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Christina Handley

Christina was born and raised in a small town in Armstrong County, PA. Growing up in a country setting, she fell in love with nature and the outdoors. Knowing from an early age that she was destined to help others, Christina attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She then entered into graduate school at Duquesne University and received her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In 2012, Christina became a licensed professional counselor.

That same year, Christina watched a documentary that would unknowingly change the course of her life. The program titled "Turtle: The Incredible Journey" opened her eyes to the devastatingly polluted conditions of the oceans and all water on the planet. Afterwards, she became dedicated to changing these critical water issues and co-formed the Allegheny Aquatic Alliance, a non-profit organization devoted to water protection.

Christina created programs aimed at education, recreation, and cleanup including the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup Program which has removed over 600,000 pounds of garbage, including over 7,000 tires from this one waterway. She spearheaded the development of nine public canoe accesses on Connoquenessing Creek, organized several sojourn and paddling events, and conducted over 40 seminars and workshops throughout the region focused on local and global water pollution. In 2013, Christina joined two additional non-profit boards including the Wild Waterways Conservancy (WWC) and the Regatta at Lake Arthur. The WWC's mission is to address both the challenges and the opportunities of the Connoquenessing and Slippery Rock Creek watersheds. For the Regatta, she co-founded and organized an eco relay race in 2013 and 2014 and served on the entertainment committee booking the live music and stage performances.

Christina remained on all these boards until 2018 when she relocated to Sarver, PA. The change was challenging, and after a couple of years, she realized just how much she missed her non-profit work. Christina had been visiting Glade Run Lake and fell in love with the park. After attending the 10th Anniversary event for Glade Run Lake Conservancy, she knew this was the right organization to continue her environmental work and impact. She joined the GRLC Board of Directors in 2022.

In her spare time, Christina enjoys kayaking, biking, and hiking. She values the ability to be self-sufficient by making her own cleaning and personal hygiene products, and with her sister, started a small soap business called Sister Soapers. Christina lives with her boyfriend who is a local musician and loves attending his shows. She found a creative way to recycle his guitar strings by making jewelry from them and has since started another small craft business called Strings to Things Jewelry.

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