As of late August 2008, the Shamokin Creek Watershed Alliance is excited to welcome its latest full-time volunteer to help improve our area’s streams and environment. Katie Coulter hails from Homer Glen, Illinois and is the watershed’s first VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer. Although mining region proves vastly different from the flat suburbs of Chicago, Katie has traveled to places that offered equally different perspectives. During college, where she majored in International Studies and French, she spent one semester in France, and one semester in Mali, West Africa. And as if that weren’t enough, in the Fall after graduating, she spent another three months in Brussels, Belgium as an intern. Her traveling has brought her to the Shamokin area where she is eager to learn about our anthracite heritage. She is always up for a new perspective, and the coal country in Eastern Pennsylvania offers her an intriguing one.During her yearlong service working through the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team (ACCWT) as well as with the Northumberland County Conservation District, Katie will highlight the work of the SCRA and how their efforts are important to the well being of the Shamokin Creek Watershed community. She will give presentations to youth in schools, give tours of polluted streams to classes, business people, scout troops and anyone interested in restoring the health to his or her environment. She will also encourage volunteers to show their support and contribute time to help clean up a stream-bank, for example. In her own experience, Katie has seen how a community’s environment has a large effect on the overall success of a community, so it is necessary to restore the natural order of the system in order to be proud of the past, present and future. Katie’s ultimate goal is to make a difference that will sustain itself long after she has left the community. And in that, she needs you to come out and see what difference a community can make in its future!