What is happening in conservation in the Lehigh Valley as of August 3, 2022
Want to know what is going on in the watershed world this month? check out the Lehigh valley watershed flow!
Upcoming Events and Current Happenings to Share
Lehigh Valley Watershed Flow
August 3, 2022
Bushkill Stream Conservancy
- Knotweed was knocked down; potential new plantings at Tatamy, and signage was installed at Mill Race Park. Someone removed the tree tubes at Braden Park; perhaps will be replaced with chicken wire.
- Karst Work: Have recently been working with a new document: Chesapeake Stormwater Network (CSN) Technical Bulletin No. 1 Stormwater Design Guidelines for Karst Terrain in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Version 2.0 developed by Karst Working Group (including William E. Kochanov, P.G.) and released June 2009.
- Discussion of education planning for the future.
- Discussion of action plans and municipal outreach.
- Walk and Talk was attended by around a dozen folks, most of them not previously associated with BSC. There were many questions and people stayed after the appointed time; area is being considered for a stream restoration project.
- Potential walk and talk presentation being considered in other locations.
- Water testing demonstrated high water temperatures.
- Partnership report from Trout Unlimited
- Proposed activities:
- September 18 Water Tester Event @ Braden Park 12-2
- October 8 VegStock @ Llantrisant Retreat and Wellness Center 11-5
- October 16 Bushkill Walk & Talk
Cook’s Creek Watershed Association
- Durham Community Day (Oct 8)
- Springfield Community Day (if it happens)
- Annual Community Dinner (Oct 1)
- Frys Run Watershed Festival (Sept 17)
- Roadside Cleanup (Nov 12)
Martins Jacoby Watershed Association
- One of the primary goals of the MJWA is to promote the review and the passing of new zoning regulations, comprehensive plans, and the development of official maps to protect open space, promote farmland preservation, and establish riparian corridors along streams. Well the good news is that Lower Mt. Bethel Township has passed a new and vastly updated zoning ordinance, is completing an updating of the comprehensive plan, and funding has been secured to complete an official map. Pat McInerney, MJWA president, serves on the LMBT planning commision and EAC. John Mauser, MJWA treasurer and project manager, serves as a township supervisor and is also land acquisition manager for the township.
Fry’s Run Watershed Association
Bertsch Hokendauqua Catasauqua Watershed Association
- We teamed up with the Lehigh County Rails to Trails group for their Indian Trail Park celebration. Nate Pritchard showed off macroinvertebrates!
- Peggy Shannon continues to lead the charge against the knotweed of Walnutport, and is doing an amazing job of it.
- The pussy willow buffer at Hokey Park is thriving, and will hopefully have some new species added to it.
- We are planning a Community Day at Wayne Grube Park for all the local organizations to come and connect. There will be tours of the park, a few programs throughout the day, and hopefully some snacks!
Monocacy Creek Watershed Association
- Gertrude Fox Conservation Area: Forty-five of the native perennials from Kind Earth that we helped Saucon Creek Watershed friends transplant at Monocacy Farms Greenhouse in July will be added to the walkway that overlooks the terraces that now have happy live stakes leafed out at the streambank level. That planting will be this September or October. The Gertrude Fox Trail is getting closer to completion—it’s .6 miles long and is a closed loop trail near to open parking that fishermen and pedestrians can use for easy access. One more set of steps near the Springhouse will finish it. The blue blazes marking the trail are almost all in place, too. General maintenance including weed whacking, watering the new plantings and tree removal down on the floodplain section are ongoing activities
- Stormwater BMP Inventory and Mapping Subcommittee has been reviewing the Wildlands Conservancy Study for the LVPC 1998: MC Watershed Land Use/Water Quality Assessment, the PennFuture MS4 Doc: Guidelines for Reviewing and Commenting on MS4 Minimum Control Measures and the MC Watershed Act 167 SWM Plan from May 2018. They have contacted the Montgomery Co project organizers and obtained a “Filed Inspection Form”.
