You are also welcome to join SWA on interactive sites:
Swatara QR Code. Save to your phone.
It's all about Clean Water. Post your pictures of our events, water conservation, floods, pollution. Share your memories about the Swatara.... Our projects and areas of interest include the Bordner Cabin, Eagle Scout Projects, PA Conservation Corps, Swatara State Park, Swatara River, Swatara Sojourn, Swatara Water Trail, Tenaska, Swatara Watershed Park, and Water Companies.
Swatara on Great Nonprofits: http://www.greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/swatara-watershed-association
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Swatara Creek Watershed Association
December 26, 2007
A meeting of SCWA was called to order at 9:30AM at Sweet Arrow Lake clubhouse. In attendance were: Bob Arnold, Dick Blouch, Harvey Bomberger, Denise Donmoyer, Corky and MaryAnn Hanzak, Lynn Johnson, Karen and Richard Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Gee Motter, and Jack Stouffer.
An Arnold/Blouch motion passed to sign a DCNR contract, which will help to fund the purchase in the amount of $190,000 with Rivers Conservation funding from the Keystone Fund. Our project manager will be Salyn Stover. For a listing of all the grants that were funded, visit www.dcnr.state.us . We are waiting on Fish and Boat who should award grants around April 2008. A pre-application was submitted, and we participated in a phone conference. The 33 acre site will compliment the goal of 15 acres of recreation for every 1000 residents in Lebanon County's new comprehensive plan.
Further, SCWA was informed that Vertex Environmental said the site is 8’ above the Swatara. While the golf course is desirable because there are no mature trees, it may be cost prohibitive to move the dirt to use the site as a wetland bank. Attendees asked if the dirt was topsoil that could be sold. In its present state, the site floods a couple of times each year, but official wetlands must be wet “x” number of days per year.
In response to our inquiry about the status of the (SCWA)
request for approval to make improvements including installing electrical power
in the cabin structure in Swatara State Park, we were told that “The cabin does
not meet the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) criteria for an uncertified
building. (SCWA) will need to prepare a full submission to L&I for review with a
cc to our office. L&I will review the submission for all required elements and
advise as to feasibility of requested building improvements. The following link
provides additional information about what will be required: L&I: Building
Codes Home Page
Mr. Motter has experience with and offered to create a horse ring for Swatara State Park, which could help to keep youth active.
Also, there was an inquiry whether or not the bank opposite the closed fossil pit under Route 81 (on the east side of Swatara Creek) could be opened for digging.
Jonestown Mayor Kauffman provided a bid package for a boat launch on the Swatara Water Trail. Bids received until 11:00 A.M. on January 22, 2008.
Chris Cleaver offered the services of the Red Horse Engineers at Fort Indiantown Gap to improve a launch.
U.S. Department of Energy decided to rehear the case against its decision to designate 52 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties as part of the National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor.
Penn National's modification to their existing permit was approved at a recent SRBC meeting. Future plans may include expansion of the amount of water withdrawn. Lebanon County residents are afraid their wells will go dry. Susan Obleski was contacted to inquire about criteria for a public hearing.
Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for Lebanon County The top three hazards identified in Lebanon County are flooding, tornados, and hurricanes/tropical storms. Other hazards reviewed include civil disorder, dam failure, drought, earthquakes, fires, landslides, nuclear power plants, pandemics Hazard Mitigation Plan
10th Anniversary Summit that is being planned. The South Central Assembly in cooperation with the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services of the Pa Department of Community and Economic Development will offer a 2 day conference on Intergovernmental Cooperation for Municipalities and Intergovernmental Organizations January 31 to February 1, 2008 at Harrisburg Area Community College’s Wildwood Center. The Conference will focus on “Barriers, Bridges and Best Practices”
Syner Road Bridge repair contract awarded to Anskis.
An update on the iron Inwood Bridge sparked a discussion of reasons to keep the replacement on track: extensive use by the Youth Camp; in addition to Monroe Valley Road Bridge flooding, so does the Lickdale and Jonestown bridges. We need a bridge above flood level to allow evacuation and/or access by emergency personnel. Completion would take place around 2010.
Karen Light stated that Ohio Wildlife will provide free CDs of bird calls and eight books on various wildlife. Of course a donation is appreciated. 1-800-wildlife.
Video was shown which was taken inside a bluebird house over a forty-day peropd of building a nest, laying and hatching eggs, and raising the young birds until they could leave the nest. A $30 camera inside the bluebird box transmitted the images to a computer and video for viewing and copying.
Also shown was a loon ice rescue on Sweet Arrow Lake. Apparently, loons don’t walk on land. Built for swimming, their legs come out of their sides. It takes approximately one-half mile of open water for a loon to take off in flight. Tied to a rope on a pickup truck, over a two-hour period, two men used a John-boat, sledge hammer and hook to inch their way toward the bird, which was transported to open water.
November 28, 2007
Attendance: Harvey Bomberger, Dick & June Blouch, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Stephanie Harmon, Rugh Henderson, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, John Worrilow.
Lasky highlighted dedication of the Quittie Creek bridge by circulating newspaper articles of the event. The bridge was named after Ray Swingholm. Lasky said it took six years and two lawsuits to get the job done.
Bond: Hoaster Gebhard requires forms be filled in, and will provide a minimum of $300,000 coverage. There was a consensus to move ahead to obtain a bid.
Audit: A motion by D Blouch/Stouffer passed to award the 2007 $1200 audit to Faren and Garcia.
Sojourn: Talked to Bill and Jean Wertz. Sent a CD of past garbage collected to Discovery Channel in Maryland and Dirty Jobs producer Craig Piligian in California. Could not find addresses for cameraman Doug Glover, Dave Barsky or Gena McCarthy. Our theme may be, "The Swatara, NOT dirty enough for Mick Rowe," which could be a compliment.
