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SWATARA WATERSHED ASSOCIATION

Lebanon, PA USA

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

 

 

Swatara Creek Watershed Association

November 29, 2006

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the November 29, 2006 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office.

Attendees:  Dick & June Blouch, Harvey Bomgardner, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon, Joe Hovis, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Doug Ramsey, Jack Stouffer, Mark Swartz, John Worrilow.

BUSINESS:

¨      Tom Embich, showed a film on flooding in the Swatara Watershed.

¨      Swatara State Park

o       Old State Road---Call from the Governor’s office. 

o       Inwood Iron Bridge:  Drawings reviewed.  Stone-like features.  Higher orientation will allow more water to pass under the bridge and accommodate routing of the rail trail on the West side.  Upgrading of the original structure will not allow two-way ‘ traffic (only 14’ wide) nor provide for safe pedestrian and bicycle crossing.  Using the same footprint will reduce need for many studies.  Timeline requested.  Questioned if the height of the walls allow a view of the Creek.

o       Bordner Cabin:  Successful Party on the Porch attributed to active participation by all in attendance. Certificate distribution by mail will occur to volunteers who couldn’t make the event.

¨      Still awaiting results of plan review by DCNR.

¨      Concrete work—Ramsey shored up cement under kitchen step.

¨      Tree removal—high winds predicted.

¨      Electricity—former student interested in this project.

¨      Picnic table—Seek price estimates from Jono; BigHouse Industries by Donmoyer; LCCTC; Troop 25 Eagle Scouts.

¨      Doors for storage areas:  Allwein took measurements. 

¨      Security Camera experiment going on.

¨      Temporary outdoor toilet in place, $40 per month.

¨      Pumpkin watch.  Blouch and company were thanked for their stewardship.

¨      It came to our attention that debris from the former Bordner shed were deposited on the former Vasil property, which had recently been cleaned up.  Unfortunately, some of the debris washed downstream during the last storm event. 

¨      Grant and award applications—Mr. Cox and Nonprofit Innovation Award applications will be filed.

¨      Preservation of Water Trail Access Sites—

o       On a Stouffer/Worrilow motion, SCWA will pursue acquisition of the Waterworks, East Hanover Township Water Trail site, which is the center point on the 90-mile Trail.  This vital link houses a Union Canal lock, provides riparian protection to the stream, includes a picnic pavilion, has the option of camping and golfing, and can become part of a multi-county corridor along the Swatara Creek.

o       Route 22 access—Blouch will take a look at reported dumping at this site.  In cooperation with the Lebanon Water Authority, the site may be closed over the winter months.

o       Awaiting final payment by DCNR.  Tatanish contacted.

Other:   

Farm preservation—survey whether or not up to $1500 per acre is adequate compensation for farmland preservation.

Conner mentioned that Jim Heisey made her aware of wells being dug for public water supply along the Little Swatara.

Hovis reported that:

¨      1941 buildings are being replaced with new block buildings at Fort Indiantown Gap.

¨      A $7 million waste water treatment plant replaces a 1940s model.   The new plant will treat up to 2.5 million gallons per day. 

¨      For reducing water and energy consumption, FIG received a Gold Rating, and is now in the finals for a national Natural Resources Conservation award.

¨      Five years of water monitoring of streams is complete, and a report is pending.

Following up on his Bugs, Bunnies, Bucks, Birds, and Butterflies report, Joe stated:

¨      The butterfly project continues as FIG is incubating caterpillars.  Through this “legacy project,” FIG seeks 25-100 acre lots on which to release the butterflies whose main diet is arrow-leafed violets.  These violets tend to grow heartily after a field has been burned.

¨      36 bucks were harvested on Day 1 at FIG.

So that sparrows don’t nest in them, Blue bird boxes that are installed are cleaned out.

October 25, 2006

 Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the October 2006 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office.

Attendees:  Bob Arnold, June Blouch, Betty & George Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Carol Keesey, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy, John Worrilow.

BUSINESS:

¨      Congratulations to Conservation District award winners who are members of SCWA:  Dick & June Blouch, Tom Embich, John Worrilow

¨      Swatara Sojourn PA Organization of Watersheds and Rivers check accepted.

¨      Susquehanna River Basin Commission Streamside Cleanup check accepted. 

¨      DonorEdge Foundation Profile reviewed.

¨      Swatara State Park

o       Vasil cleanup—Building still standing; debris piles remain (for natural decay?).

o       Old State Road---Tree hanging across road near closed Inwood Bridge was removed.   Thank you Swatara Township!

o       Bordner Cabin

¨    Get a quote from Jerry the Concrete man to repair kitchen step walkway and entry steps.

¨      Obtain a quote on a picnic table—Jono by Light; BigHouse Industries by Donmoyer; Troop 25 Eagle Scouts.

¨      Doors for storage areas:  Offers from Elaine Ludwig, Twin Grove Park, and Chuck Allwein who would make them from planks.  Plank doors preferred. 

¨      Sandblasting of spade on fireplace—Gretta & Jim Rank.

¨      Submitted Landscape plan created by Art Schiavo to Bill Friese.

·        Remove invasive species like tree of heaven;

·        Remove non-native species;

·        Plant with native species like pawpaw and spice bush;

·        Mulch with natural materials from site;

·        Hershey Nursery and Meadowood Nursery committed to project.

¨      Footbridge justification (additional justification welcome):

·        Replace a previous single plank bridge that was dangerous to cross;

·        Provide access to a wider range of people with less mobility;

·        Expand educational and environmental opportunities;

·        Access scenic overlook/photo opportunity;

    Provide an alternative to crawling over the rocks which is more damaging to the stream ecology;

·        NL Rotary committed as a sponsor;

·        Promote community involvement and buy-in.

¨      Security Camera justification (additional justification welcome):

·        Safety of visitors;

·        Protect the structure, as well as SCWA and the public’s investment;

    Inventory visitation of the cabin

·        Previously, parties Halloween eve & vandals visited the cabin and spray painted graffiti;

·        Recent visit where vandals burned brochures, scribbled in journal, and removed a screen;

·        Public land implies public scrutiny, observation and surveillance.

