Nathan’s Divide Watershed Education Center

Our Mission: To encourage our community to come together for environmental stewardship.

Our Vision: To become the region’s destination for environmental education, outdoor recreation, and wellness

Our vision is to become the region’s destination for water-related environmental education

  • A community center with displays that will enable visitors to understand:
    • How rain and groundwater provide clean drinking water
    • How sewage is collected, treated, and discharged back into a river
    • How a drop of water that falls on the eastern side of the divide flows into the Atlantic Ocean and a drop that falls on the western side flows to the Gulf of Mexico
  • Offering community participation and volunteer opportunities
  • Modeling sustainable practices with a LEED designed building, natural landscaping, and permeable pavement
  • Hosting a Resource Center that provides educators, parents, and children with a wide variety of environmental education materials
  • Displaying art works devoted to water themes

Nathan’s Divide Watershed Education Center

Nathan’s Divide is a regional facility located near the Eastern Continental Divide and dedicated to providing the highest quality programs focused nature and our environment.  The programs include natural science, conservation, history, culture, outdoor education, environmental stewardship, recreation, art, and community service.

The entry road is located less than 2 miles north of the center of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania at the water reservoir owned by the Ebensburg Municipal Authority in Cambria County. The address is 1278 N. Center St. Ebensburg, PA 15931

Planned Activities

  • Fun
    • Fishing
    • Kayaking and Canoeing
    • Forest Canopy Tour
  • Health
    • Walking, Hiking Trails
    • Running, Skiing, Snowshoeing
    • Outdoor Fitness Area
  • Learning
    • Indoor and Outdoor Classrooms
    • Bird Watching
    • Plant and Animal Identification

Many children can identify over 1,000 corporate logos but fewer than 10 plants and animals native to their region.

95% of all learning is estimated to take place outside the classrooms.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one’s sum of happiness if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature.” –Theodore Roosevelt


Nathan’s Divide Launch Meeting

Launch Meeting launched; launching; launches Definition of launch 1a: to throw forward b: to release, catapult, or send off (a self-propelled object) 2a: to set (a boat or ship) afloat b: to give (a person) a start c(1): to put into operation or set in motion (2): to get off to a good start Nathan’s [...]


Last weekend, Dave and I were hiking on some trails through The Divide with our friend, Marty.  We saw an old board nailed to a tree and began talking about spending time in the woods as kids.  Of course the guys discussed the “cabins” that they made and how they were able to develop various [...]


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Timeline photosSomething is off in this painting... why is the baby three times the size of the parent? The answer: It's a different species.This is an adult Common Yellowthroat feeding a baby Brown-headed Cowbird. Cowbirds are "brood parasites" meaning they don't build their own nests but rather lay eggs in the nests of other, smaller species. The Cowbird eggs hatch quickly and the chick actually pushes the other eggs out of the nest or out competes with the smaller chicks for food so it is the only chick remaining.It is very common, and very understandable, to villainize the Cowbird but it is important we do not anthropomorphize these remarkable creatures. Brood parasitism may be upsetting from a human standpoint but scientifically it is a unique and clever adaptation to ensure the survival of the species! ... See MoreSee Less
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#SpottedLanternfly nymphs are beginning to turn red and becoming more destructive. PA, you know the drill. If you see a #BadBug that looks like this, squash it!Learn more: bit.ly/441KKaU ... See MoreSee Less
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Help scientists learn about the geographic distribution of fireflies through the Firefly Watch Community Science Project.Spend at least 10 minutes once a week during firefly season (late June through August) observing fireflies in one location (your backyard or in a nearby field).Learn more about what to look for and how to submit observations ➡ bit.ly/3zgbKXp.#CommunityScience #iConservePA #FireflyWatch ... See MoreSee Less
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COW PARSNIP: (Heracleum maximum). (DO NOT TOUCH THIS PLANT.) This biennial native herb is a member of the carrot family and is not really a parsnip. It is the only member of its genus native to North America. Some botanists consider it a variety of the Common Hogweed (H. sphondylium). It is a huge plant, 4-10 feet tall. It has a wooly, grooved, hollow stem that may be 2 inches thick at the base. The flat-topped or rounded cluster of white flowers is called an umbrel and may be 8 inches in diameter. Individual flowers are about 1/2 inch across. The outer flowers of the cluster may be larger than those in the center. The leaves are very large--up to 18 inches long and have lobes and teeth that roughly resemble a maple leaf. The base of the leafstalk has a large inflated sheath. The Cow Parsnip is found in Alaska, Canada and most of the United States except for the Gulf Coast region. In some places it is considered a dangerous weed, while in other places, like Kentucky and Tennessee it is endangered or of special concern. It is often found growing in wet areas and blooms from late May to August. The plant has a strong odor of vanilla, though I have found it less pleasant than that. In an enclosed area the odor can be so intense that it may cause a headache. You should also NEVER TOUCH this plant. It contains a “phototoxin” that can cause a rash, blisters and discoloration on the skin if the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light (i.e. sunlight) or moist heat (i.e. perspiration). Both of these conditions are associated with hiking. It can also ruin the taste of cow milk if cows eat it. In spite of these problems, the young stems, leafstalks and roots can be eaten if thoroughly cooked. Great care must be taken because the flowers resemble those of the somewhat smaller Water Hemlock and the tall and slender Poison Hemlock-- plants that are extremely poisonous. Thus it is best avoided as a wild food. It also resembles the invasive Giant Hogweed (H. mantegazzianum), a larger plant that is more seriously phototoxic and that can cause blindness if it contacts the human eye. Giant Hogweed is a often larger than Cow Parsnip, growing up to 20 feet high. It also has larger flowers and leaves and a thicker stem. It also has purple blotches and raised nodules on the stem lacking in Cow Parsnip. Native Americans used Cow Parsnip as a source of medicine and as an insect repellent. They made a yellow dye from the roots and used the dried hollow stems as drinking straws or musical instruments for children. In spite of its phototoxic nature some people use the Cow Parsnip as a garden plant and even claim it is safe to include the flowers in their flower arrangements. Cow Parsnip is also called Indian Celery or Pushki. I found this plant at Independence Marsh, Beaver County, PA Conservation District, on May 26, 2016.Addendum: There seems to be a lot of confusion about the various members of the carrot family and their dangers. Specifically this species is only dangerous to touch. The Giant Hogweed is an invasive similar to but even larger than Cow Parsnip but with a phototoxic dermatitis is much more serious. The similar Poison Hemlock and Water Hemlock are safe to touch but deadly poisonous to consume. Neither of these species have sheaths at the base of the leaves. Queen Anne's Lace is a smaller and totally harmless species that blooms later in the summer and can be distinguished by having a few black flowers in a tightly packed umbrel of otherwise white flowers. ... See MoreSee Less
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