Wise Property: No news from DCNR about current application or the Fish and Boat Commission about a formal application.
Water Trail--Jonestown Access: Mayor Kaufman reports that bid specs will soon be available.
Dates to Remember:
October 31, 2008
At 9:30AM on October 31, 2008, a meeting of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association was called to order at headquarters.
In attendance were: Bob Arnold, Richard and June Blouch, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Betty Conner, Steph Harmon, Karen Light, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, and John Worrilow.
Tom Embich reviewed the Dauphin County Phase II Act 167 storm water management plan. Spring Creek, on the southwest end of Lebanon County, will be impacted at build-out. Flooding issues may condemn homes. HersheyPark is on Spring Creek, and may be negatively impacted too. Tom also pointed out that because preserved farmland is not pictured, provided zoning and build-out maps are misleading.
Tom also talked about a marbled or tiger salamander that he saw upstream of Yordy’s bridge.
Jo Ellen reviewed the County’s comprehensive plan, and encouraged everyone to read the plan found at www.lebcounty.org and comment. Commissioners will vote to adopt the plan in December.
Pictures of repair of the Creamery Street Bridges leading to the Whitmoyer recreation area in Myerstown were shared. It appeared that the bridge was built across a canal lock.
On a Worrilow/Stouffer motion, the board approved the purchase of a bond on the treasurer. A competitive bid will be sought and the policy will be purchased from the company with the best price.
Cabin sitters Dick and June will perform their service on Halloween eve.
John was presented with a box of bacon.
While there was minimal activity, an update on the sojourn, Bordner cabin, and Union Canal Canoe property took place.
Betty promoted a Drinking Water Protection Workshop next Thursday.
Stephanie was commended for a job well done with the Watershed Forum this past Saturday. For next year’s forum, she is looking for a set of rooms near the Lancaster/Lebanon border.
For an upcoming meeting, members requested that we have breakfast at Twin Grove Park followed by a Highbridge reservoir tour.
Ann announced that the 72’ wooden Quittie Creek Park pedestrian bridge is coming to town on Thursday.
Carol Hickey was highlighted in the Central PA Business Journal. Carol has completed numerous projects on the Union Canal Tunnel Park.
Denise invited everyone to Christmas at the Sweet Arrow Lake Clubhouse on 12/9. A hand-bell choir will provide entertainment. If you haven’t already been there, this is a wonderful cabin on the lake, and well worth a drive. The club members decorate to House and Garden specks. It’s absolutely beautiful. Denise will check if SCWA can hold a December meeting there.
Denise and Karen also reported on their attendance at the two-day Wild Resource Conservation Symposium at the Gap.
Bob inquired if everything is final on Old State Road. Karen thinks it is.
While she wasn’t in attendance, Jo Ellen praised intern Stephanie Blouch for not only shadowing but also pitching in at the Bordner cabin and Conservation District banquet.
A meeting and tour at Coleman Park will also be sought.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
September 26, 2007
Welcome and introductions: Dick and June Blouch, Guest Stephanie Blouch from LVC (a biology sophomore), Betty and George Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Stephanie Harmon, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, John Worrilow.
Bordner Cabin day's Activities:
o Measured length and width of drive and parking area
o Sketched suggested route for underground electric and location of meter base. (Must meet with DCNR representatives to be sure there are no endangered species in the path, then secure an engineer's seal and obtain a right of way.)
o Measured length and width of rooms to recreate a floor plan.
o Sketched and suggested location for emergency lighting, outlets & will contact a volunteer electriciaon to create a materials list.
o Pulled weeds
A Worrilow/Blouch motion passed to pursue Historic designation for the Bordner cabin.
Project volunteers needed for Mantel and Railing
Maintenance-May receive help from Rick Pfleuger and Ed Harman’s Youth Advocate kids on weekends.
Wise Property: No news on grant award from DCNR. No guidelines from Fish and Boat for submission of grant.
A Worrilow/Lasky motion passed to invest $75 in the Susquehanna Center for Land and Water for a DCNR match to complete a plan.
A Gypsy Moth discussion took place. Does spraying make the moths “stronger in the broken places?”
A Worrilow/Lasky motion passed to provide alternate nominations to the LCCD board: Dick Blouch, Fritz Heilman, and Harvey Bomberger, which will help meet State requirements to have at least two nominations for each position. (Two of the three names that fit requirements for the open seats.)
Water Trail payment outstanding
Farm Preservation grid- While not a perfect scenario, if new development occurred on farmland, running a spreadsheet indicates we could run out of farmland to preserve before 2050.
It rises in the Appalachian Mountains in central Schuylkill County, north of the Sharp Mountain ridge, approximately 5 mi (8 km) west of Minersville. It then flows southwest in a winding course, passing south of Tremont, then cutting south through Second Mountain ridge. It passes through Swatara State Park then turns south to pass through Swatara Gap in the Blue Mountain ridge northwest of Lebanon. After emerging from the ridge it flows southwest, north of Hershey, past Hummelstown and joins the Susquehanna at Middletown. It receives Quittapahilla Creek from the west 3 mi (4.8 km) north of Palmyra.
The creek was a significant transportation route in the colonial period of North America up through the middle 19th century. The Union Canal, an early public works project conceived by William Penn in the 1690s and begun in 1792 to connect the Susquehanna and Delaware rivers, followed the lower course of the river below Quittapahilla Creek. The upper course above Quittapahilla Creek into the mountains provided the route of a feeder to the main canal, as well as providing a route to ship anthracite from the mountains to Philadelphia.
Ships Two ships in the United States Navy have been named USS Swatara after the creek:
August 29, 2007
Bank statements and cancelled checks were reviewed.
On a Worrilow/Stouffer motion, the 2006 Financial report was approved as presented.
Wise Propety: Awaiting grant announcement. Talked with Chuck Henry about setting up a meeting to review details of what each entity requests to meet their needs--after a successful announcement.