¨      Water Wheel justification (additional justification welcome):

·        Historical education and restoration;

·        Will not impede or redirect flow of water;

·        Aesthetics and ambience.

¨      Composting toilet justification {Temporary PortaPotty on site} (additional justification welcome):

·        Smaller footprint than removed shed;

·        Convenience for visitors to Bordner’s cabin;

·        Time-saver for cabin workers;

·        Bio-Sun technology does not require a drain field or hard-wired electricity;

·        Demonstration of environmentally friendly way to recycle human waste.

¨      Sunday "duties"-2PM on Old State Road in Swatara State Park: 

·        Recognize family:  Linda Dietz, daughter; Nancy & John Gambler, Gerry Boltz

·        Refreshments:  Drinks, Jo Ellen.  Other:  Blouch, Ludwig, Donmoyer, Butler, Alwein…. 

·        Allwein:  Ladder, lanterns, table, chairs (More lanterns-Arnold & Donmoyer)

·        Hilton:  Generator

·        Ravegum:  Certificates

·        Podium, 150 programs, pictures, tool bags, broom and dustpan, garbage bags, hammer & nails, roll of screen, flag, canopy.

Guest Speaker:  Tom Embich on sediment.

DATES: 

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10/28 Watershed Forum @ the Lebanon EXPO Saturday.  Registration opens at 8Am.  Breakfast is served.

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10/29 Party on the Porch, 2PM at the Armar Bordner cabin.  Public welcome.

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11/14 Scott Weidensaul, 7PM at Sweet Arrow Lake clubhouse; slide show on Return to Wild America:  A yearlong search for the continent's natural soul.

September 27, 2006

The SCWA meeting was called to order at the Watershed office.

In attendance were:  Dick Blouch, Betty and George Conner, Doug Deppen, Denise Donmoyer, Stephanie Harmon, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, and John Worrilow

Business:

We received acknowledgement of receipt of our sales tax renewal form.

Bordner Cabin update:  Running Total:  549.5 Hours & 35 volunteers.  Thank you!  Picture CDs, certificates, and/or Tool Belts were distributed to volunteers. 

¨      Completed Projects:  Roof, floorboards, window screens, bug treatment, pictures hung, and welcome center.

¨      Committed Projects:  Interpretive signage, landscaping, tree removal, graffiti removal, falls repair, security system installation, and mantle.  Waiting on delivery of solar light.

¨      Available Projects:  Adopt-A-Cabin for a month, composting toilet, bridge (NL Rotary looking at this), steps and walkway masonry gone over, water wheel, banister & stair case spindles, porch railing (obtain picture from Ditzler), large picnic table and benches, scavenger hunt.

¨      October 29, Party on the Porch:  2PM.  Ribbon Cutting (rain or shine).  Bring a lawn chair.  Park at the Appalachian Trail Bridge, and we’ll shuttle you to the cabin.  Light refreshments.  Donor and volunteer recognition and appreciation.  Everyone welcome!

¨      Meet with Bill Friese to discuss doors to storage areas, security cameras, electricity….

Title to Old State Road remains with Swatara Township. 

On the Bethel road segment near the driveway to the cabin, an old cast iron pipe was observed.  After Denise checked with Bill Grumbein who lived at the Forge, it is believed that Colonel Acrygg, who owned the property while building the Union Canal in the 1800s, installed the pipe from Swatara Furnace.

Milton Hershey Center for Land and Water – Prioritization of services/needs of center:  Grants and fundraising; technical assistance; outreach.  Overarching areas include education and partners and collaboration.

Deppen reported that 9-12” muskies will be released in the Swatara Creek above and below the American Water Company dam in Hershey.

Worrilow moved and Blouch seconded a motion to nominate Betty Conner and Constance Hoffer for reappointment to the Lebanon Conservation District board. 

If a date is still available, Blouch’s are willing to man a booth at BassPro (as long as it is not on a Penn State football day).

A discussion concerning the City dropping the lawsuit against the Lebanon Water Authority ensued.  The Authority may hire sixty-five City employees.

Calendar:

¨      September 27, 2006 – At the Lebanon Valley Home, 550 E Main St., Annville, the Audubon program will feature students, including Samantha Walmer who visited Hog Island off Maine’s coast.  Future programming will include Sally or Betty Ray on a vernal pool inventory by the Middletown Conservancy.

¨      September 30 – Boy Scouts will complete a cleanup at the Water Works canoe launch.

¨      October 9 – GGII applications will be available for Lebanon County funds.

¨      October 24 – LCCD Awards banquet at Hebron Fire Hall, 5:30PM

¨      October 27 - Pumpkin walk at Quittie Nature Park, 7-9 PM.  SAFE, from LVC will be assisting with the evening.

¨      October 28 – Lancaster Lebanon Watershed Forum @ LV EXPO, 9AM-noon.

¨      November 14 - Sweet Arrow Lake program by Scott Weidensaul, 7PM; Scott is a birder and naturalist who wrote Return to Wild America.  Also learn when banding of Saw Whet owls will commence (They’re on some of our State license plates).

August 30, 2006

Welcome!  The meeting was called to order at the site of the Bordner cabin.  In attendance were:  Bob Arnold, June Blouch, Denise Donmoyer, Bob Evanchalk, Stephanie Harmon, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, and John Worrilow.

Business:

We will submit a sales tax renewal form.

PA Flood Disaster Relief as of 8/10/06

Berks

451 applications

$661,790

Dauphin

127 applications

$132,780

Lebanon

240 applications

$473,688

Schuylkill

1496 applications

$2,073,488

Bordner Cabin update:  Running Total:  268 Volunteer Hours

Newest Partner:   PA Conservation Corps.  Members of the corps introduced themselves to SCWA, then went to work on the roof.

Ian Donmoyer will create a graphic art of the falls with a quote on stewardship.

