Restoring, protecting & enhancing a valuable resource in our backyard.

The Big Spring Watershed is a unique limestone spring ecosystem, known for cool, clear waters, beautiful birds, and some of the best trout fishing around. The best part? It’s easily accessible in our south-central PA backyard.

The Big Spring Watershed Association was formed in 2001 with the goals of protecting the wild, native trout populations of the Big Spring and enhancing the watershed’s other natural, cultural, and historical resources. We hope to aid in restoring the stream, maintain a wild, naturally-reproducing brook trout population, and protect the stream for future generations. We are a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that depends on the support of our volunteers and community members to achieve our goals.

The Big Spring Creek is the 5th largest spring in Pennsylvania. It is one of the world’s most productive limestone spring creeks. In the past, the Big Spring was considered by anglers to have been the premier limestone brook trout stream in the Eastern United States.

Our organization is made up of citizens, scientists, fishers, birders, gardeners, and others who recognize the Big Spring’s value and wish to restore and preserve it. To meet these objectives, the BSWA works with federal, state and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other interested groups and individuals in developing, maintaining and advancing programs for the Big Spring’s general welfare.

Get in touch:

Write to us:
Big Spring Watershed Association
P.O. Box 52
Newville, PA 17241

Email us: Click here for contact info

Keep up with updates and our activities. Like us on Facebook by clicking on the symbol below:

Up Coming Events: The Big Spring Watershed Association will be holding its fall clean up along the Big Spring on October 8 from 9-11 am. Click here to our activities page for more details.

Visit us:


Whether you’re an experienced
angler or looking to learn,
we’re here for you.


Help us restore the Big Spring,
meet new friends, and
get some exercise!


From Eagle Scout projects
to a native plantings garden,
we have something for everyone!

Want to give back?

Become a member for as little as $10 – we’re a 501c3 non-profit, so all gifts are tax-deductible.

Download the form below to become a member, then mail it back or email it to us.

Looking to volunteer?

Whether you’re an individual, school group, or other organization, we have opportunities for us to work together.

Click below to learn more about our various programs, and find out how to get started.

Upcoming events

Board Meetings held on the 2nd Thursday of every month @ 7:00pm at the First United Presbyterian Church in Newville and on Zoom

We invite anyone interested in learning more about the BSWA to join our board meetings held every month other than December and July. We hold a hybrid meeting with the in person meeting held at the First United Presbyterian Church in Newville and those who desire to remain remote meeting on Zoom. Email Mark Spicka at mespic@ship.edu for more information and the Zoom link.

Bird Walks held on the first Saturday of every month at @7:30am

Join us for bird watching with two local experts! Bill Franz and Vern Gauthier lead monthly bird walks to observe the many birds that live along Big Spring. The walk is 3 miles and takes about 3 hours. The group meets at the parking lot at the headwaters. Contact Bill Franz at wlfranz1@yahoo.com and Vern Gauthier at verngauthier14@gmail.com for more information.

Click here to see all of our upcoming events and activities.

“Conservation is humanity caring for the future.”

Nancy Newhall