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SWATARA WATERSHED ASSOCIATION

Lebanon, PA USA

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

 

 

November 30, 2005

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the November 2005 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office, 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon.

Attendees

BUSINESS:

¨      East Hanover Township:  Land along the Swatara.  No update.

¨      Growing Greener: County must submit projects for funding.

¨      CD of Noxious Weeds/Invasive Species distributed.  Stephanie Harmon presented booklets on PA species, along with native alternatives for landscaping.

¨      Swatara Bridges:  More wooden bridge concepts were shared.

¨      Swatara State Park: 

o       No response to date on our request for a tour of the Armor Bordner cabin.

o       Karen Light reports that on 12/8 @ 7PM Swatara Township will conduct a hearing concerning turning over Old State Road to the State.

o       Bethel Township is considering it’s options.

o       Letter to Secretary DiBernadinis  Mr. Secretary:
What a pleasure to meet you….  It is so exciting to be part of moving conservation projects forward in this Commonwealth.

Again, thank you for significantly expanding programs and services to our State Parks.  We in Lebanon County are extremely grateful for the $5 million appropriated to Swatara State Park for restrooms, drinking fountains and parking.

Further, the Swatara Creek Watershed Association wants to offer the services and resources of our Association and others in the community to help tackle the challenge of the remaining $26 million that will be needed to complete the improvements (per the master plan) in Swatara State Park.  There are people in our community who want to help solve the challenge and not just ask, “when are you (DCNR) going to get it done?”  We want to help with everything from seeking corporate support to individual volunteers with expertise useful in these type of circumstances.

Please let us know what we can do to help.  I will be most happy to meet with you to discuss a plan of action.

¨      Jonestown Greenway:  Land donation for launch moving forward.

¨      Rails to Trails:  No report.

¨      Quittie Park:  Ann Lasky reports that in January, Christmas trees will be ground up for mulch.

¨      LV Conservancy:  Dave Lasky highlighted receipt of an $83,000 Growing Greener Grant.  The Conservancy is conducting an annual appeal to raise $25,000 in matching funds.

Lebanon Water Authority: On behalf of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Betty Conner and Jo Ellen attended the Lebanon City Council meeting to ask that a decision on the Lebanon Water Authority be tabled.  We have numerous City residents among our members, and they had many questions.  Collectively, we thought a more open process would be beneficial.  The room was packed.  Ultimately Council voted to proceed.  For your information, here is our statement:

We, the members of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association, respectfully request that Council table any action to take over the Lebanon Water Authority.  Over the years, we have found the board of the Lebanon Water Authority to be solid in their decision making; visionary when planning for our future; as well as non political.  They have conducted themselves with honor and integrity, and conducted the Water Authority like a business--frugal, focused, and fulfilling their mission to provide a clean and adequate supply of water for our citizens.  Thank you for your consideration and any favorable action you can take to guarantee our water supply for generations to come.

The Lebanon Water Authority:

1.      Services approximately 17,500 households or 60,000 people;

2.      Has a capacity of 10 million gallons per day (MGPD) and currently pumps 8 mgpd;

3.      Valspar, the new plant opening in North Lebanon Township, will require 300,000 gpd;

4.      Holds $28 million in bond debt and

5.      $100 million in assets;

6.      Reimburses the City of Lebanon about $1.4 million in payroll for 76 public works employees;

7.      Pays around $15,000 annually in total to board members.

 OTHER:  Ann Devine, SRBC, handed out a Summary Report of the Groundwater Management Plan for the Susquehanna River Basin, which lists the Fredericksburg area as a “Potentially Stressed and Water Challenged Area.”  Additionally, Middletown will be included in an SRBC Leak Detection project.

PROGRAM:

November 30 program--Highlights of assessment work on the Quittapahilla Creek by Rocky Powell.

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79 square mile watershed

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18 miles of Main Stem
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65 miles of Tributaries

Findings

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Sediment yield from Quittapahilla Creek watershed  is 11,650 tons/year or 157 tons/square mile each year.
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Suspended sediment accounts for 90% of the total sediment yield from the watershed.
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Less than 1% of total sediment is contributed from Beck Creek.  Nearly 20% is contributed from the Upper Main Stem Quittapahilla Creek.
Development has impacted the Main Stem Quittapahilla Creek and its tributaries
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Stormwater runoff  from paved surfaces
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Removal of riparian and stream bank vegetation
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Filling of Floodplains and stream channelization
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Application of fertilizers and pesticides
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Failing septic systems and sewage spills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calendar:

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12/7 @7PM Natural Resources Planning by invitation at Governor Dick

bullet

12/8 @ 7PM Swatara Township meeting on Old State Road

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12/9 at 3PM, Final vote by City Council on the Lebanon Water Authority.

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No December meeting.  Merry Christmas!  See you January 25, 2006, 9:30AM at the Watershed office.  We will begin planning for the Swatara Sojourn.

October 26, 2005

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the October 2005 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office, 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon.

Attendees:  Bob Arnold, June Blouch, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Bill Friese, Stephanie Harmon, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy, Emily Wade, John Worrilow.

BUSINESS:

¨      Governor Dick:  For the purpose of re-establishing a healthy ecosystem, Tuesday, Judge Eby ruled to allow controlled deer hunts for up to five years.  Big cats, natural predators of deer, no longer roam the land, and under-story is gone.     

¨      East Hanover Township:  Worrilow moved and Conner second a motion to provide a letter of support to acquire land along the Swatara in East Hanover Township.  Supervisors will apply for the grant.

¨      DEP:  An Environmental Education Grant Round pre-application grant form was received.

¨      Growing Greener:  Release of funds to counties is delayed.

¨      A Visual Guide to PA Noxious Weeds will be reproduced by Stephanie Harmon for distribution at the next meeting.

¨      Lebanon Conservation District Awards Banquet:  held Tuesday evening at Hebron was a huge success.  Awards were presented.  Students sang and played instruments.  Nate McKelvey presented a red-tailed hawk, barn owl, and great horned owl.

¨      Bridges:  Today, is it possible to construct a cost-effective and functional bridge that is also aesthetically pleasing?  SCWA believes so.  Since the 1700's, the Swatara Creek is a navigable river.  Today, as part of a statewide and national water trail, the Swatara is host to both visitors and local outdoor enthusiasts.  Therefore, we need to consider both functionality and appearance of bridges.  For safety, we also need to consider signing bridges so that people can orient themselves on the water.  Here’s a bridge that Rettew Associates designed. 

  1. Lebanon County Inwood Bridge options::
  2. -Repair in place
  3. -Replace
  4. -Remove and use somewhere else for a foot bridge--upstream in Swatara State Park or downstream across the Little Swatara in Jonestown.
  5. -Abandon for vehicles, but use as a pedestrian bridge in current location.

Black's Bridge Road Bridge is also scheduled for replacement. 

Perhaps the Rail Trail could utilize a covered bridge for Wilhelm Avenue.  A covered bridge would provide a great tourist attraction as well as cover for hikers, bikers, and horse back riders.

Allen Myers is finishing work at I81.

 ¨      The Conservancy fund drive is taking place.

A Worrilow/Light motion passed to nominate Bob Arnold to the Conservation District board.  We will contact the local farm bureau for a farmer board member recommendation.

 OTHER

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Donmoyer noted that an aluminum bridge near the waterfall is also planned at Sweet Arrow Lake.

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Water Trail Guardians McSurdy and Schiavo provided updates on filling map boxes.  The maps continue to be a popular item with canoeists, hikers, horse back riders and bicyclists.  For distribution of State Park Maps, Swatara State Park rangers would like to add map boxes to our signs.

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Conner announced a November 21 regional Susquehanna Committee meeting to develop a draft plan.

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Lasky reported that one of three phases of Quittie stream restoration is completed diverting water from a mill in Cleona.  Also, a pumpkin walk is scheduled for Friday night, 7-9PM at Quittie Creek Nature Park.  300 lights will mark the path, and admission is free.  Lebanon Valley College students will man several stations.

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Light invited everyone to hear George Gress speak about the bog turtle at the 7:30PM Audubon meeting at the United Church of Christ Home on Main St. in Annville.

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Harmon spoke about educational resources for the Jonestown greenway.

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Arnold and Blouch will clear the Route 22 access by spring.

PROGRAM--Swatara State Park:

Bill Friese updated SCWA on the development of the Swatara State Park.

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For a healthy environment, users of the Park will be asked to follow the National Park policy of "Trash in.  Trash out."