A discussion ensued to send out the original appeal for funds along with an update on the extra materials needed to complete the cabin roof--for example, tongue and groove boards and tarps.

Worrilow suggested that we create a “sign-in” log for visitors to the cabin.

On a motion by Donmoyer, seconded by Worrilow, SCWA will purchase a self-contained solar shed light as an experiment to illuminate areas inside the cabin.

Arnold pointed out the dead tree on the northwest corner of the cabin.  Dead branches could break off and fall through the new roof.  We will add tree removal to the project list.

Available Projects: 

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Adopt-A-Cabin to monitor and spruce up for a month

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BioSun composting toilet (big ticket item)

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Bridge over stream

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Interpretive signage - Team Leader Jo Ellen

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Landscaping with native plants - Team Leader Art Schiavo

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Remove graffiti - Team Leader Gretta Rank

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Mend leak in falls - Team Leader Eagle Scout candidate Alex Bailor

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Security System - Team Leader Ed McGowan

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Solar electric

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Large picnic table and benches in living room.

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Replace mantle

 

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Remove and replace shingles on north side - Team Leader Pa Conservation Corps per Frank Brennan, Steve Fegley and Tom Killian

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Level stone step and walkway

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Tongue and groove floor holes from heating system.

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Water Wheel

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Window guards or screens

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Replace west porch railing with "Armar"

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Replace balcony banister & stair case spindles.

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Scavenger hunt for original or similar items for self-guided interpretive tour- Everyone!

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Remove dead tree on nw corner of cabin

County bridges:  On deteriorating bridges, weight limits may be reduced and over-head bars installed, which will restrict access to passenger vehicles--or alternatively, closure.

Program-PA Conservation Corps:  Many people have commented that they didn’t know the Conservation Corps still existed.  They associated the Corps with projects after World War II.  They are presently surprised to find out that the Corps still exists.  In reality, there are 50 Corps teams around PA.  During emergencies, crews can be called to assist PEMA with search and rescue or emergency repairs.  The team assisting SCWA is based at Sweet Arrow Lake in Schuylkill County where they complete projects like building repairs, make primitive furniture, cut up dead trees, and create trails.  We couldn’t help but think that a Corps team for Swatara State Park sounded like a wonderful idea.  There is a team that is authorized for Middle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, but currently inactive since they are looking to hire an experienced tradesman as a crew leader.  Interested individuals can apply at Careerlink.

Team members are between the ages of 18-25.  They are either working on their GED or on their way to college.  Upon completion of one year of service, each member qualifies for a $1000 bonus, and eventually over $4000 towards college expenses.  They are permitted to participate in the program for two years.

House Bill 534 was reviewed, and supported on a Donmoyer/Blouch motion.  The bill provides health care benefits for Conservation Corps crewleaders. 

After the meeting adjourned, SCWA cleaned up fallen debris from inside and around the Bordner cabin.

Calendar:

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October 27 - Pumpkin walk at Quittie Nature Park, 6-8PM.  SAFE, from LVC will be assisting with the evening.

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October 28 – Lancaster Lebanon Watershed Forum @ LV EXPO, 9AM-noon.

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November 14 - Sweet Arrow Lake program by Scott Weidensaul, 7PM; Scott is a birder and naturalist.

July 26, 2006

Attending today’s field session were:  Bob Arnold, June Blouch, Michelle Campbell, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack and Lois Stouffer, and John Worrilow.

Next Friday, August 4, 2006, a screening of “The Great Warming” will take place at SCWA headquarters at 9:30AM.  Donations will be accepted.  Stonehaven Productions will receive one-half of the collection, and the other half will go toward Swatara Watershed projects.

Once again, Water Melon at the Water Works was a success.  We picked up three bags of garbage on land near our adopted canoe launch with the PA Fish and Boat Commission, and surveyed flood damage, including ‘debris’ caught in strainers across the Creek.  We will recover some interesting treasures on our next Sojourn.  The posts were leaning, but stone placed at the site after Ivan remained.

The historic bridge on Tow Path Road at Water Works was discussed.  The phone number for FEMA’s Historic Specialist was obtained, and will be provided to Gloria Smith.

Disaster Recovery Assistance information was shared.  Apply at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) for housing, tax, unemployment, or agricultural assistance, and food stamps and grants for special needs.  You can also register on line at www.fema.gov/about/process .

Those in attendance received an update on the status of Tom Lane’s pollution problem in North Annville Township.  SCWA empowers citizens with tools like contact information at all levels of government; facilitation and discussion among parties; and how to document problems, conduct research, and organize presentations.  Since Tom seems well-equipped with these tools, as volunteers, SCWA feels they should take a back seat to a highly capable individual.

The lease came for the Bordner cabin.  Hurrah!!!!  During this next week, we will finalize a parts list and round up what is needed to roof the cabin.  We will also visit Bethel Township to see if we need a permit to replace the roof.

We listened when you said you didn’t want the cabin dismantled.  Now we need your help.  We could use a skilled roofer or carpenter to volunteer as our Team Captain/coordinator, to make sure we do a quality job.  Volunteers will do the work, but donations of nails, felt, sheeting, drip edge, ridge vent, planks, cement and/or cash are still needed, so please don’t be bashful about sending in a few dollars, or many dollars, or supplies.  Elk is generously providing green shingles.  We also would like to install a security system, get interpretive signs made, maybe replace the bridge across the stream, and address storm water from the hill.  The signage or bridge might even make good Eagle Scout projects.  While the roof and insurance are priority, we’d love to hear your ideas.

Work sessions will be scheduled and announced shortly.  All volunteers must complete a ‘Volunteers in Parks form,’ which is posted at http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/State%20Park/AdoptACabin.htm .  Use this same form for your organization to "Adopt a Cabin" for a month to monitor the cabin, serve as tour guides, and keep the place sparkling. 

PS.  Please make checks payable to SCWA, and mail to 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 4, Lebanon PA  17042.

Embich will research available DEP security.

The June 28, 2006 meeting of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association was called to order.   In attendance were:  Bob Arnold, Betty Conner, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon, Ann Lasky, Dave Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, and John Worrilow.