Sojourn 20th Anniversary planning:
Thank you for any support that you can provide. To comment, you have to register. If the name you choose is 'rejected', try adding a number behind it.
o Applied for Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence
o Suggested River of the Year consideration from DCNR. Even though the name of our waterway is Swatara Creek, in most states, “If you don’t go dry, ‘you’re’ a river.”
o Eddie Kosik, eagle scout project to sign around ten bridges. They would tentatively include Lancaster St. (Little Swatara?), Heilmandale Rd., Ono Rd., Yorty Bridge Rd., Black's Bridge, Gravel Hill Rd., Route 743, Sand Beach Rd., and Route 39. I also suggested 934 in this series.
FYI: 2007 POWR payment received.
Spirit of Jonestown parade: In addition to all of the fun that we had in the Jonestown parade, the Swatara Creek Watershed Association took home a $50 prize. http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/jonestownparade.htm Thank you to Jonestown for including us; Supreme for providing the truck, trailer, and driver for the float; and participants: Lori Sheffy and Scouts, Denise Donmoyer, Dick and June Blouch, Dave and Patti Ravegum, Jen Minnich, Coleen Wolfe, Jack and Lois Stouffer and girls.
Bordner Cabin response received to our ‘Master Plan.’ A meeting took place 8/27/07. Further negotiations yielded positive results. SCWA was granted permission to install an underground electric line from Old State Road to the cabin; security cameras and lighting; and Historic preservation, which will be researched. Jonestown’s Mayor George Kaufman will work with DCNR staff on an acceptable design for the bridge. Even though there is an exception for repairs and replacement, SCWA will ask Bethel Township for a letter of compliance with the PA Universal Construction Code and Labor and Industry for a letter of compliance or an occupancy permit. A ramp for access is under consideration. John Norbeck closed with, “This is a good project for both of us, but it will be a long process for consensus.”
Farm Preservation: When will you run out of farmland to preserve? That's a question posed by our Planning Department. So, I set out to devise a formula. For what it's worth, on average, Lebanon has lost 1400 acres annually, and preserved approximately 1200 acres annually. To accomplish preservation, we've contributed from the general fund, taken out bond issues, received matches from the state, and tapped into the federal farm and ranchland funds.
At the present pace of preservation, in less than 50 years, during the year 2047 Lebanon County will run out of farmland to preserve. At that point, we will have preserved 59,703 acres of our total 223,492 acre land mass, but about 60% of our prime farmland. Without an inflation factor, if an acre of land produces 120 bushels of corn, and each bushel sells for $2.50, an acre is worth $300 annually. If my calculations are accurate, this means that Lebanon County will have lost almost $200 million in the economic value of farmland.
SRBC grant report filed.
Lasky reported that the Quittie foot bridge footers were installed by Lech Brothers, Palmyra. It will be late October or early November before the wood decking is installed. Ann also reported on a vernal pools talk by Gene Wingert.
Rugh Henderson shared his experience with a new Environmental Council in South Londonderry Township. He is pleased with the caliber of applicants to serve on the volunteer board. Further, a private lands ordinance, similar to Ag security areas, allows property owners to post their land as a “natural area.”
Denise Donmoyer relayed that Tom Powers presented a program at Sweet Arrow Lake on ferns, and will be coming back to talk about bats.
The Conservation District, Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Lebanon Water Authority and Ann Pinca (concerned citizen) investigated an acid mine seep on Gold Mine Run which leads to the Lebanon Reservoir, which leads to the Swatara. The seep is quite orange though a frog was seen in it. The water tested to a ph of 6.2 which is not real bad. Reservoir ph has not been a problem according to authority staff.
Program: Based on Mauree Erdman’s original manuscript, Jon Beers, Lebanon Water Authority engineer, presented a detailed history from 1869-1994 of the Lebanon Water Authority. Seven options were studied: a well at 12th and Walnut Streets; Zinn’s Mill; Snitz Creek; Stoever’s Dam; Little Swatara, Quittie at two springs in the headwaters; and Hammer Creek @ Horst’s Mill in Rexmont.
July 25, 2007
In attendance: Bob Arnold, Dick Blouch, Doug Deppin, Tom Embich, Spencer Grogan, Jo Ellen Litz, Nancy Shean, Jack Stouffer
August 11 Parade celebration called, "The Spirit of Jonestown." Jonestown has been around since 1761. SCWA Float: Volunteers welcome to help--theme, The Swatara Flows Through It.
I know that you have been involved with the Swatara Creek for many years. We own 16 +/- acres along the Creek near Lickdale and have for about 20 years. The time has come for us to sell it. Before we list it with a realtor, do you know anyone who might be interested in it? Mark & Eva Stahley, Lebanon, Pa 17046
Weather permitting, we are scheduled to do some maintenance at QEWP next week - Wednesday, July 25th. Start time is 7:30ish to no later than 11:00. Chores include securing netting to rafters on pavilion, filling in holes, killing Tree of Heaven & poison ivy & Multi-flora rose, sweeping floor & washing off tables, weedwhacking around evergreens & signs, repair one of the signs, etc. I hope you can join us. The weather is forecasted as a HOT one, come Wed (90s), which is why we're starting early - to beat the heat. Bring a shovel or a weedwhacker, if you have one - we'll supply the gas.
How much farmland should we preserve? 32,645 acres have already been covered/impacted by existing development
64,691 acres of prime soils
remain in some open space
August 9 at 2 PM. we will meet with Kurt Leitholf, Executive Director, Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council (CNRAC)/DCNR, who will be bringing his administrative assistant to record our conversation, and any of our CNRAC work group members who may be available to participate in the discussion.
Ralph Duquette was appointed to serve on the newly-formed EAC for South Londonderry. He asked for guidance in terms of what the county has for conservation-type committees. A list was provided: Audubon Society, Izaak Walton League, Lebanon County Conservation District, Quittaphahilla Watershed Association, Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Trout Unlimited. Please advise if a group was missed.
