We are a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This means we are tax-exempt and your donations to our organization are tax deductible.
Created by local citizens in 1987, the LRCA serves to promote the restoration and conservation of the Lackawanna River and its watershed resources in Northeast PA. As a non profit and non-political organization, the LRCA has been promoting the River and its watershed through Watershed Management Programs, educational outreach, community events, consensus building and partnerships. Our mission expands the entire length of the Lackawanna River Watershed, which starts in Union Dale, flows down through Carbondale, through Scranton, past Old Forge, and ends in Duryea where it drains into the Susquehanna River.
The mission of the LRCA is to involve citizens of the Lackawanna River watershed with conservation and stewardship of the River, its tributaries, and water resources. The LRCA works pro-actively with other non profit organizations, community groups, and public agencies to plan and promote projects and fundraising events that will enhance the Lackawanna River Watershed and support local communities.
1. Clean up the River environment
2. Aid in the development of the 40-mile Lackawanna River Heritage Trail
3. Create partnerships among government, businesses & community groups to promote conservation & recreation
4. Establish partnerships with schools, universities, and the general public to promote environmental and conservation education
5. Advocate for the conservation of open space and natural habitat throughout the watershed
Bernard McGurl is the Executive Director of the LRCA for 30 years running, and is one of the co-founding members. During his three decades of work through the LRCA, Bernie has helped transform the Lackawanna River into the sparkling, Class A Trout fishery it is today. He has won many prestigious awards, such as the Thomas P. Shelburne Leadership Award and the 2019 Man of the Year Award by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Tara B. Jones joined the LRCA staff in May 2023. Tara earned her BS in Earth Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills, in May 2022. Prior to finishing her degree, she had a 15-year career as a court reporter, including eight years as an official court reporter for the Southern District of New York. A native Scrantonian, Tara is thrilled to join the staff of the LRCA and embark on her new career.
Missy Welshko-Williams joined the LRCA staff in January 2021.
Joe Wechsler (President); Bob Savakinus (Vice President);
Sara Melick (Secretary); Hurlow Rolands (Treasurer)
David K. Brown, Paul Chimock, Paul Davis
Joyce Hatala, John Morrow,
Each year, we host a colder version of RiverFest on the Saturday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.
Every year, we collaborate with Pennsylvania American Water Company to host a 4-day camp for kids ages 7-11. We teach them about the water cycle, pollution, recycling, water habitats, and how they can be stewards to the Lackawanna River watershed.
Twice a year we host a Do-It-Yourself rain barrel workshop where we educate attendees on water conservation, stormwater runoff, pollution, the benefits of rain barrels, and stewardship.
We have a variety of fundraising events we plan throughout the year, such as silent art auctions, dine-outs, watershed tours, presentations, and more.
With the help of volunteers, we have done many clean-ups along the Lackawanna River collecting tons of waste ranging from small pieces of plastic to giant heavy machinery tires. Our clean ups occur throughout the Watershed, most frequently in Scranton and Old Forge near the Old Forge Bore Hole.