An audit by Faren and Garcia was approved on a motion by Embich/Arnold.  Taxes and charitable organization forms will be signed and submitted to IRS and the state of PA.

SCWA signed and submitted the lease for the Armar Bordner cabin to DCNR.  We are awaiting a copy of the executed lease and written permission to begin roof repairs. The recent 13+ inches of rain emphasize the immediate need.  $1720 of a $5000 goal has been raised to date to help pay for these critical repairs.  Please consider sending your contribution to SCWA today.  Also, an experienced team leader is being sought to create a materials list, coordinate volunteers, and organize workdays.  Conner volunteered to research additional grants for repair of the log cabin.

Members discussed today’s flood, which crested at 18.28’ on the Swatara Creek at Harper’s Tavern along Route 934 north of Annville.   For reference, USGS data is posted at http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/flooding.htm .  People have been evacuated from their homes, bridges and roads have washed out and closed, and the Myerstown sewage treatment plant is under water, thus not functioning.  As a result, Commissioners and Governor Rendell declared a state of emergency.

SCWA will inquire about the current status of legislation on the Lebanon Water Authority.  Because we have members on both sides if the issue—an Authority board member and the brother of a councilman—SCWA placed an olive branch on the table by offering to host a meeting between both parties to seek a friendly resolution to this litigious situation.  In an effort to exhaust every opportunity to resolve the conflict,  SCWA offered to help find an acceptable mediator to both parties by presenting a list of high level officials, attorneys, accountants, and water experts.  Of course, parties could suggest other mediators. 

Coleman’s Park is in need of funding to stay solvent, and grants may be pursued through DCNR.

The July meeting will take place at the Water Works canoe launch.  Embich and Arnold will make an assessment of flood damage.

Dave Lasky gave a report on the Quittie Watershed.  The Hazel Dyke runs from Elm Street near the Veteran’s Administration Hospital to the north and, behind Pushnick’s, joins a cement channel holding the Quittie.  Channelization on the Quittie starts at Lincoln Avenue and ends at 22nd Street, just north of Chestnut Street.  Rocky Powell recommends creating more wetlands to reduce flooding.  Dave also mentioned that the Quittie is now running in its original channel on the south end of Cleona; and Joe Lannon completed an Eagle Scout project by planting potted shrubs in the bank.

Ann Lasky led a discussion on garlic mustard, which can be eaten.  In fields, the garlic mustard crowds our wildflowers.   A duck race is scheduled for September in Quittie Park.  Spotts, Stevens and McCoy made changes in the design for the bridge across the Quittie.

Harmon mentioned upcoming events:

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7/5 at noon, the Center for Land and Water

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7/18 from 3-5PM, the Lebanon Comprehensive Plan at the Commissioner’s office

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7/24 along the Snitz Creek, west of Cornwall Elementary, Rocky Powell will assess the geomorphology of the Creek.

Conner read Roger Fickes’ retirement notice, and reported that his successor is from Maryland, a Mr. John Norbeck, who attended the FBI National Academy and has a history with canals and river shorelines.  It sounds like a good match for the Swatara Watershed.

May 31, 2006

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the May 2006 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office.

Attendees:  Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon, Carol Keesey, Jo Ellen Litz, Laura Maillet, Jack Stouffer, and John Worrilow.

BUSINESS:

¨      Burn Bans throughout the watershed were lifted

¨      Swatara Sojourn Recap:  May 6 & 7.  Response cards all had favorable comments.  For those who previously portaged the north bank at American Water Works, the southern portage seemed much easier—level, grassy, and shorter.  As a thank you, picture CDs were sent to sponsors. 

     ¨      DonorEdge (Greater Harrisburg Foundation), a required class was attended.  Registration entered online, including audits, IRS letter of determination, & tax forms.  Requested if and when adopted:

o       Management Succession Plan

o       Board Selection Criteria

o       Fundraising Plan

o       Strategic Plan

o       Policies and Procedures

¨      Swatara State Park

o       Vasil cleanup—no update.

o       Old State Road---Bethel Township turned over their rights. 

o       A map was circulated to show improvements for the $5 million released for the park.

o       Bordner Cabin

¨      Lease received.   Liability insurance required.   Quote from Susan Patches @ Zinn $200-$300 annually

·        Attorney Henry reviewed lease.  Highlights:

o       ADA thoughts explained.  No problem.

o       No rent to pay;

o       10-day out;

o       Sweat equity would be lost.

¨      Seek donations of materials, $5000 cash for immediate repairs, insurance, security system, signage….  We will contact the following directly, but all citizens and businesses are most welcome to help save the Bordner cabin.  Please make your tax deductible contributions payable to SCWA, and mail to 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 4, Lebanon PA  17042. 

·        Elk Corporation, shingles

·        PA Conservation Corps, labor

·        Lebanon County Career and Technology carpentry class & Ed McGowan—security cameras

·        Builder’s Association, labor and materials

·        Master Gardners—native plants

·        Northern Lebanon Foundation – retired teachers want to contribute to help repair the Bordner cabin.

·        National Parks Service, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network for signage of a point of interest on the Swatara Water Trail

·        Lowes and Home Depot, supplies

¨      A carry in, carry out litter policy will be enforced.

¨      After repairs, the cabin will be available as a destination on the Swatara State Park’s Heritage Trail.  Hikers will be able to rest and gaze at the falls, take pictures, or paint scenes of the cabin, falls….

¨      Seek volunteers and Adopt-a-Cabin monthly guardians.  Establish a 5-year plan.  Your group is welcome to email swatara@mbcomp.com .  Please provide the name of your organization, address, phone number, mission statement, names, addresses, phones, and emails of all volunteers.  Also, the State Park requires you to sign liability releases.

·        Boy and Girl Scouts

·        Church groups

·        Conservation groups...

The Lebanon County Conservation District is the first group to volunteer to adopt-a-cabin for a month.  Donmoyer restated that historically, the Bordner site is included in an 1800’s history of Pine Grove as a picnic spot.