Even after costly legal battles that said he had no right, on a Union Township property, Frompovitz may have poured a concrete pad in preparation for water withdrawal for his bottling operation. Union Township is not likely to allow that to happen.
A letter from Matt Royer indicates that the Small Watershed Grant program application was not successful. They recommend trying NOAA or the US Forrest Service.
Eddy Kosik is a member of Boy Scout Troop 8 in Harrisburg.
He has been looking for a service project to complete in order to receive his
Eagle rank. Recently, his troop took a canoeing/kayaking trip down the Swatara
Creek Water Trail, and everyone had a great time. They had trouble, however,
determining which bridges they were passing under as they continued down the
creek. He wondered if his troop could add some form of identification to the
bridges, in order to make navigation easier. SCWA offered guidance. The
local MPO checked whether PennDOT funds could accomplishing signing bridges for
safety. The answer was no. Eddy was encouraged to perform his eagle
project, which could serve as a pilot project. We also shared our request
with the PA Fish and Boat Commission.
Response to Buddy: Thank you for your inquiry. The State has been systematically breaching dams on the Swatara. As I understand it, two issues are driving dam removal. 1) Safety. Low head dams are hard to see as you float downstream. People going over the dam can literally get caught in a death trap. The water pushes you to the bottom, and you can't get up or out. 2) Free flowing streams allow for anadromous fish like Salmon to spawn upstream and catadromous fish like American Eels in the Sargasso Sea. (I hope I remembered that correctly.) In short, I know of no funding available to study the reintroduction of low-head dams on the Swatara.
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2007 8:32 AM
Growing up in Jonestown & remembering the dam Brest which was south of Jonestown on the " little swatara creek '' & was actually located in Bunker hill & being old enough to remember some of the activities that the dam Brest allowed all because naturally the water was held back & was quite deep which allowed boating & canoeing, fishing at its best, ice skating in winter times, as grew older I spent a lot of time along the ' Swattie fishing & boating all because there was enough water to do so, I remember also a dam Brest on farther down the swattie west of the Rt 72 bridge called Mishes Mill Dam which naturally kept the creek flowing higher & I also remember all the people I saw along the water way just enjoying a peaceful time water it was sitting there fishing & relaxing, people with picnic baskets sitting on blankets enjoying a snack, people rafting or canoeing & of course people swimming at the various swimming holes along this water way, if I remember correctly all of these dams were washed away in the 1972 flood & never replaced, as I still drive along the swattie I see the water level so far down that the creek is almost useless for any kind of enjoyment, I know things are different today than they were 60 yrs ago but if thee were dams put back in I am sure the benefits would be more than one could realize, our country spends so much money on useless things that I wont even get into & I am wondering if there couldn't be a study on rebuilding the dams back on the swattie once again, is there a grant out there to do a study & maybe install a dam or two on the water way & give the kids & people of today some of the enjoyment that was lost because these dams were not rebuild ?............................Thank you ,Buddy Schwartz
June 27, 2007
Welcome all! At 9:30AM, the June 26, 2007 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office.
Attendees: Bob Arnold, Harvey Bomberger, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Walt Haber, Steph Harmon, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, John Worrilow,
Swatara State Park
AUDIT: Won’t be completed until August. Since in 2006 we did not meet minimum criteria to file a long 990 tax return and to contain costs, the CPA suggested a review, which is $1200. Board members studied the last three bank statements, and on a Haber/Embich motion, unanimously agreed to accept the CPA’s recommendation. However, in order to provide 1099s to farmers or other partners and to provide copies of our financial statements to grantors, the CPA will be notified that we need future audits completed in a timely manner—no extensions. Further, copies of bank statements and cancelled checks will continue to serve as financial reports at meetings. Audit bids for 2007 may be sought. For an RFP, Litz will seek audit requirements from DCNR and PA Fish and Boat Commission.
Pine Grove Landfill: 2.4 acres will be the final pad. No further expansion will be considered by DEP. The move still poses a risk of leachate for years to come. Bonds must be maintained to monitor the site and protect our drinking water.
July 25 meeting: Watermelon at the Waterworks. Cleanup litter, work on boat launch as needed.
Federal Eminent Domain: An electricity line is proposed to run from other states to New York. Members were not anxious for the State of PA to give up their rights to the federal government for eminent domain. It appears that counties in the Swatara Watershed are targeted for the line—Lebanon, Dauphin, Berks, and Schuylkill. Worrilow questioned the impact of a recent Supreme Court decision.
Comprehensive Plan maps were reviewed. It was suggested that the Comp Plan should not allow utilities and rights-of-way to pass through sensitive areas identified in the National Areas Inventory; preserved farms; or preserved historic sites.
Jonestown 100th Anniversary parade 8/11: On a Stouffer/Harmon motion, the SCWA will try to reserve a trailer from Supreme upon which we will create a float of canoes and kayaks, perhaps hand out Swedish fish to children. Volunteers welcome.
Center for Land and Water: Seeking approximately $15,000 in grant funding to complete a study process similar to SCWAs River’s Conservation Plan.
Donmoyer shared Schuylkill County newspaper coverage of the Swatara Sojourn; and information about a bulletproof toilet installed at Sweet Arrow Lake (cement, but looks like wood).
Lasky said that on July 15 construction should begin on a glue wood-laminate Quittie footbridge. Arnold questioned the number of year flood the bridge is designed to withstand. Ann also announced a program on vernal pools at the Mt. Gretna Hall of Philosophy on July 27 at 7:30PM.
Haber shared that 4-5 miles of the Conewago Trail were stoned, which means hikers and bikers can travel from Zinn’s Mill Road to Elizabethtown.
