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

 

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SWATARA WATERSHED ASSOCIATION

Lebanon, PA USA

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

 

 

Swatara Watershed Association

November 26, 2008

Due to Thanksgiving, a change in time and location was necessary.  Called to order at 11:30AM at the home of Jo Ellen Litz.  For lunch, attendees ate homemade chicken corn noodle soup.

Welcome and introductions:  Dick Blouch, Denise Donmoyer, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, and John Worrilow. 

Business:

A handout on Marcellus shale was distributed.  For a pdf summary, email swatara@mbcomp.com.  Drilling for gas as well as solar and wind power are also expected to arrive in the Valley.  SWA will follow these alternative energy options.

2009 Sojourn:  Mark your calendars for the first Saturday in May-2, 3-2008.

A thank you note was prepared for Richard Longenecker, former Pine Grove Township supervisor, who has faithfully delivered the Pottsville Republican for decades.  His dedication allowed SWA to keep abreast of Schuylkill County happenings.  In the future, SWA will follow Schuylkill County news online.

Community Garden Plots:  Would you consider helping to identify farmers who would be willing to host Community Garden Plots?  With the down turn in the economy, people are losing jobs and/or looking for ways to save money on food.  So, the current economy makes it more necessary now for people to grow their own food than in the past.  Further, with so many new people choosing to live in Lebanon County, the plots can help the farmer to develop good public relations with his or her new and existing neighbors, educate these neighbors about farming, and supplement farm income. 

The plots will also provide physical exercise and improve mental health as people work with their hands, watch the plants grow and produce food, and then feel a sense of accomplishment with the harvest--all that and fresh healthy food.

What is needed:

  1. For convenience and to minimize drive time and costs for gasoline, identify farmers throughout the County of Lebanon who are willing to serve as hosts for Community Gardens (Some plots do exist at Stoever’s Dam);
  2. Unless organic, the host farmer to till and stake plots each spring--20’ x  20’;
  3. Establish a rate for each plot;
  4. A liability release;
  5. A source of water for the plants; and
  6. To recruit gardeners, brochures and news releases to WLBR Radio, Lebanon Daily News, Patriot News, WGAL TV8, WHTM 27, Fox 43, and WLYH 21.
  7. Host a web site with a map identifying the location of Community Gardens and rules for gardening --(don't leave your tools lay, no fences higher than 6', use of pesticides....)  (Lancaster County hosts 300 garden plots.http://www.co.lancaster.pa.us/parks/lib/parks/Garden_Plot_07.pdf )

Star BarnEach day brings new progress for Agrarian Country and The Star Barn projects as we move toward our multiple goals.  All documentation has been submitted to the Planning Board for the zoning adaptations and we await notification as to the public hearing date.  Recent activity at the Star Barn has it all cleaned up and ready for the Holidays.  We continue our meetings with our development team as we work on details linked to financing.

Our next major function will be a large booth at the 2009 PA Farm Show in conjunction with the famous Star Barn model.  Terry Spahr, of El Segundo, CA builds award winning historic farm replicas which he exhibits at toy show festivals.  He has had the star barn model at the Farm Show in prior years and this year he has completed the entire farm scene including the out buildings for the exhibit.  We know you are quite busy but wanted to extend an invitation for you to become an Agrarian Country/ Star Barn Volunteer at our booth at Farm Show.  If you have an hour or two to spare we would love to have you on the team! 

Volunteers will be on site for 4 hour shifts beginning Saturday Jan 10th at 9 AM on through Saturday January 17th.  Please let either Roberta or me know if this is something you would enjoy doing and feel free to tell others who you know are excited about the Agrarian Country project.  The more the merrier!

We look forward to hearing from you soon.  Enjoy the Holiday season –                 Ben

Fundraising for Bordner cabin and Wise property—Implementing a Capital campaign in honor of 70th anniversary of the Bordner cabin.

Bordner Cabin: 

bulletOn November 10, met with Architect Bob Hoffman, Architect Mike Willeman, and Angel Croll.  Mike will work with SWA probono to get a Labor and Industry occupancy permit.

Wise property

bulletGeorge Gress performed a Phase I Environmental Assessment.
bulletCounty comprehensive plan grant application submitted. 
bulletSent a request to rescind “lease/management agreement” with East Hanover Township.