On a Stouffer/Donmoyer motion, SCWA will pursue signing of a final lease.  Worrilow abstained.

Other:   As part of SCWA’s management succession plan, we will look at adopting all or parts of the Center for Land and Water’s proposal.  We will forward a list of priorities to help the new group focus on what is needed.

DATES: 

¨      June 15, the Quittie Assessment final report will be presented at 7PM in the Annville Town Hall.

¨      July 23- Lake Appreciation Day at Sweet Arrow Lake.  1PM canoe from the club house around the Lake, followed by a program, then a covered dish social.  Contact Donmoyer or Keesey at 345-8952 or 345-8684.

¨      July 26-  Field work--Watermelon at the Water Works, SCWA’s annual litter cleanup and maintenance of our adopted canoe launch on PA Fish and Boat commission property.

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September 23, 2006 Walkin’ Jim Stoltz, a long distance, solo wilderness hiker from Big Sky, Montana, will present his 20th anniversary program, “Forever Wild” fee of charge at 100 concerts across the United States.  In our area, the concert will be held at Mechanicsburg Middle School

April 26, 2006

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the April 2006 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office.

 Attendees:  June Blouch, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon, Rugh Henderson, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Matt Royer, Emily Wade, and John Worrilow.

BUSINESS:

¨      Lebanon Water Authority Annual Report circulated.

¨      Water in the Swatara Creek is close to normal, just above 2’, for this time of year, but ground water has a way to go to fully recharge.

¨      A Burn Ban is in effect for Lebanon County.  The recent 2” rain has penetrated the soil a few inches, but will dry up quickly if not followed by another soaking rain.  To avoid wild fires, more green vegetation needs to appear.  A controlled burn, with fire apparatus on hand, could be accommodated on a one-time basis for the Quittie Wetland.

¨      Quarry Water rises as Pennsy battles sinkholes April 11, Patriot News article discussed.

¨      Kittatinny Ridge posters distributed.

¨      Nominations for LC Conservation District Awards.  On a Lasky/Conner motion, Tom Embich is nominated for Conservationist of the Year for his many contributions—like monitoring of WQN 211, role as a Water Trail guardian filling map boxes and maintaining Water Trail access signs, Environmental teaching at HACC, program chair for SCWA, shepherd of the Handwerk stream stabilization project….; John Worrilow for Special Recognition for his many years of service on the Water Authority and guiding force on the Swatara Watershed—from manning the Watermelon at the Water Works station to learning GIS in Shephardstown WV; June & Dick Blouch for their CREP farm and active involvement in SCWA—clearing Water Trail paths, driving shuttles on the Swatara Sojourn…; Jason Probst for the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Farm Award where SCWA sponsored Best Management Practices; Rhonda Sowers, Educator of the Year from Northern Lebanon High School; and George Christianson for his recycling of Brownfields.

¨      Swatara Sojourn Planning:  May 6 & 7 from UCCR, East Hanover Township, Lebanon County to the PA Fish and Boat Commission launch in Middletown, Dauphin County.

o       “Swatara patches” will be awarded to each Sojourn participant.

o       Volunteer coordinators reported:

§         Administration:  Write grant(s), sponsor letters, obtain canoe rental prices, confirmation packets, brochure, post to web site, invite dignitaries, contact Indian Echo Caverns, coordinate with POWR…Current Count 44 Saturday & 42 Sunday. - Jo Ellen Litz 

·        Special Guests:

¨      Respectfully Declined due to prior commitments:  Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, DCNR Secretary DiBeradinis,

¨      Accepted: Mike Folmer

¨      Ted Walke, PA Fish & Boat Commission

§         Shuttle Team- Tom Embich & Richard Blouch

§         Land Logistics- Jack Stouffer

§         Safety Team- Andy & Liz Ramsey

§         Portage Team- Bob Arnold & Tom Embich

·        American Water Works—left bank.  To see new fish ladder, paddle across stream and park.  Walk, do not paddle, upstream for a photo op.   Hydraulics could pull a craft into the turbulence and capsize.

·        Middletown—no portage necessary.  Heavy equipment removed dam.  Water is low in areas.  Heavy rains needed to scour sediment that was trapped behind the dam breast.  Walking craft through low water will be easier than a complete portage on land.

§         Program Team- Denise Donmoyer

§         Food Team:

·        Saturday breakfast- June Blouch; doughnuts

·        Saturday lunch-Betty Conner; Subs, granola bars, oranges, drinks

·        Saturday dinner-Trinity UMC, Lickdale; Homemade PotPie

·        Sunday breakfast; Jo Ellen Litz; bananas, cereal, juice

·        Sunday lunch- Ann Lasky; pizza

 Swatara State Park

o       Vasil cleanup—no status change

o       Old State Road---Swatara Township did not turn over it’s rights.  As we understand it, they are waiting for a written management plan.

o       Bordner Cabin:  Letter received granting permission to negotiate a lease. 

o       Due to inclimate weather, Earth Day cleanup in Swatara State Park was cancelled.

 Other:

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Conner relayed May 9 as a Capital Region Water Board planning meeting to plan workshops and May 24 as their regular meeting.

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Henderson highlighted a new office of Farm Transition sponsored by the Department of agriculture, which will provide a resource for farmers needing guidance to transfer their land to the next generation.

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Light invited everyone to learn about wood rats at the 7:30 PM Audubon meeting tonight.

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Lasky gave accolades to both the Lebanon Valley College field hockey team and Palmyra honors students who helped to mulch and pull garlic mustard from Quittie Creek Nature Park.

Guest Speaker:  Matt Royer proposed a regional Center for Land and Water to work with Hershey Trust and the public sector.

DATES: 

¨      May 6 & 7 Swatara Sojourn--from Union Canal Canoe Rentals in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County to the PA Fish and Boat Commission launch in Middletown, Dauphin County.

¨      May 15 – Lower Susquehanna Regional Water Resources Planning Committee meets to  comment upon a draft introduction for a State template. 

