What is happening in conservation in the Lehigh Valley
Want to know what is going on in the watershed world this month? check out the Lehigh valley watershed flow!
Upcoming Events and Happenings to Share
Master Watershed Steward Program
- Saturday, May 7, 2022 – 9:00AM to 12:00PM MWS Continuing Education with Northampton County Parks: Bear Swamp and Minsi Hike and Tour – Minsi Lake, Mt Bethel, PA
Guided Natural History hike through Bear Swamp and around Minsi Lake with Jim Wilson, Northampton County Parks Recreation Specialist.
- Sunday, May 15, 2022 – 10:00AM to 12:00PM Get Outdoors with Master Watershed Stewards – Jacobsburg State Park, Nazareth, PA
Learn about watershed-friendly recreation and protecting our cherished outdoor spaces.
- Saturday, May 21, 2022 – 10:00AM to 12:00PM Hershey Orchard Presentation & Walk – Louise Moore Park, Easton, PA, Park Office
Come learn about the Hershey Orchard planted at Louise Moore Park, a short history of the efforts to save valuable food plants.
- Sunday, May 22, 2022 – 12:00PM to 4:00PM Master Gardener: Spring Seedling Exchange: Hershey Orchard Presentation & Walk – Louise Moore Park, Easton, PA, Pavilion 2
Come learn about the Hershey Orchard planted at Louise Moore Park, enjoy a mocktail hour and potluck lunch, and share spring seedlings and excess plants with fellow volunteers.
- Saturday, May 28, 2022 – 10:00AM to 12:00PM Flowering Trees and Shrubs Walk – Graver Arboretum, Bath, PA
Join Master Gardeners and Watershed Stewards for an in-person educational walk featuring your local flowering trees and shrubs! A Waterford Press PA Trees and Wildflower pocket guide is included in registration.
- Sunday, May 29, 2022 – 10:00AM to 1:00PM MWS Spring Meeting – Wildlands Conservancy, Emmaus, PA
Program Updates, 2020-21 Volunteer Recognition, and Wildlands Partnerships
Lunch entrée provided from Wally’s Deli in Emmaus – potluck sides and desserts!
- Monday & Tuesday, June 20-21, 2022 Delaware River Sojourn: MWS Assistance – Sites along the Delaware River, Northampton County, PA
Monocacy Creek Watershed Association
- Since the last WCLV meeting on April 6, we had a meeting with City of Bethlehem engineering department to present a Fish & Boat Commission proposal to do some in-stream structures that would help improve the section of the Monocacy between Illick’s Mill and Schoenersville Road that has been silted in and degraded for the past several years. It was a very positive meeting, and they are going to be working with us on this and other projects in the future. The new stormwater fee will help with funding, which will be crucial since this F&BC project will be an expensive one.
- The trail development at Gertrude Fox Conservation area is progressing, and the Eagle Scout project to do two sets of steps, a bench and a low-plank bridge on the trail was approved and will begin in May.
- We are working on amending our bylaws that are very out of date with how MCWA is currently operating, and this will be a task for the next couple of months.
- Michael and Jane gave a presentation to the Morning Star Rotary group breakfast meeting on April 21, including the excellent video produced by Theodore Roosevelt Conservation group featuring Jose de Jesus (our VP), focused on how important it is that we all work to protect and maintain the Monocacy Creek and all the waterways in our area and across the U.S.
- Nothing scheduled as of now needing volunteer assistance, but I will let Brad know when that does happen.
- On Saturday, April 30, we had a Monocacy Creek Cleanup Day that set a record: 57 volunteers helped pick up trash, tires, tables and lots of other random items at Burnside Plantation downstream to Union Blvd and upstream to Illick’s Mill.
- Site Surveys will be done the last week of May, starting on May 20.
Saucon Creek Watershed Association
- Lower Saucon Township Road Cleanup Saturday, May 14, 2020, 9 a.m.
- MWS Class Trip Stroud Water Research Saturday, May 14, 2020
- Rain Barrel Workshop – TBD
- Hellertown Community Day, Saturday, August 20, 2022
- Lehigh Valley Open Gate Farm Tour Volunteer Opportunities.
- Northampton County Sat & Sun 1-2 October
- Lehigh County Sat & Sun 15-16 October
- Native Plant Sale – Saucon Farmers Market
- Lower Saucon Sportsmen’s Association fall riparian buffer planting – TBD
Fry’s Run Watershed Association
- Macro testing is scheduled for May 7th.
- Fry’s Run Family Fun September 17th.
Bertsch Hokendauqua Catasauqua Watershed Association
- Bog Plant Seminar with John is in the works.
- Partnership with Walnutport to combat knotweed.
- Bluebird nesting boxes were installed by Catty High School students and *each box has a nest already!*
- Pussy Willow Buffer at Hokey Park produced beautiful bundles and is now freshly cleaned for the season.
- Earth Day Clean-up partnership with Trout Unlimited a huge success.
Bushkill Stream Conservancy
- Looking at a possible knotweed removal project along the stream restoration corridor; also looking at signage.
- Progress is being made in the conversations with Buzzi; longer report on this at the bottom of this list of events since many people are interested in this issue.
- Kathy spoke with Amazon, who had reached out to her about partnering. They allow employees time off of work to volunteer, and they offer monetary donations.