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Central Dauphin students are helping with the rail trail.

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$5 million Phase 1:
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Time Line: 
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8/06 Designs submitted for Phase 1.

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1/07 Contracts executed for a bid package.

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2/08 Improvements completed.

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Six trail heads at Lickdale, Appalachian Trail Bridge, Trout Run, Swopes Valley Road, an Equestrian trail head on the northeast side of the park, and at Pine Grove near the old airport.  Amenities at all but the Appalachian Trail will include prefab structures housing toilets with holding tanks, well drinking water fountains treated by ultraviolet light, signs, and outside, reinforced turf parking.  Boyd Big Tree Preserve is a sample of the style of comfort stations that Swatara will receive.

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The Park will be divided into two trail segments--one northeast, which is 7-miles in length, and will have aggregate surface to accommodate horses; and one southwest, which will be 4-miles in length, and paved.  A pervious surface is suggested.

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Three bridges will connect-the-dots at:
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Sand Siding, which is half way, and will allow the northeast and southwest loops to be complete.

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Mill Creek Bridge near 443.

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Swatara Creek Bridge at Swope's Valley Road.

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Of course spurs, rather than loops, will extend to Lickdale and Pine Grove.

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$26 million Phase 2 - We need to continue to educate our elected officials about the vision and the promise supported by every Governor since 1969 to complete the Swatara State Park, and request release of these funds too.  Phase 2 will include:
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A maintenance building;

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A conservation demonstration area at the Lickdale Trailhead;

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A Waterville Bridge Trail head;

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Primitive camping;

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Tent and trailer camping;

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Swimming and picnicking areas;

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A visitor's center; 

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Cabins; and across the Creek,

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Equestrian camping.

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Upon completion, 6.5-7% of the Park land will be impacted by improvements.

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Both Bethel and Swatara Townships were each asked to vacate two miles of road to State control.  Members present restated that they would like to see Old State Road remain open.  Bus loads of senior citizens could take a leisurely drive through the Park, safety personnel can access the east side of the park, and drivers can pick up canoeists who need to abort a trip.

CALENDAR:

October 29, Watershed Forum-- 9am-noon @ Acorn Farms, Lancaster  CAR POOL leaves Watershed office at 8AM.

November 8 & 9, CVI Stream Restoration Conference, Shepherdstown WV

November 30 program--preview of assessment work on the Quittapahilla Creek by Rocky Powell.

September 28, 2005

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the September 2005 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office, 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon.

Attendees:  Bob Arnold, Jarred Bartley (CVI), June & Dick Blouch, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon (LCCD), Rugh Henderson, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy, Todd Shepps, Dawn Thorpe (RC&D), Emily Wade (Wenger Feeds), and John Worrilow.

BUSINESS:

¨      Water Trail—PA Angler & Boater copies distributed.  We would like any blazes to be blue for “water trail,” which would also match our signs.

o       Access Improvement update

¨      Jonestown --Jo Ellen Litz.  met with the property owner, Mayor George Kauffman, Councilmen Paul Bird and Lynn Kleinfelter, consultants and the State.

¨      Route 22—multiple trees are down across the path.  Bob Arnold and Dick Blouch will work as a team to remove downed trees and blaze a path.

¨      Twin Grove Park--Dave McSurdy will discuss with Bill Friese

¨      Derry Township--Tom Embich delivered hardware to Derry Township.

¨      Water Works - completed

¨      Stay Out Stay Alive reviewed the DEP public service announcement.

¨      Embroidered shirts were distributed.

Sojourn Congress: was held in State College.  We started out with an extensive talk on safety personnel as it relates to insurance; whether or not it would be advantageous to acquire a broad-based policy at a reduced rate from the American Canoe Association; new program ideas like a "U" Can Paddle demo day by outfitters; synchronized canoeing demonstrations to music; safety certifications on sojourns....

Statewide promotion and marketing is going to get kicked up a few notches too.  For example, working with DCED and the State Tourism Bureau is a high priority to get a publication out early that promotes all of the sojourns (PA is the only state with statewide sojourns), then distribute them at all TPAs and visitor centers throughout the state; customized registrations for a professional presentation and continuity; maybe even a public service announcement or jingle to which we can add a ten second tag line; "rough it by day, luxury at night" identifying bed and breakfast inns for baby boomers who enjoy trying new outdoor skills, but want pampered at night; family reunions....

More sojourns are incorporating cleanups, which some sponsors really like.

Topics that need attention might include incentives for tire recycling; for safety, signed bridges so that paddlers can report where they are located in an emergency; .... 

OTHER

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Applied for the Governor’s Environmental Excellence award.

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A lady called who lost her canoe on the Swatara.  If anyone knows of it’s location, please let us know.  The canoe will have Union Canal Canoe Rental (UCC) on the hull.

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Dave McSurdy explained that the Pine Grove Landfill approached the Conservation District to say that they do not plan to pursue expansion, and want to turn the landfill into a wildlife sanctuary.  Dave also passed around a stone that he found, a granitic Gneiss, the highest metamorphic change, which was three million years old.

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Denise reported that the Down to Earth Band will play at Avon Heights Tavern this Saturday night.

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Both Stephanie Harmon and Rugh Henderson reported on yesterday’s Fort Indiantown Gap tour in conjunction with Lebanon County’s comprehensive plan.  To make sure that the GAP maintains its viability with the Brac Commission, they support a compromise to lease land as a buffer form the Game Commission, which was the Gap’s original proposal.

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Emily Wade announced that Wenger Feeds will seek a CAFO permit on the Snader farm.

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Ann Lasky shared Quittie Creek Park’s success in acquiring approval to move forward with the Quittie bridge project.  They need to raise an additional $900 match to make the project a reality.

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East Hanover Township has installed all of their approved dry hydrants, and would like to keep their momentum going.  On their behalf, SCWA requested any assistance to facilitate their request.

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Bob Arnold became aware of a condition known a Hampshire, a chronic wasting disease causing holes in deer’s brains.  Hampshire is fatal.  It is a protein metamorphosis that does not transfer to humans or domestic animals.  Deer in West Virginia are experiencing this disease.

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Reading passages from the Lehman diaries, Denise Donmoyer presented a historical overview of the Union Canal.  We learned that in the 1863 flood, Sweet Arrow Lake broke either just before or simultaneously with the Big Dam at Inwood.  Of course Sweet Arrow Lake was rebuilt in 1923 and refurbished in the last few years.

 CALENDAR:

October 9 Levitz Park Apple Cider Festival—SCWA Display (volunteers welcome!)

October 26 program—Bill Friese and Chuck Trovel update on the development of the Swatara State Park

October 29, Watershed Forum-- 9am-noon @ Acorn Farms, Lancaster 

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9:00 AM – 9:20 AM                              Welcome & Introductions

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9:20 AM – 9:40 AM 15 mins                Watershed Management  at  Fort Indiantown Gap

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(5 minute Q & A)                Joseph Hovis, Wildlife Biologist , Dept of Military Affairs & Veterans Affairs, Environmental Section

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9:40 AM – 10:00 AM 15 mins                The Economic Benefits of Limiting, Livestock Exposure to Streams

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(5 minute Q & A)                                    Robert Goodling, Jr., Dairy and Livestock Educator

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Penn State Cooperative Extension

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10:00 AM – 10:20 AM 15 mins                Float Your Boat:, The Story of the Swatara  Creek Water Trail

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(5 minute Q & A)                                       Lebanon County Commissioner, Jo Ellen Litz

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President, Swatara Creek Watershed Assoc.

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10:20 AM – 10:40 AM                          BREAK

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10:40 AM – 11:00 AM 15 mins                Bog Turtles:  Muck, Man and Management

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(5 minute Q & A)                                    Pamela Spayd, Biological Technician, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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11:00 AM – 11:35 AM 30 mins                How Historic Dams Have Shaped,  Our Local Streams Today

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(5 min Q & A)                Drs. Robert C. Walter & Dorothy J. Merritts, Professors, Dept. of Earth & Environment, Franklin & Marshall College

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                11:35 AM – NOON                         OPEN DISCUSSION / NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

November 8 & 9, CVI Stream Restoration Conference, Shepherdstown WV

November 30 program--preview of assessment work on the Quittapahilla Creek by Rocky Powell.

August 30, 2005 

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the August 30, 2005 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office, 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon.

Attendees:  Bob Arnold, Jared Bartley, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy, Todd Shepps, Jack Stouffer, and John Worrilow.