¨      September 23, 2006 Walkin’ Jim Stoltz, a long distance, solo wilderness hiker from Big Sky, Montana, will present his 20th anniversary program, “Forever Wild” fee of charge at 100 concerts across the United States.  In our area, the concert will be held at Mechanicsburg Middle School

March 29, 2006

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the March 2006 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office, 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon.

Attendees:  Bob Arnold, Dick & June Blouch, Betty Conner, Harvey Bomberger, Tom Embich, Doug Deppen, Denise Donmoyer, Janie French, Stephanie Harmon, Carol Keesey, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy, Susan Parry, Emily Wade, and John Worrilow.

BUSINESS:

¨      Doug Deppen, PA Fish and Boat, presented a program that would introduce a $3-$5 junior license fee.  Proceeds would go toward youth oriented education and events.  Comments and reactions were shared.

¨      Swatara Sojourn Planning:  May 6 & 7 from Union Canal Canoe Rentals in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County to the PA Fish and Boat Commission launch in Middletown, Dauphin County.

o       “Swatara patches” are in.  Samples distributed.  Patches will be awarded to each Sojourn participant.

o       Volunteer coordinators reported:

§         Administration:  Write grant(s), sponsor letters, obtain canoe rental prices, confirmation packets, brochure, post to web site, invite dignitaries, contact Indian Echo Caverns, coordinate with POWR…- Jo Ellen Litz

§         Shuttle Team- Tom Embich & Richard Blouch

§         Land Logistics- Jack Stouffer

§         Safety Team- Andy & Liz Ramsey

§         Portage Team- Bob Arnold

§         Program Team- Denise Donmoyer

§         Food Team:

·        Saturday breakfast- June Blouch; doughnuts

·        Saturday lunch-Subs, granola bars, oranges, drinks

·        Saturday dinner-tba

·        Sunday breakfast; bananas, cereal, juice

·        Sunday lunch- Ann Lasky; pizza

 ¨      Swatara State Park

o       Vasil cleanup—Both trailers and tires are gone, which is a huge improvement.  Kudos to DCNR!  A debris pile remains, and the deteriorated buildings must come down.

o       Penn DOT took a look at Old State Road today.  Follow-up hearings will be held at Swatara and Bethel Townships concerning abandonment of Old State Road.  Tom suggested a dirt and gravel road demonstration project.

o       Bordner Cabin:  A management plan and letters of support were mailed to DCNR and elected officials.  We now have the name and contact information of Armar’s daughter, Linda, who resides in Arizona.  She is thrilled at the effort to save the cabin, and would like to be kept informed. 

o       April 22, Earth Day, we will cleanup in Swatara State Park in conjunction with the United Way’s Day of Caring.  Your name and shirt size are needed in advance.

Other:

¨      Stephanie distributed an Earth Day calendar of events.

¨      Denise distributed Sweet Arrow Lake programs, which are also online at www.schuylkill.us .  Click on the butterfly on the bottom left side of the page

¨      John provided historic insight into a previous name for Rattling Run—Rustic Falls.  He also announced the opening of a headquarters for SOS-Save Our System, which is a citizen’s group on a mission to collect about 4000 signatures from City voters in twenty days.  The headquarters is in the old Saylor’s Pharmacy building on Chestnut St., across from the Post Office in Lebanon.  On a related note, John said that the Lebanon Water Authority has offered to run the Authority independent of the City.

¨      Betty also stated that the Senate unanimously passed legislation to require any authority to seek approval from 75% of serviced municipalities.

¨      Betty also made us aware that mention of a ground water inventory is not included in the LSRWRPC document.  The USGS is creating a water budget by calculating  precipitation, evaporation, a pour point…. 

In the Swatara Watershed, we are aware of two times in our history when ground water stopped flowing—when the canal diverted water leaving the mills dry and in the Hershey area.  It is SCWA's opinion that knowing the level of our ground water is very important!

¨      Janie concurred that the health and quantity of ground water need addressed.

¨      The SRBC is working on an abandoned mine site in Cambria County that would pump water from Bakerton to the Black Lick Creek in Ohio.

¨      Dave made everyone aware of a park scheduled for a closed section of the Pine Grove Landfill.

Guest Speaker:  Matt Royer will be rescheduled due to the birth of his son.

DATES: 

¨      April 22 Earth Day cleanup in Swatara State Park, 9-12.

¨      May 6 & 7 Swatara Sojourn--from Union Canal Canoe Rentals in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County to the PA Fish and Boat Commission launch in Middletown, Dauphin County.

¨      May 15 – Lower Susquehanna Regional Water Resources Planning Committee meets to  comment upon a draft introduction for a State template. 

¨      September 23, 2006 Walkin’ Jim Stoltz, a long distance, solo wilderness hiker from Big Sky, Montana, will present his 20th anniversary program, “Forever Wild” fee of charge at 100 concerts across the United States.  In our area, the concert will be held at Mechanicsburg Middle School

February 22, 2006

In attendance were:  Dick Blouch, June Blouch, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Rugh Henderson, Carol Keesey, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy, and Emily Wade.  

For the County of Lebanon, Wilson Consulting is submitting an application to PADEP to replace a flood damaged bridge in East Hanover Township on Coon Creek Road, which crosses Raccoon Creek.

In preparation for a meeting with DCNR and Senator Brightbill on Monday, further review of the Swatara State Park Master Plan took place.

Further, Blouch moved, and Embich seconded, a motion to participate with the United Way Day of Caring cleanup of the Vassil junkyard and Rail Trail in Swatara State Park.

Stream mitigation projects compliant with SCWA’s Rivers Conservation Plan were reviewed.  McSurdy suggested Sand Siding Road.  Embich suggested all Water Trail launch sites.  Conner suggested culverts at Monroe Creek.  Litz will follow-up with an offer for remediation funds.

Embich moved, and Conner seconded, exploring registration with the former Harrisburg Foundation.

Kudos to Blouchs and Arnold who cleared a path from Route 22 to the Swatara Creek Water Trail Access. 

