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It's all about Clean Water.  Post your pictures of our events, water conservation, floods, pollution.  Share your memories about the Swatara....  Our projects and areas of interest include the Bordner Cabin, Eagle Scout Projects, PA Conservation Corps, Swatara State Park, Swatara River, Swatara Sojourn, Swatara Water Trail, Tenaska, Swatara Watershed Park, and Water Companies

 Planning a Swatara Outing? Tips:

bullet Updated Map  Swatara Water Trail map front 3.15MB 10.14.2017.pdf 
bullet Swatara Water Trail map and guide 7MB 10.12.2017.pdf
bullet Public     access points about every 7 miles.
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For comparison, when the Harpers gauge at our launch @ 1929 Blacks Bridge Road, Annville reads the following heights:
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5.5’, the Road to site #1 is almost covered, not             accessible and partly flooded;  

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7’ our ramp is covered to the top gravel border; 

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9’ the swell puts water onto sites 1-4 & site 8; and

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10.56', only sites 26-35 do not flood. 

Depth  USGS Guages  National Weather Service provides forecasts for Harper's and Hershey gauges. Check the gauge nearest your start point.  Beginners should reschedule at 2.2' deep.  Reschedule if experienced, but water is rising between 3.5' & 4', or below .4'.  Kayaks may float a bit lower.  Memorial Lake is an option when the Swatara is too high or too low. 

bulletUse caution at dams:  With groups, avoid low-head dam in Jonestown.  Uneven portage on left bank, which disappears  into tree line in high water.  Hershey dam portage is also on the left.  Long, but flat, mowed route.  Take out at feeder stream on left before warning sign.
bulletU-Tow Canoes Available  http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/redirect/watertrail/canoe_rent.htm
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Canoe Use agreement: CANOE USE CONTRACT.pdf

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Seasonal Primitive Camping Camp/2017 Campsite Agreement.pdf  Fishing, hiking, picnicking 

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Visit the Bordner Cabin in Swatara State Park:  Bordner Cabin Drive thru Swatara State Park 9AM-3PM the 2nd Fri & Sat monthly & 4th Fri & Sat Mar, Apr, Sep & Oct.

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Most recent Newsletter:  2017 Swatara News .pub.pdf

 
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Publications
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Envisioning an Environmental Legacy for the Swatara EELS, the Book in pdf file

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Mills and Bank Barns Mills and Bank Barns Book.pdf\

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 Minutes/Statement of Importance of the Swatara Creek.pdf

About the Swatara Watershed

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Watershed Description

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Virtual Driving Tour

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Maps of the Watershed

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Swatara State Park (position papers: Bordner Cabin and Old State Road

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Watershed Links (more than 200 links to Recreational opportunities, Schools, local government, and MORE!)

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Tourist Destinations (New Feature)

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Contact Information/Press Room

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Flooding

About SWA

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Our History and Mission

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Officers and Board Members

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Legacy Giving

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Lifetime Members

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Become a SWA Member

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Support SWA

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SWA Newsletters

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Meeting Minutes

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SWA Awards and Publications

SWA Projects

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Canoe Trips and Sojourn

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Projects

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Intern Opportunities

Rivers Conservation Plan

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What is a RCP?

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About Swatara's RCP

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Get your own copy

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Read the RCP on-line

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View watershed maps

Swatara on Great Nonprofits: http://www.greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/swatara-watershed-association

SWATARA WATERSHED ASSOCIATION Lebanon, PA USA

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Chapter 8 : Swatara Creek Greenway

Click below to view the section you would like to read, or scroll down to read all of Chapter 8.

Project Background and History
Dauphin County Greenway Plan

Prior to the Swatara Creek Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan project being developed, the Dauphin County Department of Parks and Recreation had initiated work on a greenways project along Swatara Creek within Dauphin County. Concurrent with the county project, the Hershey Trust also initiated a study to develop a greenway along Swatara Creek for the property managed by the Hershey Trust. Both of these studies have since been completed and will be implemented in a manner consistent with the principles and goals of each lead organization. The plans have been approved for listing on the Pennsylvania Rivers Registry. As part of the River Conservation Plan for the Swatara Creek watershed, it was determined that the information concerning the Swatara Creek Greenway plans as well as their management options would be incorporated into the plan document.

Project Background and History

The Greenway plan prepared for the Hershey Trust on the northern Dauphin County section of Swatara Creek, served as the impetus for the County’s plan on the lower Swatara Creek stream corridor. In October 1994, the first public informational meeting was held to inform interested persons of the proposed greenway projects.

Following this meeting, data collection for the project was undertaken by the plan preparers, Natural Lands Trust and Melham Associates. The preliminary findings from this data collection were presented at the first official public hearing for the project in January 1995. This meeting was utilized to solicit input from the interested public about the project area as well as inform them about the about the planning process for the River Conservation Plan.