Light stated there is a program by Tom Powers and Richard Light on ferns at 10AM at Governor Dick. Further, Barb Strawser’s painting of a Schaefferstown barn, Lebanon County’s oldest log barn, is on sale for $40, and monies collected by the Conservancy from the sale of the print will go directly into the log barn project..
Harmon asked everyone to mark his or her calendars and save the date of October 27 for the next Watershed forum to be held at the Quentin Riding Club. Steph is due to deliver Hunter next Friday. We wish mother and son well.
SCWA encourage Robert H. Checket to submit his poem to a Lebanon Daily News contest:
The Swatara Speaks
There being no further business, a Worrilow/Stouffer motion passed to adjourn.
May 30, 2007
Welcome all! At 9:30AM, the May 30, 2007 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office.
Attendees: Betty & George Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Steph Harmon, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Nancy Shean, and John Worrilow.
Swatara Sojourn: Thank you letters were sent to sponsors. Due to a crashed computer, a mailing address for Scott Ihn is requested. The final POWR report needs filed. Comments: Tom suggested that carabineers could be used to slip onto a “tow line” at challenging exits, and the carabineers should be considered as gifts for next year’s sojourn.
Swatara State Park
Wise Property-Union Canal Canoe Rentals Acquisition: In addition to completing an appraisal, an agreement of sale is signed. A May 18 conference call with Lori Yeich and Saylin Stover, DCNR; Scott Bollinger, Fish and Boat Commission; Tom Donmoyer, East Hanover Township Supervisor, and Jo Ellen for SCWA concluded that when SCWA purchases the property with DCNR and Fish and Boat grant funds, SCWA will turn over the property to East Hanover Township. SCWA will hold a management agreement. While DCNR’s grant should be awarded late in summer, Fish & Boat grant rounds are pushed back. Therefore, the agreement of sale was amended, and settlement should take place by April 2008. A Worrilow/Embich motion passed to sign a DCNR amendment to our grant application, which states that the Governor’s staff will review our grant application.
Pennsy Supply withdrew a lawsuit against the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.
The Dauphin County Conservation District will host an Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan meeting on June 28 at Hummelstown Boro, 1PM. Tom will complete a questionnaire that was provided for comment.
Notice was received concerning an Interagency and Intergovernmental plan for an Environmental Planning Multi Purpose Training Range on 900 acres to establish a surface danger zone in connection with the National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap. SCWA Board comments will be received by email through June 8, and combined into one document for consideration. The preferred alternative includes the establishment of a SDZ on a portion of SGL 211 in connection with the operation of the MPTR at NGTC-FTIG. Under this alternative, a 900-acre portion of SGL 211 would serve as a SDZ for the MPTR for up to 90 days per calendar year when the MPTR is in operation. A proposed cooperative land use agreement between the DMVA and the PGC would include additional limitations on the use of the 900-acre SDZ and provide for consideration for the PGC allowing this military use of SGL 211. THE DMVA and PAARNG is requesting baseline information regarding any concern that SCWA may have as related to the potential environmental issues at, or in the vicinity of, the proposed action. A response is due on or before June 18.
DEP provided a report on the Horseshoe Pike property that contained numerous tires. All waste material issues have been resolved.
Worrilow emphasized the importance of tracking volunteer hours that can be used for a grant match.
Conner started a verbal discussion tracing the path of the Union Canal through Lebanon County:
· East of Prescott Road, the Canal followed the Tulpehocken Creek.
· From Prescott Road westward, the Canal follows Route 422, then heads north on the west side of WalMart off of Lehman Street to Canal Street.
· From there, around 7th Street, the Canal headed north again to Maple Street, and then westward toward West Lebanon where the Union Canal Tunnel is located, and follows the Creek to the Water Works where the Canal then follows the Swatara Creek to the County line.
In preparation for an East/West trail, Embich, Conner, and Shean are researching map and lot numbers.
Donmoyer reminded everyone that 2008 will be our 20th year of canoeing and cleaning up the Swatara Creek. We should keep our eyes open for programs and music that will make 2008 our best year ever.
Donmoyer also invited SCWA members to a covered dish on Friday, June 8 at Sweet Arrow Lake for an “appreciation tour” at 6PM.
Lasky invited everyone to Old Annville Days on June 9. Visit Quittie Creek Nature Park’s stand.
Lasky also mentioned a Vernal Ponds talk at Mt. Gretna and the possibility of the bridge over the Quittie getting started this summer. Final design has not yet been selected by the contractor. For a comparable bridge needed at the Bordner Cabin, Lasky suggested looking at the 30’ span created at Levitz Park.
Harmon noted that Rachel Carson’s 100th Anniversary was on May 27.
Harmon also invited everyone to a noxious weeds workshop on June 6 from 9AM to noon. Cost is $5.
Finally, Harmon suggested that SCWA members may want to attend a Comprehensive Plan public meeting either June 12th at Northern Lebanon High School or June 20th at HACC. Both meetings begin at 7PM.
George Conner commented on the progress and depth of activity completed by SCWA since our inception attending landfill hearings in Pottsville about two decades ago. Worrilow reminded everyone that we made 23 trips to the Schuylkill County Courthouse. With the numerous lawyers asking questions and denying admission of evidence if the material was not created by the presenter, Worrilow had stated he was afraid to quote the Bible, which he did not author, for fear of being declared out of order. He closed by stating every question was asked except, “Did you Boscov today?” John always brings a smile to our face, and sometimes a belly laugh.
Worrilow also mentioned that Water Authority member David Etter had a stroke and was recuperating at Hershey Medical Center.
Today’s Patriot contained a picture of Gloria Smith by an abandoned Union Canal Tunnel at Water Works. Embich declared that because it both straddles the stream and travels under the Union Canal Tow Path and canal as well as being the largest tunnel to perform this task, this tunnel is unique, second only to the Union Canal Tunnel near West Lebanon. Embich will contact Silldorff to see if there is interest in approaching the PHMC for historical designation and funding to repair the Tunnel. A FEMA letter dated March 15, 2007 and provided by Congressman Holden states that “the poor condition of the bridge was not disaster related…(and) there are no FEMA programs available to assist these families.”