Embich reviewed the progress of the George Fry Trust Middletown dam removal.  This cooperative venture with the Fish and Boat Commission is waiting for low water to proceed.  The firm of Yost and Davidson, Hershey, is handling the project.  Because the dam is privately owned, there is no public review.

Conner moved, and Embich seconded, a motion to support and encourage the Lebanon Valley Conservancy to pursue and preserve a 33.5 acre riparian parcel along Swatara Creek in East Hanover Township.  The Union Canal and a lock is part of the parcel, which lies in a flood plain.

The $300,000 Quittie grant assessment is at the end of Phase II.  DEP is encouraging implementation of findings.

Light invited everyone to a Bluebird presentation at the next meeting of the Audubon Society.

Facilitating the County Comprehensive Plan, Supervisor Henderson is working on model ordinances to allow citizens to put their non-farm land into preservation.  Incentives for participation may include items like enforcement relaxation of weed ordinances.

Sojourn Planning:  At a cost of $100 each, Donmoyer presented and received approval for programs which will be presented free and open to the public:

¨      Between 11:30 and 12:30 on Saturday, May 6, in period costume, Matthew Dodd, Mechanicsburg, will perform Union Canal songs on banjo, guitar, and harmonica at Boat House Road Park, Saturday’s lunch site.

¨      At 6PM, Dauphin County Wildlife Rescue will bring critters to Hershey Highmeadow Campgrounds.

Keesey presented a picture of the new aluminum bridge over Sweet Arrow Lake, which was photographed by her husband.  Schuylkill County tourist promotion guides were also distributed with the Lake sunset on the cover.

The National Park Service has proposed a Captain John Smith Historic Trail.mm2007 will mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown and Smith’s monumental exploration of the Chesapeake Bay region.  During 1607 and 1608, Smith and his crew of just over a dozen men courageously traveled and mapped almost 3,000 miles along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  Public input is south during February 2006.  For more information, visit http://www.senate.gov/~sarbanes/pages/press/063005_cap_jhn_smith_trl_pass_somd.html ; http://www.conservationfund.org/?article=2766&back=true ; or http://www.johnsmith400.org/trail.htm .

Guest speaker at the March meeting will be Matt Royer from the Conewago Watershed Association.

January 24, 2006

Welcome all!  At 9:30AM, the January 2006 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office, 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon.

Attendees:  Bob Arnold, June and Richard Blouch, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Rugh Henderson, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, Ray Swingholm, Al Winn, John Worrilow

BUSINESS:

¨      On a Worrilow.Blouch motion, a bid for audit will commence and be awarded.

¨      The Lebanon County Comprehensive Plan Survey is online at http://www.lebcocompplan.net/ .  Provide your feedback today.

¨      Swatara Sojourn Planning:  May 6 & 7 from Union Canal Canoe Rentals in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County to the PA Fish and Boat Commission launch in Middletown, Dauphin County.

o       For the first time POWR is registering all sojourns with the PA Fish & Boat Commission.

o       Mark Panasow, Hershey Highmeadow Campgrounds, is reserving camping spots for us to overnight on Saturday.

o       A boy and girl scout troop have already expressed an interest in participating.

o       On a Light/Embich motion, approval was given to purchase “Swatara patches” to award to all participants.

o       Volunteer coordinators were assigned:

§         Administration:  Write grant(s), sponsor letters, obtain canoe rental prices, confirmation packets, brochure, post to web site, contact Indian Echo Caverns…- Jo Ellen Litz

§         Shuttle Team- Tom Embich

§         Land Logistics- Jack Stouffer

§         Safety Team- Andy & Liz Ramsey

§         Portage Team- Bob Arnold

§         Program Team- Denise Donmoyer

§         Food Team:

·        Saturday breakfast- June Blouch

·        Saturday lunch

·        Saturday dinner

·        Sunday breakfast

·        Sunday lunch- Ann Lasky

¨      East Hanover Township:  Land along the Swatara.  Supervisor Donmoyer reports that progress is being made..

¨      Rail Trail:  Mt. Gretna spur diagram shared.

¨      Swatara Bridges:  Engineer’s article on wooden bridges says that salt deteriorates cement and iron, but preserves wood.  PA has more wooden bridges than other states.

¨      Swatara State Park:  The Swatara Creek Watershed Association has, as its current priority, the completion of Swatara State Park. 

o       Toured the Armor Bordner cabin.  Sent pictures to DCNR Secretary DiBernadinis.

o       Attended 12/8, 7PM Swatara Township hearing on Old State Road, which was continued to February 9.

o       To keep things manageable, we invited a few key people with different levels of expertise to our session on the Bordner cabin and Old State Road.  However, we sought input by email.  On January 12, SCWA met with DCNR representatives Roger Fickes, Greg Schrum, and Bill Friese.  Roger Fickes said, “We blinked.”  SCWA was also presented with a copy of the Master Plan and Appendix’s.  We are patiently waiting.  Senator Brightbill, Representative Zug, Congressman Holden, commissioners and supervisors were updated.

o       Karen provided photos of flowers and animals taken by Mike Adams.

o       Betty located an article on the cabin by Pat Seaman with photos by Earl Brightbill.

Bordner Cabin:

¨      SCWA knows of a potential offer to replace the roof; an offer of labor from the PA Conservation Corps; and if need be, two locations a few feet from the State Park to where we could move the cabin.  However, our preference is to leave the cabin in place.  While we were patiently waiting, Schuylkill County was offered the cabin for Sweet Arrow Lake. 

¨      The Swatara Master Plan does not say to remove the Bordner Cabin.  In fact, at the very least, in the main Plan, Bordner's cabin is documented on pages 8 and 13, and Acrygg's Falls is reviewed on page 29.  Even in the recently published July 2005 Appendix II, the Cabin appears on pages H2 and M4. 

¨      In our opinion, the Bordner Cabin can be a "point of interest" on the Heritage or another Trail; a place for artists to paint nature; a place for a vending machine, a first aid station; a Union Canal interpretive site-- Engineer Acrygg owned this site and used it for picnics; an overnight for Appalachian Trail hikers; a platform for people to sit and gaze at the falls; or a chapel. 