Union Township FarmPam Spayd Shellenberger, a US Fish and Wildlife Biologist who previously worked with Berks Co. Conservation District, is doing environmental reviews for project impacts to endangered and threaten species.  She met with the developer/consultants/DEP at the house that is being donated to SWA.  The 3 wetlands on site qualified as potential bog turtle habitat.  Instead of surveying for turtles, the developer opted to implement a 300' buffer around these wetlands. Two of the wetlands are right behind the house and are formed from the spring house. The developer wanted to know if the SWA would be interested in acquiring not only the tract where the house is, but also the 300' buffer area around the two wetlands behind the house. He also would be willing to give responsibility of the 3rd wetland and its 300' buffer to the SCWA if they would be interested.  She needs to get some deed restriction and conservation easement language to Griffith Jones (the consultant with HRG, Inc.) in the beginning of December and wants to meet on site to talk about where these buffers and wetlands are located and us to see the site plans.

Swatara River:  No report.  No response from Senator Casey’s office.

Water Trail:

bulletEddie Kosik Eagle Scout project:  “I have gotten my project approved by Harivadan Parikh. He is getting the final legal details. I'm placing the orders for the signs so that, if all goes well, we can begin attaching them on Sunday, December 7th. I'm hoping that we will get about five done the first day and the rest on the following Saturday, the 13th. Weather, of course, will be a factor, but we're praying for the best with that. If it does seem like conditions are too bad, we will just push it back a week.” 
bullet2006 Final Payment:  No update from DCNR’s Mr. Jay Schreibman.

Center for Land and Water:  Jack Stouffer is waiting on notice for the next meeting in January.

Governor Dick forest management plan calls for the removal of most of the recently killed gypsy moth trees.  Tree tops will be left for natural cover for animals and to allow the majority of nutrients to be put back into the soil through decay.  A test plot will be left untouched.

Other:

bulletMembers reviewed a Sierra Club Environmental Scorecard for the PA General Assembly.
bulletDenise Donmoyer reported:
bulletThe PA Conservation Corps is finishing a boardwalk from the bridge to the falls at Sweet Arrow Lake.
bulletDecember 6 is a Sweet Arrow Lake member Christmas Party with the Down to Earth Band, 6:30PM, bring a covered dish.  Contact Carol Keesey 345-8684.  Membership is $5.
bulletA bell choir will perform Saturday, December 13, 2PM at the Sweet Arrow Lake Clubhouse.  Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under.
bulletAnn Lasky said the Quittie Creek Nature Park is restoring the old Kreider mill wall and foundation.
bulletDick Blouch reported that the Conservancy is preserving a 50-acre farm.
bulletJack Worrilow said the Historical Society has identified some of the “Cedars of Lebanon” trees that may have been reported missing in the early 1970’s.  There is a plan to dig them up and replant them on host plots.  The last Friday in May is Arbor Day.
bullet Archie Fenton lives in Hershey (Derry Twp) and is a T/U member.  He wants to bring to our attention a Study presented to the township supervisors. He is concerned that it does not contain a provision for water monitoring or treatment. He would like to know our thoughts. http://www.hrgprojects.com/derry/main.asp

October 29, 2008

The  meeting was called to order at 9:30AM at the Watershed office.

Welcome and introductions:  Bob Arnold, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Stephanie Harmon, Rugh Henderson, Joe Hovis, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, Virginia Tilden, and John Worrilow.

Business:

Sojourn:  POWR grant check received.

Fundraising for Bordner cabin and Wise property--Received from:

bullet$25 - Beatrice Hulsberg, Middletown
bullet$50 – Congressman Tim Holden
bullet$100 – Reed Exhibitions (per our friend Chris O’Hara)
bullet$100 – Manada Conservancy

Volunteers assigned to follow-up with phone calls and/or visits:  Betty (Blyler, Wengert, LV Conservancy & Steckbeck); Ann (Felty, Bauer); Bob (LCF of Sportsmen); John (Dixon).

Bass Pro to sell hotdogs…  Set up a date for a Saturday after the election.

Bordner Cabin: 

bulletNo trespassing sign removal:  Contacted Architect Bob Hoffman for an opinion.
bulletPiers:  Angel Croll, Swatara State Park Manager (DCNR), applying for permit or exception for repair of piers.  For your safety, until further notice, please stay off of the porch.
bulletElectricity:  MetEd Engineer James Fuhrman looking at underground line design.
bulletHistoric designation:  Ask Bethel Township resident Karen Light to lead the charge by working with Francis Ditzler and/or Bethel Township Supervisors.
bulletBridge:  Rotary presentation by Angel Croll—not yet scheduled.

