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[updated 1-30-18]

About Us - Board of Directors

Jim Pierce, President — Coburn / Haines Township

Life is what happens while dreaming. Raised in Gener-ica Chicago, dreams of becoming a Shrimp Farmer led to a BS degree in Microbiology and a Farmer’s Daughter, then to a five-year honeymoon/internship on Prawn Farms in Hawaii. In 1988 dreams led us to Wisconsin where we homesteaded a Trout Farm, began an accidental career with the Organic Valley Dairy Cooperative and raised two daughters. The last four years transitioned to International Organic Program Manager for an Organic Certification Agency, Trout Farmers retired and, since August 2011, happy residents of Penns Valley. Music, dancing, kids, dogs, gardening, silent sports and assimilating into this beautiful community fill the aquaculture vacuum.

Mike Arthur — Spring Mills / Gregg Township

Michael Arthur is a geologist who has lived in Penns Valley since 1991. He and his wife Jan have operated Tamarack Farm, a small, sustainably run sheep and produce farm, in rural Spring Mills for the past 20 years. Mike served on the PVCA Board previously in the late 1990s-early 2000s. He has been a member of the Gregg Township Planning Commission for more than a decade and is a member of Grace UCC in Spring Mills. He enjoys fly-fishing in local waters, playing guitar and mandolin, and serving the community.

Martha Hoffman, Treasurer

Martha Hoffman grew up in Rochester, New York and moved to Penns Valley after completing her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore. She opened the IngleBean Coffee House - a staple in downtown Millheim - and owned and operated it from 2011 to 2015. She has also been instrumental in the Millheim Business Community,which serves to promote the healthy economic and cultural development of the valley region. She now lives in Millheim Borough with her husband and cats.

Kat Alden — Spring Mills / Gregg Township

Kat Alden has been a member of PVCA since its inception. She feels passionate about PVCA's mission to protect the Valley's unique environment through education, preservation and restoration. As a certified teacher she has shared her love of nature in and out of the classroom, also founding and developing outdoor programs through One World Environmental Center in Spring Mills. As a land owner, committed to preservation she put her property in an easement with ClearWater Conservancy. As a Master Gardener with the pollinator program, she participates in habitat restoration. An avid hiker, she loves exploring local trails and forests and hopes to contribute to their protection.

John Smith — Spring Mills / Gregg Township

John B. Smith is a longtime PVCA member, landowner, and part-year resident in Penns Valley since 1974. He has conducted a 40-year project to enhance ecological diversity at ChicoryLane Farm near Spring Mills, a PVCA education site now permanently conserved with an easement held by Clearwater Conservancy. John leads field days to demonstrate ways of working with PSU extension, conservation professionals, and volunteers to improve wildlife habitats, regenerate woodlands, reconstruct wetlands, increase native plant species, and control invasive plants on an old farm. As a resource to encourage conservation, has created a website,, to catalogue native plants and birds at ChicoryLane and to browse bird sightings locally, regionally, and globally. He is a lifetime member of PASA and a supporter of Green Drake Gallery, WSOV, and Rhoneymede. He currently is adjunct member of the Centre County Conservation District. Formerly, he was board member of a municipal water and sewer authority in North Carolina.

Kim Forsythe

Kim Forsythe moved to Penns Valley in 2014 with her family seeking a region with a rural setting and rich natural history. This was one of the most purposeful moves for her family from the many that preceded. Growing up with a strong appreciation for the natural environment and the splendor it brings we knew we wanted to provide this for our children especially in their more formidable years, 13, 15 and 17 (the ages of my children).
I am a graduate of Juniata College BS Environmental Science/Ecology and Montana State University MS in Science Education.

When your interests intersect with your strengths you have found your passion. In my life’s path working in the fields of wildlife, forestry and environmental regulation I was imparted upon the influence of many amazing people whom I considered my teachers and followed my passion to education. I have been in the education field for more than 20 years with a current position as a Biology/Ecology teacher at Mifflin County High School.
Knowledge that is shared is the learning of the next generation. I look forward to learning and sharing with PVCA to carry out their mission within the Valley.