BUSINESS:

¨      Reviewed a Hybrid Timber Bridge CD from Penn DOT

¨      Received the Fort Indiantown Gap Environmental Impact Statement

¨      Ann Lasky reported on PA Watersheds Data System, an on-line tool for storing and analyzing monitoring data.  The beta-testing workshop was held at Dickinson College on Tuesday, August 23 from 5:30-7:30pm.  Ann and Dawn represented SCWA.

¨      Water Trail—PA Angler & Boater article.   Dave Wolf recently contacted SCWA for an interview about the Water Trail.

o       Access Improvements

¨      Jonestown (Swatara Creek Family Restaurant closed)  Partner with Borough to acquire an easement or land donation, and complete improvements.  Jo Ellen Litz will work with Mayor Kaufman on this access.

¨      Route 22—tree down across path.  Bob Arnold will cut the fallen tree away.

¨      Rangers opened a trail to the Creek across from Twin Grove Park.  Dave McSurdy will follow-up with Bill Friese on this access.

¨      Per Art Schiavo, Tom Clark at Derry Township will assist with the Union Deposit sign.  Tom Embich will follow-up.

¨      Jonestown Borough Park Master Plan along Swatara and Little Swatara Creeks.  Under consideration:

o       Geocaching, sledding, rocket launches, sprinkler park, summer camps, educational kiosks, signage….

¨      “EELS:  In Their Own Words”, a set of seven complimentary DVDs was placed in the Lebanon, Derry, and Pine Grove Historical Societies.  You may have read the EELS book or listened to the eloquent narration of the book by Gordon Weiss, but $500 Gold Sponsors of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association will receive a special incentive--"EELS, In Their Own Words"--a DVD collection of over 40 hours of living history (interviews conducted to create the EELS book) on the Swatara Watershed.  It may be a cherished and valuable asset to your library or a way to teach your children about their heritage.  Make your check payable to SCWA, and mail to 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 4, Lebanon PA  17042.

¨      A Worrilow/Embich motion passed to affirm the purchase of a Panasonic DVD recorder.

¨      Final reports were filed with National Parks Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, DCNR, and POWR.  All SCWA grants are now closed out.  However, we are awaiting final payment on these three grants.

¨      A Worrilow/Arnold vote of affirmation passed unanimously on a CVI Grant proposal submitted by board member Chuck Cravotta.  An unstable stream bank consisting primarily of culm from past mining is eroding into the Swatara Creek.  The resulting sedimentation is contributing to the clogging of 2 diversion wells that function to add limestone to the acid mine drainage impacted stream.  The clogging of the diversion wells requires consistent expense and time investments to maintain their function.    The additional maintenance requirement will potentially discourage the local mining company that has volunteered time and equipment to add limestone to the diversion wells from continuing their current level of support for the project.  Without the volunteer assistance, the wells would quickly fail and the stream ecosystem that they are supporting would be severely impaired.

¨      Future of Agriculture project—Attained 19 of a 40 interview goal.

¨      Stay Out Stay Alive PSAs will air Labor Day weekend.  As we understand it, DEP Secretary Katie McGinty will deliver the message on ESPN, MTV…targeting young males who comprise the target audience who are usually victims of quarry drownings.  Pay close attention to any “background” footage.  You may see someone you know from the Union Hose Fire Company in Annville, the First Aid and Safety Patrol Ambulance, Lebanon’s Emergency Management Agency, or the Lebanon Valley Scuba Club.  While it is a very serious topic, Lebanon is honored to have been asked to participate in the making of this public service announcement.

¨      Embroidered shirts ordered are scheduled for delivery on 9/5.

¨      Lebanon County Comprehensive Plan draft is available for review.

¨      Mason Dixen Dilemma final draft by the Assembly is available for review.

¨      SCWA will submit an IRS Audit customer satisfaction survey

¨      Water Works sewage issue—PA DEP, Lebanon County Planning, and the Conservation District have actively pursued science to document the source of contamination.  Corrective actions are being taken.

¨      Water Works canoe launch – Tom Embich provided before and after pictures of the project.

¨      Tourism maps were available for distribution.

¨      Ono Fire Company completed a Dry Hydrant at Crooked Road and Jonestown Road, East Hanover Township.  RC&D Council helped to fund the hydrants.

¨      TMI proposes to cut a hole in the domed area of the reactors, remove cooling tanks, replace the tanks with new tanks, and close the hole

·        A Stouffer/Arnold motion passed unanimously to encourage the Lebanon MPO and State Transportation Commission to name bridges and highway structures for recreational boating users.  Signage should be visible from the waterway.

OTHER

Bob Arnold lead a discussion on the disappearance of small mouth bass on the Susquehanna River.  It is believed that a bacteria is killing the fish.

Denise Donmoyer relayed a concern from Craig Morgan concerning upkeep of diversion wells.

Jack Stouffer, Dave McSurdy, and Jack Worrilow suggested ways to incorporate students into our programs.

CALENDAR:

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September 15 Plant ID Workshop 9-3:30 @ Levitz Park

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September 23 East Hanover Township Fluvial Geo Morphology 10-noon @ Levitz Park

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September 28 program—Denise Donmoyer on Union Canal

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October 9 Levitz Park Apple Cider Festival Display-11AM-5PM  www.onofire.com

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October 26 program--update on the development of the Swatara State Park, and on

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October 29, Watershed Forum-- 9am-noon @ Acorn Farms, Lancaster

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November 8 & 9, CVI Stream Restoration Conference, Shepherdstown WV

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November 30 program--preview of assessment work on the Quittapahilla Creek by Rocky Powell.

July 27, 2005

SCWA held a work session for their July meeting.  They picked up litter and repaired their adopted canoe launch damaged by Ivan.  Washed out poles needed reset, and members hand-shoveled a mixture of clay and limestone donated by Pennsy Supply, Annville and hauled by L&C Construction to "shore up" the existing steps..  Afterwards, they ate Watermelon at the Water Works.  In attendance were Bob Arnold, Jarred Bartley, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harman, Jo Ellen Litz,  Todd Shepps, Jack Stouffer, and John Worrilow

Members present voted to purchase embroiders shirts.  Member's cost is $10 per shirt, with an extra charge to embroider an individuals name.

Members also reviewed the water pollution problem across the Swatara along Tow Path Road.

June 29, 2005

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the July 29, 2005 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office, 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon.

Attendees:  Bob Arnold, Harvey Bomberger, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Carol Keesey, Jo Ellen Litz. Dave McSurdy, Todd Shepps, Emily Wade, and John Worrilow.

Business:

On a Worrilow/Embich motion, attendees gave permission for payment of Faren & Associates $1750 accounting bill.

Tourist Promotion Display:  July 1 & 2, from 9AM to 5PM, we will have a display at the Exposition Center on Rochetry Road.  The Lebanon Tourist Promotion Agency invited SCWA to greet around 13,000 visitors to invite them to canoe the Swatara.  Your help is needed to man the booth.  So that a pass can be obtained for you, please let Jo Ellen know ASAP.  Tom Embich and Todd Shepps volunteered to help on Friday.  Artist Craig Andrews created a sample model of the Swatara Water Trail sign, which will be offered as an incentive for membership during the EXPO event and afterwards—until the models are exhausted.  We can ask him to sign and number the creations.  These are sure to be collector’s items.  While they will not be available for this event, Jo Ellen will check into embroidered shirts to wear at events.  The shirts would display the SCWA logo.

IRS Audit:  From IRS concerning a recent audit, SCWA received written confirmation of no change.

Duck Hunting Inquiry:  Representative Zug said, “The Game Commission said you can hunt along most of the Swatara Creek….  For more information, you can call Ed at the Game Commission Region Office, 610-926-3136.”

Stay Out.  Stay Alive.  More tragic news.  We have now doubled last year's total of quarry fatalities.  Thank you for all your help getting the word out in Lebanon.  Only 66 counties to go. From Bill Rathbun

POWR staff change:  Justin M. Shellenberger is now the Sojourn Program Coordinator.

POWR Training:  Organizational Development Training is provided by Judy Jordan at workshops across the state with topics such as board development, volunteer recruitment, and fundraising.  She is about to set up another round of these workshops, and wanted to do an informal survey of the groups to see if there is interest in attending a workshop that paired up these organizational development topics with the data system...so maybe three hours of fundraising and then three of the data system.  Does this sound like something you would be interested in, or do you feel like you could spend your time more efficiently working on another project?