April 25, 2007
Welcome all! At 9:30AM, the April 25, 2007 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office.
Attendees: Bob Arnold, June Blouch, Betty & George Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, John Halsberi, Stephanie Harmon, Scott Ihn, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, John Worrilow
Swatara State Park
Denise: Saturday at 9AM, Sweet Arrow Lake will conduct a walk.
Stephanie: Energy information distributed.
Karen: Audubon at 7:30 tonight. Hershey Zoo birds of prey at the UCC Home, Route 422, Annville. Six students will receive camperships to Hog Island, Maine.
Doug Ramsey is traveling from State Park to State Park as a “home-school” project with his children.
March 28, 2007
The Swatara Creek Watershed Association was called to order at 9:30AM. The following people were in attendance: Bob Arnold, Dick & June Blouch, Betty and George Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, John Worrilow.
A Gateways Network DVD was played, and Gateways maps were distributed.
An Embich/Arnold motion passed to write a letter of support for the Lower Susquehanna Center for Land and Water.
Litz provided an update on the Wise Union Canal Canoe Rental property. The appraisal should arrive later today. To facilitate a matching fund requirement, a lease has been requested. SCWA’s letter of retroactivity is for this grant round only.
Swatara Sojourn: Portable toilets are ordered; Blouchs will order Sunday breakfast; Conners will serve Saturday lunch; Saturday, in costume, McSurdy will provide an Indian history; the Down to Earth Band will perform Saturday night; Litz will check on parking at Jonestown; Additional ideas for Sojourn programs included Banjo Bob and Porcupine Pat.
Bordner cabin: Members signed up to help spruce up the cabin during United Way Day of Caring on April 21. Pre-registrations may qualify to receive a t-shirt.
Old State Road: Swatara Township supervisors voted 2 to 1 to turn over ownership to the State. At the meeting, Friese said that he would ask the State if they would provide financial assistance for this purpose. Reviewing some of the public comments, Sunday seemed to be a popular request for sight seeing. Again, carriage rides were suggested as an alternative to motor vehicles on a Sunday.
An update on the Water Works Bridge revealed that FEMA made payment to one of the eight families who own the bridge to complete repairs, but “the poor condition of the bridge was not disaster related…. This resulted in FEMA recouping the funds from this family, which were awarded in error." It was recommended that the US Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Program might provide assistance. The local office is at 2120 Cornwall Road, Suite 7.
“New River Rules” are in effect for withdrawals from the Susquehanna River.
To determine current ownership of the Union Canal, Embich assigned research segments to volunteers. Donmoyer will provide an historic map to make sure that the correct quadrangles are reviewed.
Blouch reported that Ben Schriver sent out information to interested Union Township residents requesting their participation in an Ag Security Area.
Light invited everyone to an Audubon meeting this evening at the Annville UCC Home.
Lasky anticipates bid openings for the footbridge across the Quittie. Should no bids come in, designs and firms were lent to Lasky. Pennsy Supply donated stone, and Penn DOT provided a $55,000 grant.
An Arnold/Light motion passed to provide a letter supporting a Rain Garden grant for the Ag Center.
A Stouffer/Harmon motion passed to provide a letter of support for the Quittie storm water wetland at Chestnut Street.
Harmon distributed Earth month activity calendars, and offered to provide sample wording for the two previous motions.
Donmoyer announced a Trout Breakfast at Sweet Arrow Lake for the next two Saturday mornings starting at 6AM. Cost is $5 per adult and $3.50 for children.
Arnold requested to review financials on sojourn expenses and the Bordner cabin. Spreadsheets were provided.
February 28, 2007
Welcome all! At 9:30AM, the February 28, 2007 SCWA meeting was held at the Watershed office.
Attendees: Bob Arnold, Dick & June Blouch, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Carol Keesey, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Ray Swingholm, and John Worrilow
Fredericksburg Water and Sewer Authority-New lifetime member.
25x25 certificate received. A new initiative is available to pay 50% of the cost to install solar power. Gail believes the best way is photovoltaics on the roof with an intertie to the grid. No storage problems that way. The federal tax credit for this is extended thru 2008.
Swatara State Park
Lebanon Daily News
December 5, 2006, Pennsy Supply initiated litigation in federal District Court seeking both a preliminary and permanent injunction, and declaratory judgment, invalidating the final rulemaking action by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. December 29, the Court suspended the application of the final rulemaking pending a determination on the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction. February 20, 2007, the Court denied the plaintiff’s preliminary injunction request and the final rulemaking became immediately effective. Further information can be found at www.srbc.net/projreview.htm
February 28- 7:30 PM, Audubon on Raush Gap by Randy Watts.
March 31-Sweet Arrow Lake stocked with trout. Pancake and sausage breakfast from 6AM-10AM.
Duck farm locating in Washingtown Township is on land zoned agricultural, and nutrient management plans …are being scrutinized by the Schuykill Conservation District.
Program: Tom Embich explained a project on the Codorus Creek that may benefit the Swatara Watershed Association. The 250.2 mile long Codorus Creek lies south of the City of York. It’s 10’ high banks are unstable. There is a lack of woody vegetation, and split channels, channelization, and high sediment load are common. In 1999, a study occurred to determine the loss rate of topsoil. In the end, 5’ long pins were driven horizontally into the banks, one pin a few feet above the other pin. In two locations over a 16-month period, between 3.5’ and 4.8’ of soil were lost. Tom proposes a similar study be conducted on the upper reaches of the Swatara Creek.
