Penn State Positive Energy spruces up park, tours natural gas company

Members of Penn State's Positive Energy and Range Resources employees gather at Cross Creek County Park in Avella, Pennsylvania (Washington County). The students were first at Range Resources' Southpointe office, networking with engineers and listening to an environmental stewardship presentation. From there, they went to a production facility at Cross Creek to learn about the technical ins-and-outs. And then they spent the day cleaning the area near the creek.  Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — More than a dozen members of Penn State’s Positive Energy student group cleaned up areas of Cross Creek Park in Washington County, Pennsylvania, in a partnership with the natural gas company Range Resources.

Positive Energy, an organization formed under the University’s student chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), organizes community service events aimed at giving back to the environment.

On Oct. 20, students traveled to the energy company’s Southpointe office to meet industry representatives before working on the creekside project. The group spent the day cleaning up litter along the creek. Later they toured a nearby natural gas production pad.

Adam Larson, Positive Energy co-founder and a junior majoring in petroleum and natural gas engineering, said the trip hit on chief tenets of the group.

“What we wanted to do was provide supplemental support to cleaning up the park and support our efforts as engineers in the energy industry to give back to the environment,” said Larson, who is also SPE student chapter president. “It commingled the technical arm of SPE together with the volunteering arm.”

Range Resources contributed the lion’s share of the $1.73 million to construct the 2,800-acre recreational area and shared their goals for maintaining the park with the students.

“Range Resources loved the event,” said Jacob Morrison, vice-chair of Positive Energy and a senior majoring in energy engineering. “They loved having students volunteer with them because having partnerships with students who could potentially be new hires is always nice. They get to see people interact with those who will shape the future of the field.”

Positive Energy, which formed on Earth Day 2015, has more than 100 members and has completed several environmental projects. The group adopted and maintains a road near Black Moshannon State Park, has planted more than 400 trees across the state, and partners with ClearWater Conservancy to mitigate erosion on a 5-acre plot of farmland where a stream feeds into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The group visits the area monthly to plant trees and monitor conditions.

Last Updated November 18, 2016