Environmental Resources for New Homeowners

Welcome to Pike County!

Pike County is rich in natural resources and environmental beauty. New residents are drawn to this area by the incredible landscape and access to nature. As a new member of our community, you can have a direct impact on the quality of our water, air, and land. Particularly, your new property can have a significant impact, for better or worse, on the local environment. We have created this new website as a resource to aid you in not only preserving the natural resources of our community, but help you better understand the resources in the community and how you can protect your investment in your property. 

Below you will find information on local environmental topics, and the organizations based in NEPA that can assist you in these areas.  The District website has numerous articles and resources on the resources in Pike county. The information below will get you started.

If you use any part of this guide, please take a moment to fill out our webpage survey. This helps us obtain grant funding for projects like this in the future. Thank you!


Non-point source (NPS) pollution is pollution that originates from many scattered sources and gets picked up by precipitation running over the ground towards a body of water. As you are settling into your new home or property, you can plan how to prevent Your home and property from being a source of pollution. Click here to use our inactive webpage to find ways of reducing or eliminating non-point source pollution from your home.

If you are planning to do certain construction projects in or around waterways or wetlands, you may be required, by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, to acquire a General Permit through the Pike County Conservation District. Click here to find out what you can do in and around your waterways 

For more information on waterways and wetland permits, click here. 

Here in Pennsylvania, the number one water pollutant is soil. Regular dirt! The Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) works with residents to minimize erosion and potential water pollution from building projects that involve earth moving activities.  PCCD administers permit application and plan reviews, site inspections, complaint investigations and provides technical assistance. PCCD strongly recommends contacting the District  early on during a project’s concept plan stage — before detailed plans are developed — in order to determine what permits may be required, if any,  and to expedite the permit and plan review process. Click here to learn more about the requirements for the projects under 1 acre. For larger projects please click here. 

If you are new to the forested landscape of Northeast Pennsylvania, you may find that you have many furry neighbors! If you are concerned about a wild animal on your property, you should call the local Pennsylvania Game Commission. If you think you have an animal emergency that requires a call to the Game Commission, you are encouraged to visit their wildlife emergency and road-killed deer webpage. 

PA Game Commission Northeast Region office Contact Information: 

  • 3917 Memorial Highway 
    Dallas, PA 18612-0220 
    Phone: 570-675-1143  

Along with new furry friends, you may find many feathered friends as well! Northeast Pennsylvania not only has some of the best residential bird species in the U.S but is also in the migration path of thousands of unique bird species. If you are interested in learning more about the birds around your property, click here to visit the Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society. This chapter of the Audubon Society does not handle or control birds directly, that is still a call to the PA Game Commission. The NEPA Audubon provides education, advocacy, and volunteer opportunities related to birds and birding the region. 

An undisputed benefit of living in a rural area is the convenient access to fresh, locally grown food. If you are new to the region, finding farmers and a local farmers market is easy in Pike County. Our conservation partner, The Cooperage Project maintains a local farm and food guide to Pike and Wayne Counties. To find the best places to get local food near you, click here. Shopping for local food benefits the environment, the local economy, and your health!  

A man pumping out a septic tankOn-lot sewage treatment systems are often used in rural areas, such as Pike County, for the treatment of household waste water. When installed, used and maintained properly, on-lot systems minimize pollution of surface and groundwater resources and help to protect family health and the financial investment of homes and property.

If not properly maintained, a broken, leaking, or overflowing septic system can cause not only damage to your home and property, but to the environment. Septic can be leaked into the groundwater, polluting drinking water, or it can be carried to a larger body of water by stormwater runoff. Either way, it can get into larger sources of water, and cause serious environmental and health problems. 

To learn more about your septic system and how to maintain it properly, you can listen to our podcast episode Properly Maintaining Your On-Lot Septic System. 

You can also learn about your septic system from the Keystone Clean Water Team, an organization in partnership with PCCD. The mission of the Team is to educate on the ways citizens can care for their water. Specifically, their website section on buying a house with a septic system article, which you can read here.

Most of the drinking water in Pike County comes from ground water. This means that each home has their own individual well, tapped into groundwater.  There are many things that could go wrong when pumping water into a house from the ground. If you are concerned with the drinking/well water on your property, you can take action. A good first step is to get your water tested, through Penn State Extension’s Drinking Water Testing program. This link will provide you with the information to get started on the process of testing your water. 

In 2020, Peter Wulfhorst from Penn State worked with the district to present a webinar on with basic information on drinking water and drinking water testing. If you would like to view this informational webinar, click here. 

If you are interested in providing your home with an alternative form of energy, solar maybe the best option. To learn about this and other forms of renewable energy in the area, our conservation partner, SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support) is the organization to get you started! Click here to visit their website and learn more. 

If you think there is something wrong with the trees on your property, there are several things that could be affecting your trees. Garrett Beers, a Service Forester for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), partnered with PCCD to present a webinar on the most common problems property owners may have with their trees. You can view the webinar here. For more information on the forests state parks in Pennsylvania click here for the DCNR website. 

In Pike County we are lucky to have incredible natural resources, and beautiful natural landscapes. There are many hiking trails and parks in which to enjoy the beauty of NEPA. To find the best place to get outside in Pike County, you can use the Pike Outdoors site. You can also get the Pike Outdoors App and access the entire guide on your phone. Pike Outdoors is a public lands guide, that includes maps, articles, and tips for outdoor adventures in Pike County. 

There are many environmental organizations in Pike County that work to keep the natural resources and wildlife thriving. If you would like to work with an organization as a volunteer, click the links below to learn more about our partner organizations and the incredible programs they lead.

Delaware Highlands Conservancy

  • Headquartered on the Van Scott Nature Preserve, DHC provides volunteer opportunities in all of their programs, including land stewardship, office support, eagle conservation, educational programs, and nature watch programs.

Lacawac Sanctuary

  • Lacawac Santuary is five hundred fifty acre nature preserve near the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack in the Northern Poconos, it is a mix between an environmental education center, nature center, and biological field station. Volunteer opportunities include trail maintenance, education, gardening, citizen science projects, and more.

The Lackawaxen River Conservancy

  • An organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the Lackawaxen River, including its wildlife, watershed and natural beauty. Yearly litter clean ups, educational events, and the board of directors are all ways to volunteer.

Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District

  • LWWMD works to protect and maintain the watershed that feeds into Lake Wallenpaupack. There are many volunteer opportunities, contact the Organization to find out more.

Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society 

  • The local chapter of the National Audubon Society, celebrating, educating on, and conserving birds. There are so many opportunities in educational programs, citizen science projects, bird counts and more.

Pike County Conservation District

  • The PCCD board is always looking for new voices in Pike County Conservation. The board is able to advise the District on the work they do throughout the year, and able to join in on educational and science projects.

Pocono Environmental Education Center

  • An educational center located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, there are many volunteer opportunities in their programs. Including EcoZone! Guide, special events, trail work, and more!

Promised Land State Park

  • A 3,000 acres park surrounded by the Delaware State Forest, volunteering with Promised Land will give the opportunity to give back and get outside!

US Forest Service at Grey Towers NHS

  • Grey Towers is a historical mansion sitting on 102 acres of US Forest Service managed land. Volunteer opportunities are available in the mansion, outside and open to people of all ages and abilities. Click the link to learn more!



Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.