- Wawa Proposal in Bethlehem Township (on Route 191 [Linden Street] at Oakland Avenue—former site of Leiser’s Rentals) – Michael Harrington had attended the June 27 BT Planning Commission hearing and read the MCWA letter of concern. The proposal was passed by a vote of 6 to 3. The BT Board of Commissioners then approved the Wawa proposal on July 11 at a meeting that lasted a few hours, with about 60 concerned residents and others speaking in opposition, and a few in favor. Further steps of review by PADEP and PennDOT will follow.
Saucon Creek Watershed Association
Completed Projects June-July 2022
- Greenways grant awarded for Riparian Buffer at the Lower Saucon Sportsmen’s Association
- Native Plants purchased and repotted
- SCWA Facebook Page updating.
- Hellertown Community Day, Saturday, August 20, 2022 – Lead Meara
- We will be selling our native plants
- Camp Promenade: 24 September
- Restore Hans Reimann Memorial Native Plant Garden near Lower Saucon Township Building.
- 501 (c) (3) status – In Process
- Bi-law update – In Process
- Sportsmen’s Association planned Fall Riparian Buffer Plantings. – October 2022 Kick-off.
- Lehigh Valley Open Gate Farm Tour Volunteer Opportunities.
- Northampton County. Sat & Sun 1-2 October Lehigh County Sat & Sun 5-16 October
- Working on social and print media
Northampton County Parks
- Completed final phase of Minsi Lake Cooperative Habitat Improvement Project with PFBC, Friends of Minsi Lake & NorCo Junior Conservation School on 7/12&13. Completed in phases over 3 years, starting when the Lake was drawn down for a dam rehab project. Constructed 100s of in-lake structures for fish habitat of all kinds for the current sport fishery being reestablished through a 5-year restocking program by PFBC. Also built 24 turtle basking platforms as part of the project that are now afloat on the Lake for turtles & other wildlife to loaf on & bask in the sunlight.
- Banded 75 Purple Martin chicks so far this nesting season in the 3 martin nesting gourd towers (18 gourds per tower; 54 gourds in total) at Minsi Lake Park in partnership with LV Audubon Society & a federally licensed bird bander. Established just 3 years ago, the Minsi Lake Purple Martin Colony is 1 of the largest & fastest growing in NorCo. Planning to buy & install more towers at the Lake.
- Have a pair of Osprey nesting for the 3rd consecutive year on the tower platform in the big meadow at Totts Gap Conservation Area. 3 young this year, 3 last & 2 the 1st year. Installed the tower with Med-Ed & PA Game Commission in 2019 as part of habitat improvements at Totts Gap Conservation Area.
- Wrapping up 2nd year of Volunteer Bluebird Nestbox Monitoring Program, with several volunteer teams officially monitoring nesting activity & maintaining 34 Bluebird nestboxes at Minis Lake, Louise Moore & Wayne Grube Parks. End of season data is submitted to a national Bluebird monitoring database.
- 4th consecutive year implementing conservation mowing of the dozens of acres of hayfields in the Minsi Lake Greenway. Notable increases in nesting Bobolinks & Meadowlarks at Totts Gap meadows & notable increases in numbers & diversity of native wildflowers in other meadows t/o the Greenway. Bobolinks & Meadowlarks are both listed by the PGC as Species of Greatest Conservation Concern.
- Spot treating Mugwort at Louise Moore Park Pollinator Meadow in early July was successful; will treat again late summer/early fall. Meadow is in glorious full bloom. Two full growing season of site prep work prior to seeding in 2019 have absolutely paid off in weed control.
- Louise Moore Park Bioswale is in summertime bloom & celebrating its first year as a colorful showcase BMP along the west side driveway to the Park. 2021 partnership project with WCLV, NCCD & LV Master Watershed Stewards. Diligent weeding last year has paid off in the need for very little this year.