Dry Hydrants:  We now have a working Dry Hydrant in Ono!!  With an RC&D grant, East Hanover Township installed the first one 6/23/05.  NRCS staff was there as a group.  It's at the Heagy pond, 769 Ono Road, down the lane towards Bushong's emu farm.  No problem with the installation.  Ono brought the pumper/tanker out and tested it while NRCS was there.  This project will help to reduce rural home owner insurance rates.

STAC- On behalf of the County Commissioner’s Association of PA, Jo Ellen was appointed to DEP’s storage tank advisory committee.

American Canoe Association:  Swatara Creek Water Trail was nominated as an ACA Recommended Water Trail.  If the nomination is accepted, SCWA would be included in an event on July 30th and published in Paddler magazine.  ACA will be hosting a media event the morning of July 30th in Fredericksburg to highlight the ACA's stewardship commitment to the nation's waterways, to unveil their Water Trial Initiative, and to recognize community "Champions of Water Trails." The "Champions" award recognizes individuals or groups from across the country who have established premier water trails in their local communities.                           

As part of this initiative, the ACA will be selecting twelve water trails from around the country for designation as "ACA-Recommended Water Trails."  ACA-Recommended Water Trails are trails that meet a set of basic criteria and stand out as particularly good destinations for paddlers.  ACA-Recommended Water Trails earn the right to use a special ACA "seal-of-approval" in maps, signs and other printed material related to the trail.  The ACA will expand this list by designating a new group of recommended trails each year." (note from Paul Sanford)

Fish & Boat coverage:  A photo session took place on the Swatara Creek at the Boathouse Launch site. They needed a quick fill for the cover of the July/August issue of PA Angler & Boater magazine and what depicts an angler/boater better than someone fishing from a kayak on a water trail. They used a photo of the Water Trail signage at Boathouse to emphasize the Water Trail, its new extension and the revised trail guide. This supported a paragraph entry that describes the issue's cover. The magazine's editor and the Commission's chief photographer, Art Michaels, did a great job.

Possible AMD site:  Bill Friese and Dave Ravegum identified a possible AMD site north of Swopes Valley Road Bridge.

Quittie Wetland Boardwalk:  Members of the Lebanon Conservation District and volunteers took advantage of the dry weather as they worked on installation of a boardwalk through the Quittie Wetland on the east end of the City of Lebanon in front of the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center.  A Killdeer feverishly guarded her nest within five feet of the installation.

 

Stony Valley:  Those present reviewed a report about a proposed propagation area where no one enters and no forestry leases are permitted.  Apparently an old PP&L land grab that took properties by eminent domain is the underlying trust issue in the land swap.

 

Sweet Arrow Lake:  Denise & Carol reported that Sweet Arrow is a ‘happening place.’  The Lake received a $500,000 grant from the Stein Foundation, associated with Cressona Aluminum, for a bridge at the waterfall.  Further, there is an outreach team working with high school juniors in a week long environmental camp. 

 

Swatara State Park:  For clarification on reported environmental problems, Bob talked with Bill Friese about the Armor Bordner cabin. The roof needs replaced; the cabin needs Americans with Disability Act improvements; the well does not produce enough water; the septic is too small; the slope is prohibitive; there is mold; and the logs are creosoted.  It would take six figures to save the site.  Added to this mix is the possibility that Old State Road will be closed. 

 

Tom was asked to see if Chuck Trovel would be willing to speak at a future Watershed meeting.

 

Jo Ellen will find out if Dave can have permission to “blaze” a trail from the Twin Grove Park Water Trail sign entrance parking area through the woods to the edge of the Creek.  We have had numerous people express their uncertainty about which direction to travel to the Creek.

OTHER:  July’s meeting will be our annual work session—Watermelon at the Waterworks.  We will start at 9AM.  Tom will try to arrange for a donation of limestone.

News Coverage:

Lebanon Daily News:

¨      6/20/05 Water trail grows with the flow, By KAREN SHUEY, front page

Pottsville Republican:

¨      6/25-26/05 Water Issue in Pine Grove—without funding, borough rejects adding township businesses

¨      6/23/05 For “Y” kids, sweet time—Nature revealed in YMCA’s 1st ‘Day at Lake’, front page featuring Denise Donmoyer

Patriot News:

¨      6/7/05 Park Consultant will address ‘nuts and bolts’

May 25, 2005

Welcome all!  Attendees:  Dick & June Blouch, Harvey Bomberger, Betty Conner, George Constanz, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Carl Keesey, Ann Marie Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Todd Shepps, Dave McSurdy, Emily Wade.

Business:

Sojourn Success:  Fabulous team work!  Good time.  Good Company.  Cleaner Swatara minus 131 tires and approximately six tons of garbage, much of it recycled.  For example, metal and toys were recycled.  More details at both http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/canoe/pics15th/Movies.htm and http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/canoe/15th.htm .

Water Trail:  Signs are assembled and installed.  Dedication took place at the sojourn.  Christened with Water Balloons.  Maps are available in map boxes at Creek accesses, if picked up at the Watershed office, or by sending a request along with a stamped, self-addressed, legal sized envelope to 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 4, Lebanon PA  17042.  PA Fish and Boat Commission offered to help with promotion/ press releases.  More details at  http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/Projects/WaterTrailDedication.htm .

Bass Pro Display:  Handed our hundreds of Swatara Water Trail maps, about a dozen people completed the conservation equation earning a conservation kit, played slides from the sojourn on  a lap top computer, displayed the Bass Pro kayak, and made EELS books available for a membership.  But the icing on the cake came when Bass Pro and Grumbine RV presented SCWA with a $500 check for our conservation efforts on the Swatara Sojourn.  An additional $500 check was accepted for PA Watersheds and Rivers to help sponsor sojourns across the State. 

Tire Recycling request forwarded to our State Representatives.  Both Pete Zug and Mauree Gingrich have already agreed to research this issue.

Growing Greener letter to the editor.  Ballot question passed statewide.

DEP Secretary McGinty’s visit concerning unmined quarries.  “Stay out.  Stay Alive.”  Distributed brochures.

SCWA assisted with an inventory of inactively mined quarries

To keep everyone informed, here is an updated 'inactive' quarry list. Additions/corrections welcome.

  1. E Side of Lebanon Valley Mall/422-Henry
  2. W Side of Lebanon Valley Mall/422, south of railroad tracks-Hanford
  3. W Side of Lebanon Valley Mall, north of railroad tracks--donated to Union Canal Tunnel Park.
  4. Behind Tulpehocken Manor
  5. Two N of Palmyra on left & right sides of Lingle Avenue, almost at Railroad St. (or Ridge Rd.?)--closed in 1972.
  6. Cornwall Mines, open pit sold to Elizabethtown Borough.  Underground mine shafts are owned by John Byler, which is part of Iron Valley golf Course.   For more information, contact Charlie Neil at (717)272-0120.
  7. Three N of Annville (one N of the railroad & 2 S of the railroad) on the W end of town-Broyhill & Associates
  8. Behind Quitty Creek Nature Park off of Bachman Road, Annville
  9. Union Township (Huckleberry Lane at Route 78)-Miller
  10. Jonestown (sand)--Moore & Quarry Roads in Swatara Township.  That parcel of land is going to be a housing development under Snyder Developers. Parcel is under contract with Berks Homes, which is scheduled to close in August.
  11. West Myerstown, possibly owned by Wenger's Farm Machinery
  12. East of Myerstown, Jackson Township Parks owns a quarry south of 422
  13. Richland Quarry, Val and John Stokes operate it as a swimming and scuba diving recreation area.
  14. A second Richland Quarry is behind the Borough garage north of Race Street near New Street, owned by the Borough.
  15. 15th Avenue & Weavertown Road, North Lebanon Township, run by a Rod and Gun Club
  16. Southeast corner of Mine Road and Birch Road, Lebanon (South Lebanon Township)
  17. West of SR 501 just south of ELCO Drive, Myerstown (Jackson Township), owner: Stoltzfus (not visible from 501)
  18. On the west side of 16th Street, south of Walnut St., behind Agway Petroleum and the North Cornwall Township Building.

This effort will also prove helpful for our local EMA in responding to accidents.  Prior to an emergency, we need to chart the best access points too.  If you can find an overhead view of the quarry on an on-line mapping program, please forward a picture too.  Thanks for your interest and any help that you can provide.  Embich suggested reviewing lacustrine wetlands and quarries identified on topographic maps.