January 31, 2007
Introductions: Bob Arnold; June and Richard Blouch; Harvey Bomberger; Sue Bowman, Lebanon County Housing Authority; Sherry Capello, Palmyra Borough Manager; Denise Donmoyer; Tom Embich; Steph Harmon; Rugh Henderson; Sharon Hill, P.G., DEP - Bureau of Mining and Reclamation; Ann Lasky; Jo Ellen Litz; Doug Ramsey; Timothy Saylor, PG Rettew Associates; Dajen Sherman, Palmyra Borough Management Support Assistant; Richard Wherley, Lebanon County Housing Authority; John Worrilow.
We wish Happy Birthday to Karen Light and get well wishes to Secretary Betty Conner!
Worrilow/Arnold Motion Unanimous—Approval of all minutes and actions of previous year.
Worrilow/Arnold Motion Unanimous—Approval of Faren & Garcia to perform audit, IRS taxes, Charitable Organization papers…at a cost of $1800.
Worrilow/Lasky Motion Unanimous—Nomination and election of officers and board members for 2007. With the exception of Stephanie Harmon replacing Chuck Wertz on the board, all officers and board members were re-elected to their positions.
Dues--$20.00 annual dues are due. Denise Donmoyer and Doug Ramsey dues were received this date.
Worrilow/Lasky Motion Unanimous: Support 25/25 (25% renewable energy by the year 2025) Currently at 6%, would require 1% per year to reach this goal. Includes, wind, solar, ethanol, bio-diesel…. http://www.25x25.org/
Worrilow/Embich Motion Unanimous: Nominate Jeff Werner as the second nominee for farmer director for the LCCD.
Received: Waiver of Retroactivity on 33.69 acres along Swatara Creek applicable to Round 13.5 of Keystone/Growing Greener funding under the Department’s Community conservation Partnership Initiative with a grant deadline of April 13, 2007. Volunteer to help write the grant? http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/growinggreener/site/default.asp
FYI: State sales tax status renewed.
Marie in Senator Folmer's office asked for a list of potential Steering Committee members for the
Northern Swatara Rail Trail: Richard Blouch, Kyle & Tammy Boltz, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, George Facer, Stephanie Harmon, Mayor George Kauffman, Bret Lentz, Jo Ellen Litz, Doug Ramsey.
Sojourn Organization May 5 & 6, 2007:
¨ POWR Grant Applications are due on 2/23/07, and agreements will be mailed on 3/12/07.
¨ Provide two registrations to PFBC in exchange for advertising for the Swatara Sojourn
¨ Cost: Adults $15 per day; Children $5 per day (accompanied by adult)
¨ Volunteer coordinators: Additional volunteers and confirmation of last year’s volunteers requested.
§ Administration: Write grant(s), sponsor letters, obtain canoe rental prices, confirmation packets, brochure, post to web site,…- Jo Ellen Litz
§ Shuttle Team- Tom Embich & Dick Blouch
§ 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 – Izaak Walton League
· Saturday dinner – Sponsor needed
· Sunday breakfast – Sponsor needed
· Sunday lunch- Ann Lasky
¨ Embich/Blouch Motion Unanimous: Purchase two picnic tables at $169 each from Jono Hardware—includes delivery.
¨ Alex Bailor‘s Eagle Scout project at Acrygg’s fall is complete. Send him your thanks at 284 Troy Ave., Lebanon 17046.
¨ Feature article on cabin by Steph Harmon in Bottom Feeders (Fall/Winter 2006) Lebanon County Conservation District newsletter.
¨ Worrilow/Blouch Motion Unanimous: The “Center Bedroom” will be the Sponsor Room, and $1000 plus donors are welcome to provide a sign no larger than 2’x3’ for display.
¨ Worrilow/Arnold Motion Unanimous: Hold Sojourn lunch at cabin on Saturday.
¨ Tom Killiam “smootzed” around the chimney.
¨ Worrilow shared an opinion from Coleman’s Park legal counsel: If a tree falls and hurts someone or causes damage, a live tree is considered a work of God and a dead tree is something that the property owner should be aware of and take action to remedy.
¨ Blouch reported that there was no vandalism at the cabin.
From Bill Friese: The request by SCWA to furnish and install a picnic table in the living room area is approved.
DCNR will take care of the water well and septic abandonment. I am currently consulting with our design staff regarding your request for SCWA to furnish and install two wooden crossbars in each window opening for safety purposes. I will update you on this item next week.
Our department is currently reviewing the following project requests by SCWA:
3. Electrical service
4. Security system
8. Permanent toilet structure with holding tank
Old State Road: The State needs an answer.
Mr. Garrison had no septic system and was running his sewage out to a hole he had dug in the ground and a trench to carry it away. The DEP was brought in as well as Hazmat. It was further discovered that there is a spring very nearby that people use to get drinking water. Worrilow/Blouch Motion Unanimous: Offer to work with Swatara Township on the sewage problem in Rockwood, possibly acting as a pass-through for matching funds requiring participation by a non-profit.
Center for Land and Water seeking name suggestions that tie the Center to the geographic region:
¨ Dutch Country Center for Land and Water
¨ Capital Area Center for Land and Water
¨ Heritage Center for Land and Water
Grant opportunities compiled. Center will be housed at the Hershey Research Park.
In February, the (Greater Harrisburg) Foundation website will go live for grant funders. 150 DonorEdge Profiles will be viewable by donors. Swatara Watershed has their Profile containing goals and financial data in the Foundation system.
Quittapahilla Watershed is approaching landowners along Chestnut St. (behind the old Hanford dealership) to construct a wetland bank, which will settle out sediments, phosphorus and nitrogen. Frank Anthony purchased the adjoining historic limestone house, at 3056 Chestnut St., North Cornwall. The yard is subject to flooding.
Tires: We were asked if tires piled on the ground are a hazard if they are on rims. Phil Hall, West Nile Virus coordinator, says that piles of tires on or off of rims are a fire hazard. Once ignited, they can burn for weeks, and the oil that runs off pollutes the streams. Also, during heavy rains, tires can wash down stream.