- Weed-wacked & machete-cut stands of Japanese Knotweed at Fry’s Run & Minsi Lake Parks, Totts Gap Conservation Area & Frost Hollow Overlook. Will return to spray in the coming weeks.
- Replaced 1 dead American Chestnut seedling from 1 of 2 AC Mother Tree Nurseries established at Louise Moore Park several years ago in partnership with the AC Foundation. Continue to maintain both nurseries as we await blight-resistant AC mother trees for each nursery upon federal approval.
- Completed a professionally well done walkway w/volunteers from MCWA along the top of the bank at Gertie Fox Conservation Area, where we excavated the steeply eroded streambank for a restoration project last year. The walkway is part of the Fisherman’s Path at Gertie Fox Conservation Area.
- Lead 17 paddlers on a recreational & educational canoe paddle around Minsi Lake with Wildlands Conservancy on July 23.
- After receiving no bids for the Minsi Lake Park Rehab Project & surface & bridge work for the Nor-Bath Trail, a second advertisement yielded bids for both projects. Will now review bids with NorCo Purchasing & the project engineering consultants & move forward accordingly.
- Applied for & was awarded a NorCo Community Development Block Grant to fund engineering & design for an accessible pedestrian bridge to span the spillway at Minsi Lake Park.
- Assistance with the Lehigh and Delaware River Sojourns.
- Future Master Watershed Steward classroom program and planting at Saucon Valley High School – DEP Grant
- Future Master Watershed Steward and Youth Leaders Day Camp in partnership with Jacobsburg – DEP Grant
- Four Downspout Planters Installed – Lehigh and Northampton Offices, Lehigh Gap Nature Center, and Nurture Nature Center – GIANT & Keep PA Beautiful Grant
- TapTalks through the fall are coming together… watch for info!
- Brunch and Boat, Sep 11 9AM
- SCWA Camp Promenade 9/24
- BHCWA Community Day 9/25
- Fall MG workshops are in the planning stages.
Aquashicola Pohopoco Watershed Conservancy
- We will have a table at the Fall Festival, Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge. September 121. 11am- 4pm.
- We are relocating Mayfly sensors to more effective sites since Penn East has gone away. The new area of focus is above and below Ski Blue Mountain. We need to secure permissions from land owners.
- We are re-evaluating our current monitoring sites. We need to streamline (no pun intended) the entire process. Some sites are no longer relevant. There is not as much volunteer interest in monitoring at this point.
Tobyhanna Creek Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Association
Ongoing Advocacy Activities
- Opposing warehouse development along EV Tunkhannock Creek in Tunkhannock Township. TCTCWA assisted Stroud Water Research to install a network of three water quality monitoring sensors (Mayflies) on Tunkhannock Creek to protect EV stream quality in late June. Anyone interested in viewing the data can access it on MonitorMyWatershed.org
Coolbaugh Township Supervisors had a second hearing regarding the mixed warehouse/multi-unit residential development along the banks of HQ-CWF Tobyhanna Creek, which TCTCWA was unable to attend. We have been in contact with the environmental-friendly Supervisor, and need for additional follow up is anticipated.
- Boardwalk funding was obtained in full; additional fundraising will be needed due to rising costs.
- Thinking about a Long Pond paddle trip in the fall; the June event was well-attended.
Little Lehigh WS
- Knotweed Knockdown at Lehigh Parkway trestle – June 25 th – LLWS coordinated with Allentown Parks Department. 9 volunteers took down a large (~ half acre) patch of knotweed that was taking over the area where an old wooden railroad trestle crosses the creek. City will follow up with spraying.
- Little Lehigh Watershed map – Worked with Rebecca to clear up the road labeling. Printed draft version of the map to be reviewed in person at the August meeting.
- August meeting will focus on grants. (Aug. 9 th 6:00PM at Camp Olympic)
- Fall cleanup planned for the Little Lehigh Creek area upstream from Fish Hatchery Rd and Keystone Ave.
- Not any pressing activity updates until the fall
- Wildlands has many public education events upcoming: https://www.wildlandspa.org/events/