During the meeting, IRS agent Scott Johnson called.  After answering a few final questions, he said that a no-change letter with an advisory concerning 1099’s will be issued this date.

McSurdy reported on his Water Trail Guardian experiences.  Apparently a Swatara State Park sign just south of Twin Grove Park receives the heaviest usage.  He also took thirty people on a wildflower walk in Swatara State Park.  Finally, Dave noted that Twin Grove Park now rents mountain bikes.

Litz added that on Thursday Twin Grove Park will dedicate a Ferris wheel and whip and introduce two chipmunk mascots.

Keesey reviewed a Lake appreciation picnic at Sweet Arrow Lake attended by 40 people.  A rare 1930’s film showing boat races on the lake will be shown at a July 16 movie night on the Lake.

Using Cedar Run as an example, Blouch emphasized the rejuvenation of the economy of an area from rail trails.

Lasky shared that a $5000 grant from DCED secured by Representative Gingrich will aid in repairing 46 steps and repairing erosion in Quittie Creek Nature Park. 

bullet

WITF Our Town Annville will air June 6.

bullet

Old Annville Days will occur on June 11.

Embich talked about an aquatic nuisance program for zebra muscles and a July workday at the Water Works canoe launch.  He and Art Schiavo believe that creeping juniper is durable enough to withstand walking and retain topsoil

Donmoyer is working on a rain garden at the clubhouse for storm water management at Sweet Arrow Lake.  A Master Gardner and a local contractor are assisting.

Emily Wade reported that the Wenger Feed pullet houses are officially closed, and the nutrient management plan is updated.

At a future meeting, Conners will present a Power Point on the Lower Susquehanna Public Hearing recently held in Camp Hill.  She also suggested that we should have a local native plant sale, perhaps hosted by the Conservation District.

OTHERDoctor George Constanz, Canaan Valley Institute, gave a lively and interesting talk on Peepers (tree frogs).  In short, when the earth raised up forming mountains and valleys, the rivers separated colonies, which evolved into differing species.

April 27, 2005

 Welcome all!  Our newest lifetime member is Kaylor Architects.  In attendance were:

 Attendees: Bob Arnold, Jared Bartley, Dick Blouch, June Blouch, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Bob Evanchalk, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy, Todd Shepps (an intern from Leadership Lebanon Valley/Chamber of Commerce), Jack Stouffer, Jenna Sohianni (a student government intern), Emily Wade, John Worrilow.

Business:

John Worrilow’s 84th birthday.

A Worrilow/Arnold motion nominating “Porcupine” Pat McKinney for a DCNR forest stewardship award passed unanimously.

A Worrilow/Arnold motion supporting a letter for the Klinger property grant by the Lebanon Valley Conservancy also passed unanimously.

A Donmoyer/Lasky motion passed to purchase two canoe portage carts for use on the Sojourn.

Swatara Sojourn update

¨      Judy Jordan and Jo Ellen met with Chris O’Hara at Bass Pro and an Old Town Dirigo 120 Cloud Kayak was donated for the Sojourns.  At the Union Canal Tunnel, a demonstration preceded today’s meeting.

¨      Count to date:  38 to canoe on Saturday, 30 for dinner, and 24 to camp.  Sunday:  30 for breakfast, and 33 to canoe.  The numbers will surely grow during the remaining time.

May 14 & 15 – volunteers needed to help man a booth and participate in a demonstration at Bass Pro.

Swatara State Parkpossible cabin dismantling

Bill Achor inquiry concerning ethanol plant.  Future program.

Tires were recycled on Earth Day by the Penn State Ag Extension Agency at EXPO.

on Earth Day at the Quittie Wetland, Lebanon County Conservation District hosted an Envirothon.

Ebay Property:  Owner called.  He said that he is considering donating the property.

Intern inquiry by Dylan Moyer, a student.

Ed Copenhaver at Stony Bridge Landscaping and the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association will receive an award from the PA Secretary of Ag at the Union Canal on Friday, Arbor Day, and plant a tree that emphasizes the 'Pennsylvania Preferred' program, which is the seal of quality-grown products registered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Open pit:  Compost leaching.  Sinkholes on site.  Mediation with a distraught neighbor.

South Annville groundwater: 2 million gallons of egg wash were lost through a sinkhole in an unlined earthen pit.  DEP is monitoring the groundwater.

Burn Ban:  Low humidity and dead leaves caused brush fires.  Recent rains have helped.

IRS --Business names were run on the Department of State web site, and I turned over information to CPA Faren to respond to a request for 1099s.  Only non-corporate entities should receive a 1099 if they received over $600 from SCWA.  Four 1099s were prepared by our CPA to forward to the auditor.  Certified mail will be used to ensure receipt.  A copy of the paperwork is filed with the SCWA permanent records.

 

GRANTS: 

EELS:  Audio CDs were distributed to members present.  Many thanks to Gordon Weiss and the WLBR/WQIC studios!

Water Trail:  We received sign faces and decals for map boxes.  The ship date for posts and map boxes is Friday 4/29/05.  We signed up with PA One-Call.  We are waiting on approval to dig.  An assembly date will be set.  Bill Friese and Swatara State Park rangers will dig holes for and help install the upper five signs.  Kyle Boltz will dig holes and will help to install lower two signs.  Craig Andrews and Dave Ravegum offered assistance too.

OTHER:  A $49,961 Fish & Boat grant is available for stream restoration, habitat enhancement, and recreation on the Tulpehocken & Quittapahilla Creeks.

The PA Recreation & Park Society’s First Annual Greenway & Trail Conference is May 5-6, 2005 at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg West in Mechanicsburg, PA

INDIVIDUAL REPORTS

 

Jack Worrilow: Commented on the planned use of the anaerobic digester methane output from the City of Lebanon Wastewater Treatment Plant; 17,000 customers of the facility. Also, responded to comments about the Siegrist supply dam for the City of Lebanon Water Authority plant and the continued need for upgrading capacity to meet future expansion needs in the Valley.

 

Carol Keesey: Noted several events at Sweet Arrow Lake – A SKIP clean-up was completed during April; future events on May 22 and at the Bear Creek Festival will help promote Sweet Arrow Lake efforts.

 

Dave McSurdy: Nature walk at Sweet Arrow Lake is scheduled for 2 to 3 PM, May 1; a second event is also scheduled for Swatara State Park leaving from Swopes Valley Road on May 22.

 

Denise Donmoyer: Commented on the large amount of debris, tires, unmentionables, etc. from the SKIP clean-up event; Sweet Arrow Lake Appreciation day event on May 22, 1PM to evening announced – invitation extended to all interested – Canoe, kayak, etc. if canoe needed contact Denise at 570-345-8952 or nightowl@epics.net for information. A newsletter has been published and is soon going-out; it eventually will be accessible on the website – www.sweetarrow.homestead.com. The Crick Pickers (now the Down-to-Earth Band) will be at the event. Commented on the canal songs at a recent event – will get the man’s name to Pres. Litz.

 

Jared Bartley: Distributed the new CVI newsletter.

 

Bob Evanchalk: Noted the success of the Trout Nursery and the trout releases done this spring; PA Fish & Boat Commission cannot include the streams in the Northern Swatara for stocking.  The Bear Creek Festival will be May 15 at the Schuylkill Fair Grounds; noon to 4 PM. Directions: I78 to Route 183 follow Summit Station, fairgrounds between Rt. 61 and Route 895.

 

Emily Wade: Offered greetings from Bill Achor, Wenger Feeds; announced the closing of two Dutch Country Farms on the Little Swatara Creek and consolidation with Dale Snader’s operation in the area. She also noted that Wenger is moving toward a manure-composting project; details to come from Bill in the near future.

 

Bob Arnold: Trout fishing has been good along the Quittie near Syner Road, but the litter and debris in and along the stream is unsightly at best. Also, asked to have the “leaf” wallpaper for the Swatara website reviewed.

 

Todd Shepps; Thanks for the opportunity and interesting meeting.

 

Dick Blouch: Conducting his own invasive species removal projects along the Swatara.

 

June Blouch: Assisting Dick with his project.

 

Ann Lasky: The Quittie Day of Caring program went well on April 16 as did the April 9 clean-up and the April 18 Dutch Days with Lebanon Valley College students. The second week of June an Ailanthus control day is planned with Annville Township staff in the Quittie Park; Bob Evanchalk noted care with trees with inter-twined roots that the product they are using could kill beneficial species if too closely associated with the target Ailanthus (“Tree of Heaven”) invasive species.