Wise property

bulletGeorge Gress will perform a Phase I Environmental Assessment next week.
bulletCounty grant application in process.  On a Worrilow/Arnold motion, members voted to request $25,000 in Comprehensive Plan funds.
bulletPer Lori Yeich and Jackie Kramer, since the deed will be in SWA’s name, no “lease/management agreement” with East Hanover Township is needed.  On a Worrilow/Lasky motion, members voted to rescind the lease/management agreement with East Hanover Township.

Swatara River:  No report.  Litz will follow-up with Senator Casey’s office.

Water Trail:

bulletEddie Kosik Eagle Scout project: Contact with Mr. Ebersole from PennDot; Boy Scout leader finalized overview to move forward with project. If all goes well, physical work will be done by the beginning of December.  “We have decided upon using Tapcon screws to drill into the bridges. We will have two boys holding a harness attached to another boy while he leans over and drills the signs on. I will need to acquire equipment to divert traffic while we are working on the bridges. I'm assuming that each bridge will take at least an hour to do, but it could be much more than that.”
bullet2006 Final Payment:  DCNR’s Mr. Jay Schreibman is working with SWA by reviewing files….

Center for Land and Water:  Henderson reported that, per a strategic plan, at Tuesday’s meeting a structure was set up by appointing temporary chairs.  SWA awaits final copy of the strategic plan for review and potential support.

Other:

bulletThe Gravel Hill Road Bridge over the Quittapahilla Creek in Lebanon County was reopened to traffic ahead of schedule. It wasn't expected until early November.
bulletQuentin in West Cornwall Township reported Ecoli in their water.  While the problem has been addressed, additional information can be obtained by contacting the Lancaster District Office at 717-299-7601and asking for Jack Curry.
bullet Henderson reported on Village Development with Springbrook Farms, which is north of Campbeltown.  The flat land with no discharge will now advance storm water infiltration in limestone areas.  A DVD titled Storm Water PA highlights the project.  The DVD highlighting low impact development to improve water quality will be shown at SWAs next meeting.
bulletDonmoyer shared that “owling” will take place on Saturday at Sweet Arrow Lake.  Meet at the club house pavilion.  On another note, Sweet Arrow Lake Association planted 32 trees with a DCNR forestry grant; created a native tree trail, and mourns the death of Senator Rhoades.  The Swatara Watershed Association extends condolences to Schuylkill County and Mary, Senator Rhoade’s wife.
bulletLasky stated that 40 LVC students moved stone in Quittie Park.  Fifty-eight year old Donald Thomas participated, and died later in the week.  Again, SWA extends our sincere sympathy.  Also, the 18th annual Pumpkin Walk will take place on October 31 at Quittie Park.  The event is free and open to the public from 7-9PM.  Glow necklaces will be on sale.
bulletHarmon highlighted the successful Watershed Forum on buffers, emerging contaminants (pharmaceuticals in our drinking water); fertilizers and pesticides on our lawns and gardens.  The event was held jointly with Lancaster County.  At a Watershed Specialist’s forum, Harmon listened to Deputy Secretary Kathy Myers review new DEP Secretary John Hanger’s focus on buffers.  Finally Harmon encouraged support for the Ballot Referendum requesting money to upgrade existing infrastructure.
bulletHovis distributed Butterfly and Native Plant posters.  He is seeking volunteers to restore native grasses and a place to replant the Regal butterflies.  He needs 20-50 acres.  Maintenance of a field of native grasses is required.  Regals do not migrate.  They survive harsh winters by burying themselves in matter that has fallen to the ground.  Replicating the firing range, in the spring, a burn needs to take place.

September 26, 2008, the Swatara Watershed Association met at the Bordner cabin in Swatara State Park.  

In attendance were:  Betty Conner, George Conner, Angel Croll, Denise Donmoyer, Scott Ihn, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Richard Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, and Joshua Weaber.

SWA will undertake a fund raising effort to support Swatara Water Trail projects.  Please consider a donation, including us in your Christmas giving, and/or a bequest.  Thank you.

