about

Piney Creek Watershed Association was founded in 2004 by a small group of concerned citizens who wished to make a difference in their community by improving the water quality in our local streams. This group realized that stream quality reflects the surrounding environment and that improved stream quality would come from efforts to control polluted runoff, faulty sewage treatment, erosion, litter, and other environmental detriments.

The non-profit group has made progress over the years by raising awareness of the environment through education and outreach activities, including stream cleanups, rain barrel and rain garden workshops, water monitoring efforts, storm drain marking, developing outdoor recreation opportunities, informative member meetings, and our annual watershed celebration.

Meet The Board

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A native of West Virginia and recognized as one of the top adventure athletes in the state, Corey's passion for the outdoors is deeply rooted in his time spent in nature. Corey has gone as far as Capitol Hill advocating to protect WV's rivers. He served as PCWA's Executive Director from 2020 to 2021 and is now a board member at large. He currently works to lead his hometown of Beckley into the outdoors as the Director of the Office of Outdoor Economic Development.

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Mathew Wade

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Ken Dunlap

Ken is a retired chemist.  He received his Ph.D. from West Virginia University, and he worked in the Polymer Research Department at Bayer for over 30 years.  Ken grew up in central Pennsylvania, lived in West Virginia's northern panhandle for about 40 years, and moved to the Beckley area in 2007.  He enjoys the beautiful mountains and streams of West Virginia and strives to keep this beauty for future generations.  Ken is the chair of the PCWA Water Monitoring Committee.

Gary Morefield

Gary Morefield

Gary is the heartbeat of trails in the watershed. He was recognized by the Governor for his unparalleled volunteer work in the state. If you have hiked or mountain biked in the gorge it is likely a trail Gary has worked on.

- Outdoor Recreation Committee

- Board Member

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Tom Lemke

Tom is the acting Chair of PCWA. He has guided and led the association through the years of growth and success.

- Chair

- Finance Committee 

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Teresa Sopher

A native West Virginian, Teresa spent much of her youth outdoors – first, running wild on her family farm and later attending every outdoor camp she could find. Her favorite was a YCC Work Camp where she built stream dams, reclaimed a strip mine and built a Braille Trail as well as its bridge. After thirty years spent working for the local phone company (five spent outdoors as one of the company’s few female linemen), she retired in 2009 and soon joined the PCWA Board of Directors. She serves as the Association’s Secretary-Treasurer and on the Monitoring, Executive, Financial and Fundraising Committees.

Meet The Staff

Executive Director

Jim and his wife Barbara are originally from northern Kentucky and have lived in Beckley for over 30 years.

Jim worked as an ecologist at the USDA-ARS research center in Beaver before retiring in 2012.

Since then, Jim has worked in higher education at New River Community and Technical College, Concord University, and WVU Tech.

Jim has served Piney Creek Watershed Association as a board member, Associate Director, and current Executive Director. Jim is excited to be leading the organization as it undertakes a variety of ongoing projects ranging from wetland restoration at Woodrow Wilson High School and revegetation of barren areas along New River Drive to planned work improving septic systems in the upper reaches of the watershed.

Jim has always enjoyed the outdoors and loves the streams and woodlands of West Virginia. He continues to be amazed at the scenic beauty our area has to offer. He hopes that more people will take advantage of the growing local trail systems to experience, appreciate, and be moved to preserve and protect the natural treasure of the Piney Creek Watershed.

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A native of Beckley, found her way to back to her hometown 5 years ago. She graduated from Marshall, in Advertising, where she led the Women’s Rugby Team and completed an internship at the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority.

After relocation to Blacksburg, VA she worked her way up through DISH Network into Human Resources, and then on to the corporate Marketing team at the headquarters in Denver, CO.  There she led a multitude of high-profile projects for all departments, becoming a master in translating complex ideas into simple, exciting creative that appealed to the masses.

Being passionate about the preservation of the environment comes naturally to Kate, she was raised by an advocating mother (ahem, she’s on the board) and spent countless hours watching Captain Planet and picking up litter along roadways.  As a lifetime and All-Star 4-Her, helping the community, learning from her mistakes and channeling her energy for good is big part of who Kate is as a person.  It’s not often you won’t see her hanging with a dog or coming from a yoga class, she’s got a passion for animals and she’s a trained yoga instructor! 

COmmunity Relations Director

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Jim Reed

Prior to retirement in 2012, Jim was the Special Assistant to the Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. He was also the Fisheries Biologist for 8 southeastern counties that included Raleigh County and particularly “Piney Creek”. Jim was a charter member of PCWA since 2004.

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Jeremiah Johnson

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Barry Milam

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Detlef Ulfers

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Zach Armentrout

Corey Lilly