 

Jack Stouffer: No comments.

 

Jack Worrilow: Supplemental comments – Leaves in Coleman Park – comments about how to best handle them. Tom Embich commented that distributing them in the wooded areas helps with the growth of rare plant species and the soil stability in spite of deer browse problems.

 

Jo Ellen Litz: Asked for help with the 60 cases of Swatara Water Trail maps to be delivered this afternoon around 2 PM; and assistance with assembling the Water Trail signs.

March 30, 2005

Welcome!  In attendance:  Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Bob Evanchalk, Carol Keesey, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy, and John Worrilow.

Business:

Swatara State Park:  We received word from Park Manager Bill Friese that the Budget Office released design funds for Swatara State Park!  J  This is design money only.  Development (phase l) is still probably more than a year away.   Thank you to everyone who had a part in both requesting and releasing these funds.

Sweet Arrow Lake got stocked with 1000 brook and rainbow trout.  The Upper and Lower Little Swatara Creeks were stocked too.

Ebay Property:  Final price for land along the Quittapahilla was $46,100 for 1.2 acres at 22nd & Chestnut Streets.  Right before the heavy rain, someone was “cleaning up” by clearing fallen limbs and leaves, which exposed bare ground.  The Lebanon Conservation District got something like three calls.  Cark Kerchner went out with the PA Fish and Boat Commission to check things out.  About a 15’ path along the Creek was left undisturbed, and it was determined that the property owner was in compliance with all laws.

Fran Koch at DEP requested a copy of the final report of an old grant ME 350224 for EPA.

WITF Channel 33 Public Television film, ‘Our Town Annville,’ could feature both the Quittapahilla and Swatara Creeks.  The program will air June 6 from 8-10PM.

Swatara Sojourn update

¨      Judy Jordan, Frank Cetera, Jo Ellen and Chris O’Hara will meet at Bass Pro On Wednesday, April 6 to iron out final details of their involvement with the Swatara Sojourn.

¨      Our paid Sunday sojourners will have breakfast at the Swatara Creek Family Restaurant.  Dick & Julie Bliesath are giving us a special rate.

¨      Additional sponsors include Lebanon Valley Conservancy, Bayer and Swatara Creek Inn.  Bob Evanchalk said that we could expect a sponsorship from the Northern Swatara Watershed too.

¨      Bill Friese reports that other groups will be cleaning up in the Park when we complete the Creek cleanup.

¨      Newsletters with registrations should go out today.  Finishing Touch was sold, and Blyler is now doing the printing.  Registrations are also available online at http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/canoe/15th.htm On a related note, at the County Commissioner’s conference, I got to see, hear, and watch PA’s tourist promotion ads for newspapers, television, and radio.  In one ad on TV, there is a guy in a wetsuit who visits swanky sites along a water trail.  At the end of the commercial, I finally realized his zipper was stuck, and he couldn’t take off his wet suit.  I sure laughed.  In the paper, there is a kayaker with the slogan, “You don’t need a road to take a road trip.”  I can’t forget to mention the one that reminded me of Spencer, my grandson, whose picture is on our new Water Trail maps.  A caption beside a boy holding his first fish says, “There is no such thing as a fisherboy.  Catch one and you’re a fisherman.”  I wish that these ads could be customized and used for the Swatara Sojourn.  They are really good.  Maybe we can convince Judy Jordan at POWR to look into this.

¨      Team coordinators were assigned as follows:

o       Appalachian Trail Bridge portage and shuttle vehicle – Tom Embich

o       Saturday Breakfast accommodations—Dave McSurdy

o       Equipment vehicle and tire trailer—Jack Stouffer

o       Photographers—George & Betty Conner

There has been no word from IRS.

John Worrilow moved, and Tom Embich seconded a motion to sign a Fish & Boat agreement for the Water Works canoe launch repairs.

John Worrilow moved, and Karen Light seconded a motion affirming a joint project for a WREN grant to purchase Governor Dick watershed display and trailhead signs with the Quittie Watershed and Hammer Creek Watershed.

Channel 8 was working on coverage of proposed funding cuts for SRBC to upgrade stream gauges with Doplar radar and computer modeling using historical data to improve an early warning flood system from 2-3 days to two weeks.

Bob Evanchalk stated that Simmone, Jaffe, and Collins unveiled a $3 million  Master Site Plan for Sweet Arrow Lake.  Bob reminded everyone that Sweet Arrow Lake is now open to the public.

Dave McSurdy distributed a hiking schedule.

Denise Donmoyer shared an article in “Schuylkill Living,” a colorful magazine, which featured a story on Bob ‘baptizing’ Schuylkill Commissioner Mantura Gallagher by canoe emersion into Sweet Arrow Lake.

John Worrilow informed those present that because of vandalism, the Boy Scouts have returned the $1 lease for the Armor Border cabin.  On another note, John suggested that we establish a rapport with Home Depot and Lowes for help with donated supplies.

Karen said that the peepers (wood frogs) started peeping in Swatara State Park.  Near the vernal pools, you can hear them around 7:30PM.  The salamanders started to move too.

Betty announced that May 16 was set as the Lower Susquehanna Water Plan public meeting at Penn Harris Radisson, Wormleysburg.

Tom made a suggestion that Appendix G of our Rivers Conservation Plan be simplified and shortened by removing duplication and showing the big picture.  Of the board reviews returned, completion of Swatara State Park was consistently rated as the number one priority.  He also tossed out the idea of an adopt a stream segment program for the Swatara.

Grant Updates:

Little Swatara 319 Grant:  Mark Chedwiggen, Russell Wagner, his DEP colleague, and Jo Ellen visited completed construction projects. It poured down rain, and boy was it cold.  A Final Report for the Little Swatara 319 Grant was filed and received by Russell Wagner.  A copy is distributed for review.

EELS:

¨      A pdf of the EELS book was posted to the SCWA web site.  The down side is, it is a large file and will take very long to download.

¨      A quarterly report was filed with the National Parks Gateways Network and copied to our partners at Canaan Valley Institute and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

¨      Thank you for your patience with the CDs. 

¨      We will soon need to file a final report with CVI.

Water Trail:

¨      Met with Alex Tatanish at DCNR.  Provided updated prices and an itemized list of expenses.

¨      Yesterday, the first 50% payment was received from DCNR.

¨      Craig Andrews provided a paper model of the map boxes.

¨      Posts and map boxes should be delivered from Hopewell Manufacturing around the end of next week.

¨      Signs from Centennial Graphics are in process, and will be completed by April 26.

¨      Blose Printing is working on printing the decals for the map boxes.  Jim Price moved to Florida.

¨      The final shipment of maps is due from PA Fish and Boat Commission in April.

¨      Talked to both Dave Ravegum and Bill Friese about assistance with sign installation.  After they are received, a date and time will be set for sign assembly.  We will visit sites and mark where holes should be dug.

¨      Then, PA One Call will have to be notified a few days prior to digging.

¨      Tom Embich and Dave McSurdy were appointed as Water Trail Guardians for Lebanon and Schuylkill Counties respectively.  Unless there is a Dauphin County volunteer to visit  access points no less than monthly, it was suggested to contact Art Schiavo or Ed Chub about accepting this role.

We are looking at a grant expiration date of June 30, 2005 for National Parks.

Summary of DEP’s March 2005 public meeting held at the Lebanon County Conservation District.

(This was one of three held in the State)

by Jo Ellen Litz

Chuck Wertz, Betty Conner, and I attended the session, and represented the Swatara Creek Watershed Association and other organizations.

National Treasurers were identified:  The Everglades, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, and Chesapeake Bay.

To protect the Bay, DEP is really promoting cover crops like grass between crop yields. 

In addition, DEP will promote uniform buffer widths along streams.

Pollution trading was a hot topic.  It was stated that the buying/selling/trading would occur on an annual basis.  It seems like a lot of paperwork and complicated.

Green Space Acquisition will be from federal dollars, but the process, which is based on appraisals, could take up to three years.  With the recent sale of a property along the Quittie on Ebay, this caught my attention.  Because the auction took place at the speed of Ebay, it looks like we still wouldn’t have been able to preserve this property.

DEP presented a brief comparison of Growing Greener 1 and Growing Greener 2:

¨      In Growing Greener One, there is an emphasis on preserving farms for open space, mine reclamation, watersheds, and water and sewer systems.

¨      Growing Greener Two, which would provide $80 million over four years, focuses on nutrient reductions (nitrogen and phosphorus), CREP, tax exempt financing of sewage treatment plants, capping oil and gas wells, and preventing nonpoint sources of pollution.