Wise property:  Additional funds needed to purchase this property.   

Jonestown Boat Launch:  Completed by Jonestown Borough with State grants.  SWA was asked for suggestions to finish the area:  land scaping around the Water Trail sign, a bench; and/or an additional sign in between the legs of the existing sign that says "Welcome to the Swatara Water Trail" arched across the top; "Boat Access" arched across the bottom; with Jonestown larger across the center.  As funds allow, this design could be added to identify other launch sites.

New Park manager Angel Croll was SWA's guest speaker.  Angel took over in May 2008.  Angel is personally liable for the facility, and puts safety first.   After researching documents and our lease, she is starting with a clean slate.

She gave SWA an update on Swatara State Park development progress.

· For day use, four parking lots with bathrooms will be built.
· A DEP permit is needed for a Bear Hole Run crossing.
· Bridges will be built across the Swatara.
· After a bid process, construction can begin, perhaps the summer of 2009.
 

Bordner Cabin:  Scot Ihn finished the mantle.  Yea, Scott!!!  Some brick lining the inside of the fireplace may need to be reinstalled.

Projects must first be approved by DCNR, then by Labor and Industry.  Everything must have a sealed plan submitted and Labor and Industry approval.  Steve Laudenslager is Lebanon’s inspector.

Porch:  Joshua Weaber, from Steckbeck Engineering, was on hand to inspect the Bordner cabin porch.  A pier washed away, and needs replaced.  The center pier needs work too.  A lime and sand mix should be used, and rip rap should be placed around completed piers.  To complete the work, a DEP General permit is required.  There are no wetlands involved.  Scott will look up the rules on supports to see if an additional beam is required under the porch.  Scott also looked at a wall in the basement, and will make a recommendation in about one week.  A swale and gutters may be needed to avert future water damage. Supplies will be purchase for repairs.

Bridge:  Paula DeVaun, who is under Jeff Johns, provided a sketch.  We will set up a meeting with the Northern Lebanon Rotary who donated $1000 toward the project and would like to construct the bridge, for their blessing before the sketch goes for placement and design.  The bridge would be 34’ long x 6’ wide.  In addition to the walkway, to meet Labor and Industry standards, there would be a turn around area and perhaps a picnic area.  This project would require a lease amendment. 

Port-a-potty: outside of the 25’ footprint outlined in the lease.  We need to have the latrine moved closer to the cabin.  The real issue is getting it close enough for the service people to pump the latrine without having to back up on the bank.   The toilet costs SWA $35 per month.

Windows:  An architect can advise us on whether installing windows would take the use of the cabin from a pavilion to a building requiring extensive Labor and Industry upgrades.  A pro bono report will be sought.  We will have to purchase window coverings of some sort.

Electricity:  Needed for security and safety.  Our previously submitted drawings were not sealed documents.  The sketch ran from the road to the cabin.  Angel said the closest point that DCNR will run a line is to just south of the fossil pits, which is 1.4 miles.  From there, it would be SWA’s responsibility to run underground line.  The above ground lines have been stolen (must be the high price of copper).  A sealed plan needs to be submitted, first to DCNR, then to Labor and Industry.  We will contact MetEd and County Planning for input.  A right-of-way, which costs $100 annually, must also be obtained from DCNR.  Angel would be willing to see if the fee can be waived for a non-profit.  We asked to have installation of electric lines and road construction coordinated.  We will have to purchase the wire and other supplies.

Angel will provide snail mail letters when permission is granted to move ahead on projects.  So that she can monitor our progress, SWA will copy her electronically.

Stephanie Harmon reminds everyone that the 6th Annual Leb/Lanc Watershed Forum will take place on Saturday, October 25, 2008.
Location: Quentin UCC (intersection of RT 419 & 72)
9AM-Noon
 Speakers/Presentations:
Streamside Forests:  Providing Cleaner Water, Naturally
Kristen Travers
Stroud Water Research Center
Education Programs Manager
 
Emerging Contaminants:
Arianne Proctor,  PA DEP
 
What About My Back Yard:  Impacts of Lawns on Water Quality
Harry Campbell III, Science Advocate
Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Swatara Watershed Association

July 30, 2008

Called to order at 9:30AM at the Water Works, East Hanover Township--litter cleanup and watermelon.

