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North Branch Land Trust Celebrates Nature Photography Along the Susquehanna image
July 20, 2023
North Branch Land Trust Celebrates Nature Photography Along the Susquehanna
North Branch Land Trust

DiscoverNEPA is partnering with North Branch Land Trust, a nonprofit that conserves the natural, working and scenic landscapes of NEPA. They’ll provide conservation tips and give us a look at their protected lands. Learn how you can join NBLT and do your part to protect NEPA’s natural resources.

Local Photographers Recognized for Nature Photos

“Hoverfly” – Photo Courtesy of Gail Stasko.


Natural beauty of Susquehanna Watershed shines as focus of local photo contest.

Regional conservation non-profit North Branch Land Trust (NBLT) assembled a team of judges from local conservation organizations to discuss the beautiful images submitted by area outdoor enthusiasts. Winning photographers, Kevin Jones, Cheryl Miller, and Gail Stasko will be receiving conservation swag bags to honor their great work in capturing important moments around the Susquehanna Watershed in Wildlife, Plant Life, Landscape, and Recreation categories.

“It’s an honor for me to be part of NBLT’s photo contest celebrating the work of local photographers featuring DCNR’s, River of the Year. The Susquehanna River Watershed, Pennsylvania’s largest watershed, is home to 3.8 million people. It’s important to bring attention to the river, its spectacular landscapes, wildlife, and people who all share this special watershed address,” said Diane Madl, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The Susquehanna watershed is more than just the river. It is all of the lands that surround it, all of the creeks that lead into it, and all of the lands that drain into those creeks that drain into the Susquehanna that eventually reaches the Chesapeake Bay! From Tunkhannock’s Riverside Park to the tippy top of Mountain Top, it is all connected.


“Kayaking the Susquehanna” – Photo Courtesy of Kevin Jones.


That connectivity was an important feature for the judges who included Madl, PA DCNR Environmental Education Specialist Supervisor, Hickory Run State Park Complex; Jill Robinson, Deputy Director of the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, representing Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties; and Rachael Stark, Program Coordinator at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Karley Stasko, Director of Marketing and Development at NBLT organized the event.

Stark remarked, “There were some submissions that were beautiful but did not feel as connected to the watershed. There was this adorable black and white warbler grabbing a grub—which was really unique because there’s only a small window of opportunity where you can see them. But then you look at that doe and fawn in the creek? It just captures all the life and love of the North Branch of the Susquehanna.”

Plants posed a different challenge. After selecting favorites, the conservation judges took a moment to reassess the selections’ connections to the North Branch. Potted plants, while lovely, are quite removed from the watershed. The winning shot, a hoverfly sipping nectar from a daisy, was selected because of its sense of connectivity. Stasko said, “Seeing the action, all the important identifying parts of the plant and insect so clearly, it’s really remarkable. I am happy the daisy is imperfect too. It makes it that much more familiar to anyone who has ever made a daisy crown.”


“Forest golden hour” – Photograph Courtesy of Gail Stasko.


Some shots were easier to choose than others. Robinson, who also serves on NBLT’s Board of Directors, enjoys hiking and running in NEPA’s great outdoors. “Kayaking is the thing to do on the North Branch of the Susquehanna. I love that perspective right from the middle of the water. I also really like the variety of moods these pictures captured; it shows off the diversity of the watershed.” Robinson compared the stormy golden forest to the bright river journey.

North Branch Land Trust and conservation partners look forward to more celebrations of the River of the Year and all our local waters.


Featured Image (Top): “Creek Family” Courtesy of Cheryl Miller.