Two additional public meetings were held in late January and early February to solicit input from the public about their hopes and desires for the Swatara Creek watershed, as well as any other thoughts or concerns regarding the watershed. Surveys were distributed at these public workshops to discern the opinions of the attendees as well as other individuals located in and around the project corridor. Personal interviews were also conducted with individuals identified by the project steering committee as being "Key Persons". These people would have opinions and insight to the project corridor that would be valuable to the development and completion of the Greenway/Rivers Conservation Plan.

In June 1995 the "Draft" Greenway/Rivers Conservation Plan was presented to the public. The public meeting presented the three-phase approach for protecting the lands adjacent to this section of Swatara Creek as recommended by the consultant and the Dauphin County Parks and Recreation staff. A period of public comment was also opened at this time to receive feedback on the proposed management options. After the close of the comment period the consultants and the Dauphin County Department of Parks and Recreation addressed and incorporated the public comments into the "Revised" Greenway/Rivers Conservation Plan.

The "Final" Greenway/Rivers Conservation Plan was presented at a public meeting held in April 1996. At this meeting the final management recommendations for the Swatara Creek project corridor were presented as well as a tentative timetable for their implementation.

The "Final" Greenway/Rivers Conservation Plan was circulated to the local municipalities for formal acceptance in May, 1997. A petition for formal inclusion of the plan on the Pennsylvania Rivers Registry was submitted to the state in September 1999. Final approval for the plan is scheduled for September, 2000. Copies of the Greenway Plan can be reviewed at the Dauphin County Parks Department (717) 599-5188.

Dauphin County Greenway Plan

The management options in the Dauphin County Greenway Plan were divided into three phases. In general, these phases present increasingly challenging efforts for developing the Greenway.

Phase 1: The first phase of the management plan is meant to be a starting point where the most easily achieved actions are initiated. The primary focus of Phase 1 is enacting municipal measures for the protection of the Swatara Creek project corridor. These measures would include enacting a stronger floodplain ordinance and use of conservation zoning along Swatara Creek. In addition, Phase 1 includes acquisition of four canoe access points, the marking of bike and hiking trails within the corridor on public property. The final management option in Phase 1 would be the reconstruction of the covered bridge at Clifton. Details of these plans can be found in the Swatara Creek Greenway & River Conservation Plan (Natural Lands Trust, 1997).

Phase 2: The second phase of the project encompasses Phase 1 actions and proposes additional protections and enhancements for the project corridor. These include development of individual municipality protections for tributaries and natural features located outside of the narrow Swatara Creek corridor. Acquisition of natural features of unique or exceptional nature for use as municipal park sites and continued acquisition of agricultural easements through the area is expressed in this phase. Phase 2 also proposes to expand the trail network initiated in Phase 1. This expansion is to include a hiking trail along the former Union Canal Tow Path wherever possible. Restoration of a former Union Canal Lock Structure and stream bank along the greenway is also proposed. Finally, the largest proposed management option for Phase 2 would be the acquisition of a regional park in and around the Swatara Creek Greenway. The Swatara Creek Greenway & River Conservation Plan (Natural Lands Trust, 1997) details the need and advantages of these options.

Phase 3: The final phase of the project is meant to build upon the successes of Phase 2 as well as implement any other uncompleted facets of Phase 2, whenever opportunities become available. Phase 3 expands upon the development of the voluntary easement program, for the protection of agricultural lands, detailed in Phase 2. During this phase, expansion outside of the stream corridor to include all of the large agricultural areas in the vicinity that may be interested in the program is anticipated. Likewise, the expansion of the conservation of natural areas in the study area via conservation easements is also seen as an important management item in Phase 3.

Biking and hiking trails developed in both Phases 1 and 2 will also be expanded as part of Phase 3 of the management plan. The extensions propose to connect the trails to features located outside of the stream corridor. Examples listed in the Swatara Creek Greenway & River Conservation Plan (Natural Lands Trust, 1997) include the Middletown Reservoir, Middletown High School, and the Old Reliance Farm located in Lower Swatara Township. Connectors to these areas are to be obtained through voluntary donations or subdivision negotiations.

Phase 3 also recommends improvements and possible restoration of the Union Canal and towpath, possibly leading to the restoration of a small segment of the canal. As stated in the greenways document, this is a very long-term endeavor. A final additional long-term endeavor included in the management options of Phase 3 includes restoration of the quarries in the project area. Although the greenways document stresses that the quarries may be viable for decades, it also recommends that efforts be made to allow utilization of the lands following the closure and restoration of them. Finally, the document recommends continued stream bank and riparian forest restoration.

 

Continue Reading Chapter 9 of the RCP

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