Apparently, the Route 322 junkyard was in operation before the enactment of the zoning Ordinances and, therefore, entitled to maintain themselves as a pre-existing use.
In addition to a Township license, PennDOT junkyard licenses, may be $100 per year, 717-787-9829.
Business Journal Innovation Award notice, “While the organizations’ contributions to its community are significant and well deserving of recognition, it was not selected as one of this year’s Nonprofit Innovation Awards finalists in the Collaboration category.”
Coleman’s Park priority list and request for volunteers shared.
¨ Intersex fish posing an environmental intrusion for Chesapeake Bay
¨ Dreams still flow on the Swattie
Thank you to Dick Blouch for cleaning up the Route 22 launch.
http://www.greatgreenamericafest.com/index.html It’s been 36 years since the first Earth Day, and the initial reviews were that the concept was little more than a nice idea, an opportunity for students to learn about the planet they were about to inherit.
Now those former students are in their 40s and 50s. A lot of them are parents. Some of them are CEO’s. Others are teachers, factory workers, more. All of them drive cars, heat their homes, breath the air, drink the water…and all of them are concerned about the future. It is, as Newsweek magazine pointed out in a cover story of July 2006, the new “greening of America.”
Enter “The Great Green America Fest,” July 13-15, 2007, on the grounds of Mount Hope Estate & Winery in northern Lancaster County PA, with a Friday night kickoff concert by a highly popular national performer. The 8 PM concert is just the beginning of a weekend full of live music ranging from country and bluegrass, to blues and rock, to Celtic and folk. As always, the estate’s microbrewery and winery will be open, as will some 20 food kitchens.
Denise Donmoyer: Report from Northern Swatara Creek Watershed Association meeting:
1st 1st ANNUAL GROUNDHOG DAY CELEBRATION
Friday February 2, 2007, 9:00AM
SWEET ARROW LAKE CLUBHOUSE
Join “GROVER” the Groundhog
and his friends from Grundsau Lodge # 5
for the Schuylkill County Groundhog Day prediction!
Coffee and Donuts will be served by the fire
PA Dutch stories will be told by members of the Gundsau (Groundhog) Lodge
A PA Dutch video feature will be shown
For information call 345-8952
1. Annville Township mulched the Christmas trees, The Quittie Creek
Nature Park partnering with the Quittapahilla Watershed Association and the
Lebanon Valley College environmental group, SAFE will spread the mulch in the
park on Feb. 10th.
Steph Harmon: April 13 is the deadline for Growing Greener applications $5000 WREN grant applications are alsoavailable for Watershed Protection and Source Water Protecion education projects throughthe League of Women Voters. WREN grant applications are due April 2.
Dick Blouch: Union Township is working on securing 500 farm acres as an Ag Security Area.
Program: Sherry Capello, Palmyra Borough manager
¨ 120 Sinkholes in Palmyra and their relationship to the adjacent sub-watersheds (Killinger Creek, Quittapahilla Creek, Limestone quarries to the northwest, north, and northeast of the borough.
¨ The Housing and Redevelopment Authority has a sinkhole in a senior project parking lot north of Route 422 in Palmyra.
¨ The County of Lebanon has a sinkhole at the prison—near Route 422.
¨ Last year, Hershey Highmeadow Campground had a stream dry up. Also, a sinkhole opened up in the Swatara Creek.
¨ Why are more and more sinkholes appearing, especially this time of year?
o Is the major cause storm water runoff? One of several contributing factors. The rise and fall of the water table—1” or more of rain, vibration from roads, building construction, or blasting also contribute to sinkholes.
o Does artificial lowering of the water table contribute to sinkholes? Yes, within a cone of depression.
o Is there an active fault line? No. There is a USGS web site that updates activity frequently.
¨ Sherry said that, “There is no such thing as a typical sinkhole.” Palmyra Borough started tracking sinkholes in 1997. They have filled 60 holes on public property. Five have re-opened. Because it is a State road, Palmyra’s biggest challenge is the Forge and Birch Street sinkhole. In past years, the state completed repairs, but has changed their position, and will only complete resurfacing and repair grates. Palmyra Borough does not have authority to deem it unsafe or close the road. Another 60 sinkholes were identified on private property, but those sinkhole repairs are the responsibility of the landowner.
¨ Using Bushkill Creek near Nazareth as an example, Sharon Hill, DEP, said that trucks create more vibration than blasting from a distant quarry, and this vibration is what causes sinkholes large enough to collapse bridges….
¨ Timothy Saylor, PG Rettew Associates, said that, any disturbance from construction of homes and roads, vibration of vehicles traversing a road or parking lot, or a change in the water table will lead to sinkholes. When repairing sinkholes, Saylor recommends a 16-ounce geotextile material as a liner. York Building Supply is one source of the 16’x200’ roll at $1.50 per square yard. Overlap edges by two feet, and drape the hole. This allows the water to slowly filter through and reach the aquifer. Otherwise, a new sinkhole will open up nearby. See the attached diagram for proper layering of stone, sediment….
¨ Tom Embich touted the benefits of natural repairs, including an expanding clay called Bentonite.
¨ A 1993 study of the Carmeuse Quarry produced insufficient information to evaluate a relationship. There, “did not seem to be a relationship.”
¨ Encourage the purchase of sinkhole insurance. Commercial policies may include this coverage while homeowners may have to add-on the coverage—approximately $85 annually. Some insurance carriers do not offer this coverage. Others only pay for repairs to buildings, not the sinkhole itself.
Embich/Ramsey Motion as amended Unanimous: As it relates to sink hole repair and storm water management, Swatara Watershed offers to partner with Palmyra Boro or any municipality or non-profit in the Swatara Watershed to facilitate education, stencil storm drains, provide written support, or act as a pass-through for matching funds requiring participation by a non-profit.
Bomberger/Embich Motion Unanimous to adjourn.