Act 218 provides $250 million for sewer and water to support economic development.

Pennvest provides $50 million.

Other topics discussed were Energy Harvest, Clean Energy (biodigesters), the First Industries Fund, Federal Funding Options like USDA/NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants and EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Initiative Grants, as well as a Blue Ribbon Bay Finance Authority.

Overall, the session was insightful into the new administration’s thought process.  It is the first interaction that we’ve had where we could ask questions.  For example, I was able to ask the question that’s been troubling me—“If sediment is the number one threat to the Bay’s ecosystem by smothering oyster beds and retarding growth of vegetation that supports a small fish (fry) population that feeds the larger chain of fish in the Bay, how is breaching centuries old low-head dams and releasing tons of heavy metal laden sediment into the Bay going to help the Bay and help DEP meet a deadline for cleanup and avoid lawsuits and intervention by EPA?    The answer had to do with a dual mandate of opening passages for anadromous and catadromous fish.  DEP said that fish ladders were an acceptable alternative to breeching.  Bottom line--DEP is not concentrating on reducing sediment as much as they are working at reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loads.

Tom added that the Corps of Engineers was commissioned for a dredging study behind Conowingo Dam, which is the only dam not fully loaded with sediment.  He said it would require hauling away a 70-car train daily keep even with sediment entering the dam.  Mercury and lead as well as coal settled on the bottom of the River.  Therefore, the silt may be considered hazardous waste.

February 24, 2005

Welcome & introductions:  Bob Arnold; Jarrod Bartley, CVI; Betty Conner; Denise Donmoyer; Tom Embich; PA Waterways Patrolman Doug Deppen; Carol Keesey; Ann Lasky; Jo Ellen Litz;  Dave McSurdy; Haley Sanky; John Worrilow.

Call to order at 9:30AM; Watershed office, 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 4, Lebanon PA  17042

Grant Update:

¨      Water Trail:

o       The National Parks’ payment was received by direct deposit, and Boyer Printing was paid in full.

o       We are checking with DCNR on our previous 50% request.

o       On a Worrilow/Lasky motion, the Water Trail ‘sign design’ was approve, and signs, posts, and frames will be ordered.

¨      Little Swatara

o       Final payment requested from DEP.

o       SCWA must file final report, complete with pictorial of projects.

Business:

bulletSwatara State Park—A letter circulated that was written by Bob Arnold reflecting SCWA’s support for development of the Park.  The letter was sent to Senator Brightbill. Additionally, Denise Donmoyer wrote a letter to Senator Rhodes.
bulletEbay is selling a Lebanon County property along the Quittapahilla Creek at 22nd & Chestnut Streets.  Bidding was over $20,000 for a one+acre lot that floods.  The url is http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15841&item=4356112039&rd=1 

o       SRBC is applying for a Growing Greener grant to provide technical assistance to DEP for State Water Resource Planning.  With Growing Greener funding, SRBC can help compile, analyze and distribute critical water-use data so that: (1) local decision makers can make sound land use decisions; (2) businesses and other interests seeking water withdrawal and use approvals/permits can determine the areas that can or can not sustain increased water uses before submitting permit applications and paying fees; (3) DEP can update the State Water Plan by 2007, as required by the Water Resources Planning Act of 2002; (4) SRBC can provide GIS-data analysis to the Upper-Middle Susquehanna and Lower Susquehanna regional water resources committees; and (5) SRBC can continue providing services to local entities through GIS and technical assistance.  In addition, it would include a water budget study in the Hershey area.  A vote of affirmation was approved on a Worrilow/Arnold motion.

o       The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is consolidating its collection of 7.5 and 15 minute topographical maps, so we have many maps available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis, especially from New York state. If your organization can use any of these maps, please let Doreen McCabe at dmccabe@srbc.net know by May 1, 2005.

o       Because of Ivan, the flood, the Water Works canoe launch needs work prior to the Sojourn.  Tom Embich and Bob Arnold will set up a workday.  There is a dead beech tree, missing rocks, leaning posts….

o       Education is needed to negate resistance to porous paving along the Quittaphilla Creek.  Here’s a start:  http://www.forester.net/sw_0305_porous.html .

bulletComments were sought to a “mock” Ag Map layout by RC&D.
bullet‘Let’s Talk’ sessions are taking place to discuss the future of agriculture in Lebanon County with farmers.  Everyone is encouraged to attend a session:
bulletFebruary 28- 7:30-9:30PM, Schaefferstown Fire Hall
bulletMarch 1- 10AM-noon, N. Londonderry Municipal Building, 655 E Ridge Rd., Palmyra
bulletMarch 4- noon-2PM, Ag Center, 2120 Cornwall Rd., Lebanon
bulletMarch 8- 7:30-9:30PM, Northern Lebanon High School, Ag Department

For more information, contact Mandy Kohler, Extension Educator, 270-4391 or Winifred McGee, County Extension Director 270-4391

The Tulpehocken Greenway study is complete. 

A 2/16 news item was reviewed.

A Business Journal response thanks us for our application, but SCWA was “not ranked as one of the top most innovative nonprofit organizations this year.”

Dylan Moyer is interested in a paid internship--attending HACC.  He may help with the Swatara sojourn.

An SCWA article appeared in an Environmental Digest article for Dave Hess:
http://www.paenvironmentdigest.com/newsletter/default.asp?NewsletterArticleID=1561&SubjectID=

Other:

Starting at Routes 72 and 443, Karen invited everyone to attend a 2PM walk on Sunday in Swatara State Park.

Betty pointed out an article on Dave Sollenberger (producer of SCWA’s ‘Watershed at Work” video) that appeared in the paper.

Bob Arnold will pursue a conversation with Dan Koury concerning the Ravine wetland.

Program:

Tom Embich reviewed and collected opinions on the ranking of future SCWA projects.

DATES:

bullet

3/15 Comprehensive Plan Task Force

bullet

3/17 Final Tulpehocken meeting at Jackson Elementary School

bullet

3/23 & 24 Nutrient Management Summit at Holday Inn, Grantville

bullet

5/7 & 8 Swatara Sojourn  Registration  http://users.mbcomp.com/swatara/canoe/15th.htm

bullet

5/16 Lower Susquehanna Planning process for the State Water Plan-Act220-in Carlisle

January 26, 2005

The meeting was called to order at headquarters.  A welcome and introductions took place.  In attendance were:  Frank Cetera, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Arlene Haag, Stephanie Harmon, Rugh Henderson, Joe Hovis, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, David McNaughton, Dave McSurdy, Jack Stouffer, Marta Trainer, John Worrilow and Sara Yorty.

Business:

Election of officers:  On a Worrilow/McSurdy motion, the existing officers were nominated for retention.  Worrilow/McSurdy also closed nominations on a motion.  The Secretary was instructed to cast the deciding ballot.

Results of an IRS audit are pending.  Monday, agent Scott Johnson spent 6.5 hours reviewing the 2003 books.

Pending the outcome of the audit, Worrilow/Embich moved to approve a CPA contract totaling $1750 with Faren & Associates to audit the 2004 books and prepare taxes.  Motion carried.

Worrilow/Lasky moved to approve a Bond through Zinn Insurance totaling $745 for a  three-year renewal with Penn National Mutual Insurance Company.  Motion carred.

The equipment inventory and committees (sub watersheds) were reviewed.

Sojourn planning:

SCWA applied for a POWR grant, which is due February 21.

¨      Date:  May 7 & 8, 2005

¨      Segment:  Route 645 south of Pine Grove, Schuylkill County to Union Canal Canoe Rentals, East Hanover Township, Lebanon County.

¨      Camp:  Lickdale Campgrounds will be approached.

¨      Cost:  $15/adult and $5 per child per day covers food.

¨      Canoe, paddles and life vest rentals (if needed)--$30 first day, add $5 for both days.

¨      Theme:  “Paddle Your Park

¨      Travel plan filed with the PA Fish & Boat Commission

¨      Volunteers Needed: 

o       Events for Saturday night:  Griffith ballet and Wiconisco Crick Pickers (who are writing a song for the Swatara) were suggested.   They are a blue grass group with an environmental edge.  Get ready to do the Swatara Stomp.  Jim Thompson, a member of the group, resides in Annville, Lebanon County.

o       Lead Canoe:

o       Meal sponsors:

o       Registration:

o       Safety boats: Andy & Liz Ramsey (also Sweep canoe), Jo Ellen Litz

o       Shore support & shuttle drivers-Tom Embich, Dave McSurdy, & Jack Stouffer

¨      Sponsors:  Mail out requests for sponsors.  Partner with POWR on American Water and Bass Pro.

