chapters in Pennsylvania with about 270 members. The Schuylkill County chapter was recently recognized with two prestigious awards: Most new members in one year and Best Childrens program.
Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited has several goals, mainly promoting clean streams and promoting outdoor activities for children. They work within several schools in the County, speaking to an estimated 2,500 3,000 children and exposing them to outdoor experiences. To paraphrase John, its about promoting outdoor activities and keeping the kids off the computers. Another goal is the rehabilitation of the Schuylkill River, where they along with other state and county organizations are showing real progress. There is even a long term plan for a walking trail along the Schuylkill from Tuscarora to New Philadelphia.
They also talked about a Button Program, where people can make a $10 donation to Schuylkill County trout Unlimited that goes towards helping the organization stock trout in area streams above and beyond what the state supplies. Donors receive an invitation to help stock the fresh trout, with the intention of getting young folks involved. Last year SCTU stocked nine different bodies of water with trout and they have raised over $34,000 towards this project since 2012.
Finally, John thanked Pottsville Rotary for our participation last year in SKIP Clean-Up Day in a New Philadelphia project that helped clean up over 13 tons of trash out of the Schuylkill river area.
Thanks to Tony and John for an interesting presentation.