Tom Doman

Tom has lived in Penns Valley since 1983. After relocating from southwestern Pennsylvania and purchasing a small farmstead west of Spring Mills, his dream of having world class trout streams and outdoor recreational opportunities literally ‘out the back door’ was realized. The property, now affectionately called Toad Hall in honor of the amphibians visiting the pond each spring, is enrolled in the CREP program with the goal of re-establishing the riparian buffer along a tributary of Muddy Creek. Tom’s successful career of research and teaching at Penn State University concluded in 2008 leaving more time for fly fishing and conservation work. Prior to joining PVCA, Tom was a Board member of the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited and was also President of that conservation group. As an active member of PVCA from the mid- 90’s, Tom has served on the Board of Directors, been President of PVCA and continues to work with the Watershed Committee. A primary focus is addressing water quality concerns in the Upper Penns Creek watershed. For the past 5 years Tom has been active on the Potter Township Planning Commission. Environmental stewardship is an important part of his life. He lives in Georges Valley enjoying the beauty of Central Pennsylvania and sharing rural life with his wife Tammy, black lab Sarah and Jake the cat. Life is good!

Kurt Grotz — Aaronsburg / Haines Township

Kurt Grotz graduated Cheyney State University (the Oldest Historically Black College in the USA) with a degree in Mass Media Communications. He has used his skills in multimedia communication in his career as a community activist, special events coordinator and photo-journalist. Kurt has worked with many types of Environmental, Social Change and Civic organizations including Pennsylvania Resources Council, Campaign for Nuclear Weapons Freeze, Media Rugby Club, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Project Vote, Media Fellow and Rotary International. Since moving to Penns Valley four years ago he has become involved with WSOV Radio, Millheim Business Community, Aaronsburg Civic Association and the Salem Lutheran Church. He currently helps small businesses with Social Media Outreach and is working to create a Rural Peace Center based on the Tolerance Tennent’s set forth by the “Aaronsburg Story.“ The idea is to develop the idea of “Civil Sustainability” as a part of “Sustainable Living.”

Lexie Orr — Woodward / Haines Township

Lexie Orr moved to Central Pennsylvania in 2006 to attend Bucknell University, fell in love with the area and never left. She has a BS in Biology, MS in Ecology and a strong background in writing, sustainable agriculture, freshwater ecology and education. She is extremely passionate about protecting and restoring natural resources and currently works at ClearWater Conservancy. Outside of work, she is either hiking with her dog, trail running, gardening or fly fishing.

Eli Ward —Millheim Boro

Eli Ward is a foreign-born local who appreciates and understands the value of our natural resources. “I do not personally hunt or fish; more of a hiker, camper, floater; but our "mountains" and streams provide pleasure to countless aficionados and a welcome economic boost to our business community, providing opportunities for inspired entrepreneurs and grizzled veterans of finance both. I was honored and surprised when informed I was added to the list of possible board members of the PVCA and appreciate the opportunity to lend a more direct hand assisting the future of not only the PVCA itself, but the future of our ecosystem, community, and general well-being”.

Tess Weigand — Laurelton / Union Co.

Tess Weigand relocated to the valley a few years ago and is an avid flyfisher and hiker. PVCA's mission is critical to our shared natural resources and community and Tess desires to focus her energy in aiding this mission. She is the creator of Happy Valley Hop Yard, which provides Central PA craft breweries with sustainably produced hops and the co-founder of Commonwealth Hops. Tess has a degree in Agronomy from Penn State and is employed by Pennsylvania Certified Organic.











A watershed is... that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community."
                                                                                                      — John Wesley Powell

Please join us in becoming a steward of the Penns Creek watershed ... Communities worth preserving.