Grant Updates:

¨      EELS – The Twin Grove Park kick-off was very rewarding.  Interviewees thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each other and swapping stories.  They all had something in common, and new bonds were formed.  We are waiting on payment from CVI & the National Park Service to pay Boyer Printing for the book.  A letter of commendation came from the Lebanon Water Authority.  A Lebanon Daily News article appeared on 12/6/04 titled ‘Book shares Swatara stories’; and an editorial ran on 12/12/04—‘Swattie storytellers.’  Book distribution is underway.  All Lebanon County municipal officials should have a copy that was hand delivered.  Denise is distributing books in Schuylkill County.  Marta is distributing books in Berks County.  Permission was granted to mail books to Dauphin County officials.  CDs and Audio version are near completion.

¨      Water Trail – Maps are done by PA Fish & Boat Commission.  A limited printing was distributed for review and feedback.  Spelling errors caused by a program glitch can be submitted to Jo Ellen Litz until February 12.  Craig Andrews is designing the sign to compliment existing Water Trail signs.  Signs and map boxes will be ordered shortly.  The Gateways grant quarterly report is filed.  Lebanon County’s new Tourism book lists the water trail, but needs updated with the extension.  A request to update the corresponding web site was submitted.  From Alex Tatanish, SCWA requested a 50% DCNR advance payment (working capital) to help with the purchase of signs, frames, and maps for the extended Swatara Water Trail, ME385011.

¨      Little Swatara grant is near completion.  According to DEP’s Glenda Feree, we have $14,565.82 left after the last invoice.  SCWA was granted a one-year extension through September 30,2005.

 A Nonprofit Innovation Awards application was submitted to the Central PA Business Journal.

 Lebanon County Commissioners signed a Municipal Waste Management Agreement with the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority.

 Exelon and PSEG sent a merger notice.

 Many Kohler hosted a ‘Let’s Talk’ session for farmers and the public on the same night that the WalMart meeting was held at the Quentin Fire Company.  To plan for the future of agriculture in Lebanon County, there will be regional ‘Let’s Talk’ round tables in the near future.

 RC&D is putting together an Ag map of south central PA that shows the location of farmer's markets, farms with bed and breakfast, prominent roadside stands.... 

 Dave Ravegum, Schuylkill County, provided questions asked of Ingenco who wants to generate electricity at the Gold Mills site using gas generated by Pine Grove Landfill.  The questions were passed on to SRBC.

 County Comprehensive Plan--fifteen members were appointed to a Task Force.  Because DEP and DCNR are helping to fund the plan, representatives from environmental groups do have a seat at the table.  It is anticipated that Gannett Fleming will be approved as the consultant.  Embich pointed out that in order to limit a rush to beat new guidelines, municipalities could freeze development plans prior to completion of a comprehensive plan.

 A PA Fish & Boat accident report was circulated.

 SRBC will be celebrating its 35th anniversary and as part of several events, we are putting together a "State of the Susquehanna" publication/presentation, which will highlight milestones in the basin from 1970 to the present.  One of the indicators for this publication is the number of watershed groups in the basin.  As requested, Swatara submitted a summary of our activities.  Embich/Stouffer moved to present a congratulatory proclamation in honor of the anniversary.  Motion Carried.

 PennSERVE-Labor & Industry:  The Governor’s Office of Citizen Service, introduced their newly configured website, and welcome us to join in an expanded mission to engage every Pennsylvania in the essence of our participatory democracy.  They want to learn more about the wonderful work that we are doing to improve the quality of life in our community, and hope we will let them know if they can facilitate our efforts in any way.  www.dli.state.pa.us .

 Watershed Specialist Stephanie Harmon wrote a Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy.

Further, Lake Strause in Bethel Township apparently has residents monitoring the lake as well as the intake and outtakes along Monroe Creek for several years.  They have professional data (they send the samples to a lab in Myerstown) regarding the pollution.  For example their data has come back for ecoli as TNTC (too numerous too count).  Through the Watershed Association, could we possibly apply for grant funding to hire a consultant to do an assessment of the area to determine the sources of pollution and possibly an action plan from the assessment, or would DEP be willing to come and sample/assess the area? 

 On a related issue, a DCNR grant to Lebanon County is a five-year grant.  Since the purpose for the grant (to manage county-owned parks/trails--Governor Dick, Union Canal Tunnel, Monument Park, Rail Trail, and Rexmont Dam) is different from the perception of the committee (to help municipalities and non-profits with all county parks/trails--South Hills, Jonestown Boro, Levitz, Swatara Water Trail...), action to create a county-wide park system will wait for the completed comprehensive plan, then hopefully proceed.

 Speaking engagement at Lebanon High School to help raise funds for the Quittapahilla wetlands project at the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center.  Quality voice, instruments, and ballet were incorporated into the evening.

 Questions on storm water management systems in the Lickdale area.  Is the new hotel going to discharge directly into the stream?  Drawings were obtained from County planning.

 Many hunters sacrificed watching the Eagles-Falcons game in order to participate in the 5-1/2 hour long Public Comment period on Sunday.  There were 73 people who signed up to speak at the PGC meeting. Twenty-six hunters spoke of seeing too few deer; Fifteen (primarily farmers) report up to seeing 100 deer at a time and were concerned about crop damage. The cable restraint style traps were a concern of six speakers and the Fort Indiantown Gap takeover of land in SGL 211 (Stoney Valley) had four people speak out against it.  McSurdy pointed out that a suggestion surfaced for a six-week extension of doe licenses for this area.  Hovis referenced a 260-page technical deer management plan published on the PA Audubon Society web site.

 Other:

¨      Republican Herald:  12/16/04 Covered bridge gets reprieve—County will repair span near Pine Grove.

¨      Harmon highlighted a CSP-Conservation Security Program for farmers to install best management practices.  Shortly a four-six week sign up window will occur.

¨      Hovis referenced a USGS data set that calculated the cubic feet per second on Indiantown Run and Manada Creek equaled a 230 or 280-year flood.  Further, Hovis is looking for youth groups to assist with butterfly habitat.  Public comment will also be sought to a tank trail.  FIG is pursuing easements for their conservation plan.  A Battle of the Bulge Reenactment is currently playing out at FIG.

¨      Haag said the airplane at Twin Grove Park should be operational this season.

¨      Light invited everyone to the Lebanon Valley Home at 6:30PM to a slide presentation on “Nature’s Footprints”—mammals.  Further, Light extended an invitation to a May 25 Audubon banquet featuring George Constance from Canaan Valley Institute.

¨      Conner recently attended a Growing Greener Rally in Harrisburg.  The Green Ribbon Commission recommended a ballot referendum.  Conner was also elected chairman of a regional committee for the State Water Plan.

¨      Embich invited Todd Moses, from Skelly & Loy, to talk about urban and suburbanized streams.  Other speaker suggestions included:  Earl Meyer, County Planning on the Comprehensive Plan and a DCNR representative on Swatara State Park.  Embich also reported on a new contract with the State to monitor Water Quality Network 211.

¨      Lasky reported that the Quittie would participate in the United Way Day of Caring by coordinating a cleanup project.  Lasky also expressed dismay over not receiving a notice to a hearing on the Quittie footbridge. 

¨      Donmoyer pointed out that the renovation of the covered bridge would include a handicap fishing area and wetland.  Bob Evanchalk was appointed to the Schuylkill County Conservation District.  Tom Davidock was appointed as a Watershed Specialist.  She is also involved in a Breeding Bird Atlas for Swatara State Park.

¨      McSurdy will be sharing a hiking schedule that will include Gold Mine, Evening Branch and St. Anthony’s Wilderness to Box Car Rocks.  To avoid rattlesnakes and fence lizards, November is a likely date.

¨      Henderson highlighted Kreider’s Natural Area, 17 acres that is part of Stone Noll at Spring Creek.  Signs have gone up, but a stand of mature white oak trees have come down in the tornado.  As a tribute to the tornado, the plan is it to allow the land to regenerate naturally.  There is a concern about invasive species.  Another developer has fourteen acres of wetlands that Henderson would like preserved.  It will take a cooperative effort with neighboring townships.  He’d also like to see Dinosaur Rock become a destination.

 There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.