- Doing some strategic planning on future BSC direction
- The BSC secretary has a genius strategy for attendance – she has a checkbox for folks who usually come.
Martins Jacoby Watershed Association
- Held an amazing photo gallery opening on 23rd at Bangor High Schoo
- Dealing with a River Pointe Logistics mega development in UMBT
- MJWA will be responding to the DRBC regarding the Portland Borough Authority’s request to renew their water withdrawal request from the Slateford Creek watershed.
Cooks Creek Watershed Association
- May 14: Garlic Mustard pull and pesto party
- June 18: Mini monster mayhem
- Sept 17: Booth at Fry’s run watershed festival
- Oct 8: Fall fellowship dinner
- Nov 12: Fall roadside cleanup
- We will also participate in the Springfield and Durham Community Days (if they happen)
Northampton County Parks & Rec
- Recent accomplishments:
- Prescribed burn of our ½-acre pollinator meadow here at LMP in early April.
- Planted about 5000 native perennial wildflower plugs in seven trail intersection islands on the west side of LMP last Friday. Planted directly into dead turfgrass islands that were sprayed a week or two earlier with glyphosate.
- Kate with Wildlands & MCWA vols encaged a bunch of shrubs at our Gertie Fox Conservation Area yesterday to protect them from further deer browse. Shrubs were planted as part of a final phase of a streambank stabilization & riparian buffer planting project at GFCA last year. Kudos to MCWA for their past, current & ongoing volunteer work with trail access & streamside plantings at Gertie Fox.
- Installed ten Bluebird nestboxes at Wayne Grube Park with Catty High School students & BHCWA volunteers last month. All ten boxes were nearly immediately occupied by Bluebirds & Tree Swallows & the students are now monitoring the nestboxes once a week & documenting activity on forms that will be sent to one or more Bluebird Conservation Databases at the end of the summer.
- Installed two more Barred Owl nestboxes & three Kestrel nestboxes in the Minsi Lake Greenway about 1-1/2 weeks ago.
- Have two Barred Owl pairs nesting in two earlier installed Barred Owl nestboxes in the Minsi Lake Greenway. One has three owlets in it & the other Mama Barred was still incubating eggs as of last Saturday—see attached pics from this past Saturday. Now have a total of six Barred Owl nestboxes in the Greenway & have high hopes for additional occupancy in the coming years.
- Also have our Osprey pair nesting on the Totts Gap Osprey Nesting Tower Platform for a third year in a row—we installed the tower plat in March 2019.
- Have reengaged our Bluebird Nestbox Monitor Volunteers at Minsi Lake & Louise Moore Parks for the second year in a row—monitoring 24 nestboxes. Have about 90 Bluebird nestboxes yet to install. Ugh.
- Will soon complete & have County Council review & approve the Minsi Lake Corridor Greenway & Stewardship Plan. Should be a wrap by the end of this month, then onto funding early implementation projects recommended in the plan.
- Pre-bid meeting tomorrow (May 4) for Phase I of the Minsi Lake Park Rehab Project, i.e., two restrooms, accessible trails, landscaping, E&S work, demo & site prep, fencing, etc.
- Farmhouse Gardens Rehab Project with Master Gardeners—naturalizing garden beds on the south side of the Farmhouse/north side of the Farmhouse Pond. MG Team meets & plans here once a week the past several weeks.
- Continued & new invasive plant monitoring & treatment this year at Fry’s Run Park, Frost Hollow Overlook, Louise Moore Park, Bear Swamp Park & Archery Complex, Minsi Lake Park.
- 31st Annual Kite Day in the Park at LMP this Saturday, May 7—flyer attached.
- May need vols to help complete the LMP Trail Intersection Island Plantings—will know more once I coordinate with Kate Ebel.
Extract from the BSC Minutes on the Quarry
- Nate: In the April meeting, mostly discussed Buzzi’s response to DEP’s response to Buzzi’s deepening permit application. There is a lot of detail in this report that hasn’t been fully processed. Here are the highlights:
- Buzzi will install on-site generators to cover future power outages (unless lightning hits the pumps).
- Confirmation that this stretch is considered a perennial stream, not an intermittent stream, and that the water quality standards still need to be maintained.
- Switch in language regarding aquifer that the water is being pumped from as “confined” to “leaky confined”.
- Fish and Boat requested a monitoring station above the quarry so it can be compared to the downstream station. Buzzi will consider activating a manual gauging station which used to exist upstream of the quarry. (BSC would prefer that this gauge be equivalent to the downstream gauge, or maybe BSC could look into installing a pressure transducer.)
- Report included more discussion of dye tracer study. We knew previously that dye made it from Rt. 33 bridge to the Buzzi quarry in 4-5 hours. The flow rates identified during the dye test are close to surface flow rates.
- Rt. 33 bridge to western side of the quarry (6,500 feet at about 22 feet/minute)
- Rt. 33 bridge to Tatamy Spring (58 feet/minute only showed up in concentrated filter sample not grab)
- Stockertown sewer line construction: Verbal reports that the line was installed within about 10 feet of an active sinkhole, that the ground was soft during digging, very moist soils. Construction management language is that sinkhole formation shouldn’t affect the integrity of the line.
- Water main break in Stockertown recently where sinkhole opened beneath water line.