¨      A discussion of the BioSun composting toilets in Section G pages 10-12 is enlightening.  Apparently, the Bio-Sun does not need a liquid field, and can run on solar panels.  This is the direct opposite of what was suggested at our meeting. 

¨      Page 124 states, "the site impacts of smaller buildings are relatively insignificant...and will have a minimal impact on the site and existing storm water run-off patterns. 

¨      P123 "Wood siding and trim, the traditional exterior wall material for the farm buildings in the region, will be used as a major interior and exterior building material....  Pennsylvania timber products will also be utilized.  As I understand it, Armar's cabin used lumber found on the site.

¨      Further, page 149 shows proximity to the 501 and Raush Gap shelters.  It also says, "Appalachian Trail hikers can use the facilities and park resources as a stopping point or staging area for a trail sojourn." 

¨      In my opinion, all these references support the retention and repair of the Bordner cabin in its current location.

 Old State Road:

There were only so many dollars allocated for development of the Park, and Appendix II of the Master Plan Feasibility Study relates to impact from I-81.  PennDOT or the MPO were asked if they can help to pay to correct these problems from I-81.  I-81 and Old State Road are only 200’ apart.  Accidents spew litter down the bank.  Storm water runoff is a concern too.  Quotes from the Study follow:

  1. Trail segments near I-81 in the proximity of Aycrigg's Falls require buffer plantings to reduce the visual and help temper the auditory influence of the interstate (M-1).
  2. Drainage:..During Old State Road construction, culverts were provided to allow the natural surface flow from Blue Mountain to be conveyed under Old State Road.  With the completion of I-81 in 1970's, these tributaries were subject to increased flows from stormwater runoff from the highway road surface and associated right-of-way.  It appears that the original culvert designs along Old State Road are unable to effectively convey the peak volumes of stormwater that are now generated.  This condition has resulted in the Old State Road pavement being very damaged and in some cases compromised, at low spots in the landscape....(Among others), the section of Old State Road northeast of Bordner's Cabin (on the attached map in the Lebanon County section), closely parallels I-81 and exemplifies surface drainage flow across the road surface.  The slope between I-81 and Old State Road is very steep where Old State Road was constructed terraced into the existing hillside.  Old State Road acts as an impediment to the natural flow of surface drainage that includes stormwater runoff from I-81.  As a result, the upslope side of Old State Road shows severe signs of pavement stress.  To alleviate this situation, a drainage ditch has been constructed on the uphill side of Old State Road.  However, this ditch has collected large amounts of debris that inhibits proper drainage (M-4).
  3. In this area, the slope between I-81 and Old State Road is steep and the presence and influence of the interstate becomes unavoidable.....
  4. Drainage:...increasing the size of the culvert may be necessary....In areas where upland drainage flows across the current road surface, a trench with a subdrain should be considered for construction on the uphill side of Old State Road.  The subdrain would consist of a perforated pipe installed parallel to the road in a bed of crushed stone.  The pipe would act to direct drainage to a location where a culvert can convey the runoff under the road surface....Another option would be to remove the culvert and part of the road for replacement with a small bridge.  Although this option would likely be more costly, a bridge would create a point of interest along the trail and enhance the experience of the park user (M-9)....

Of note, for the seven model parks highlighted in the Master Plan, the number one activity was "pleasure driving."

The Dirt & Gravel Road program provides funding to maintain dirt and gravel roads.

Page 129 outlines a "recommendation" that the mid-portion of Old State Road be vacated as a roadway and converted into part of the multi-use trail loop system that circumnavigates the park.  The word “recommendation” suggests "wiggle room."   Emergency, maintenance, and special permit access (for those with mobility limitations) would still be accommodated.  This confirms the road will be maintained to accommodate emergency vehicles, but expands upon use for "special permit access." 

Page 131 states, "Existing former roads..., former driveways,... have been incorporated, where feasible, into the trail system.  The point that can be made here is that the road is shared with trail users at both ends of the Park.  Only the middle four miles is scheduled for limited access--to reduce interaction with pedestrians.  A standard road must be 20' wide to accommodate two-way traffic.  On a Worrilow/Stouffer motion, it was agreed that comments for a position paper on the cabin and road will continue to be taken through February 1.

-------------------------

¨      City takeover of the Lebanon Water Authority is proceeding.  Zug and Brightbill introduced legislation prohibiting a takeover when there are more patrons paying into the system from surrounding municipalities—unless 75% support the change.  If successful, according to the Mayor, the City will be bankrupt.  Joint attorney fees may reach $500,000.

¨      BassPro report on our kayak:  Used it on the sojourn, doing a demo at the Union Canal Tunnel, and displaying and answering questions at events like BassPro's fish and boat weekend, the EXPO, and Levitz Park.  We submitted pictures to a lot of people/organizations. 

¨      Embich will ask Matt Royer to be a guest speaker at a future SCWA meeting to review a proposal for a regional organization.

¨      A Forever Wild program was reviewed.  SCWA was asked to help co-sponsor the event.

¨      A donation from the aluminum company, Carol said the 81’ brushed aluminum bridge arrived at Sweet Arrow Lake.

¨      Denise mentioned that Aquafix maintenance is necessary for the diversion wells to work properly.

¨      Betty reported that of February 6, the State Water Plan will look at regional components on the Lower Susquehanna.

DATES: 

¨      February 9, 2006, 7PM, Swatara Township hearing on Old State Road.

¨      May 6 & 7 Swatara Sojourn--from Union Canal Canoe Rentals in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County to the PA Fish and Boat Commission launch in Middletown, Dauphin County.

September 23, 2006 Walkin’ Jim Stoltz, a long distance, solo wilderness hiker from Big Sky, Montana, will present his 20th anniversary program, “Forever Wild” fee of charge at 100 concerts across the United States.  In our area, the concert will be held at Mechanicsburg Middle School

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