Welcome and introductions: 

Business:

Intern Claire Taylor designed and addressed thank you post cards for the Swatara Sojourn.  In addition, she attended a meeting with Evenlink to purchase a dedicated url for the Swatara Watershed. 

Sojourn:  It is our understanding that John Coutts is no longer with PEC.  An email was sent asking about processing of our grant.

Bordner Cabin:  Will speak with Robert Barth today concerning electricity at the Bordner Cabin.  We had provided a sketch of running the underground electricity from the pole at the road to the cabin.

Wise property

bulletAttorney Henry drew up a new agreement of sale, and we will meet with the Wise’s this week to finalize. 
bulletFish and Boat received our grant. 
bulletLegal at DCNR is reviewing the “lease/management agreement” with East Hanover Township.  Agencies use different terms that seem to require the same information.  Salyn Stover will let us know if we need to amend our document with East Hanover Township.
bulletThe Hershey Company has expressed an in interest in partnering on this project.

Swatara River:  USGS sent letters to each municipality requesting feedback on SWA’s quest to have the Swatara named a river.  To be proactive, SWA also forwarded information to each municipality for consideration.  In addition, on July 12, Mary Klaus ran an article and blog in the Patriot News.  To calm fears and/or answer questions, a summary of our reasoning was submitted, which must have been satisfactory.  After our posting, only one more post occurred, and that was favorable.  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2008/07/group_wants_swatara_creek_to_b.html

Center for Land and Water is requesting ratification of their strategic plan. 

SWA sent an amendment request to include the Swatara Watershed in the AES Ironwood Tulpehocken/Quittpahilla Agreement with PA Fish and Boat. 

Provided instructions, equipment and a guided tour to artist Jean Wertz on the Swatara from Jonestown to Frog’s Hollow.  Hopefully she got a few pictures to inspire her paintings.

bulletSeptember SWA meeting—invite new Swatara State Park Manger Angel Croll to speak.
bullet September 23, Shaping A Sustainable Pennsylvania – DCNR’s Blueprint for Action--Please RSVP to jdupes@state.pa.us, or call 717-705-0031, at least two weeks prior to the meeting you plan to attend.  Susquehanna Room B, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Harrisburg  http://www.fish.state.pa.us/dir.htm

June 25, 2008

Called to order at 9:30AM at the Rotary Pavilion in Jonestown Park.

Welcome and introductions:  Dick Blouch, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, Claire Taylor, and John Worrilow.

Business:

Welcome intern Claire Taylor.  Claire will be a senior at Millersville majoring in graphic design.  Claire will design sojourn sponsor thank you notes, and assist with transition of the Swatara web page to a new url.

Sojourn: 

bulletOfficers signed the final grant report/reimbursement request for POWR.
bulletHB 328 would fund river cleanups

Bordner Cabin:  We thought the cabin we saved would end up on the big screen when it was considered for a movie backdrop for Ernest Borgnine, but the cabin was not chosen.  Maybe next time.

Wise property

bulletContacted Chuck Henry to inquire whether a new sales agreement must be drawn up or if the recently expired contract can be initialed with a new date.
bulletSWA members are invited to join us Monday night at the East Hanover Township supervisor’s meeting, 7:30PM, to request a 25-year lease to meet Fish and Boat requirements. 
bulletIn addition to the F&B grant, $65,000 needed to close.

Farmland Preservation update—parts of each of the following counties are in the Swatara Watershed:

bulletBerks              56,472 acres on 534 farms
bulletDauphin          11,567 acres on 115 farms
bulletLebanon         13,517acres on 113 farms
bulletSchuylkill        9,663 acres on 86 farms

State Water Plan (ACT 220), --Jesse Senko is working for USGS/DEP on revisions, and the Swatara was picked to have water use assessed more thoroughly.  Jesse was referred to our new Comprehensive Plan.  Please provide additional feedback on these questions: 

bulletWhat companies or people are large withdrawers/dischargers of water within the watershed?  
bulletWhat are the highly water consumptive industries?  
bulletAre there any plans for large development of any area of the watershed in the future or has there been in the recent past (since 2000).  

FIG Award:  On June 4, a bus went to the Pentagon where the environmental team at Fort Indiantown Gap received a national award:   http://www.ngb.army.mil/news/archives/2008/06/061308-environ_award.aspx

On a Stouffer/Embich motion, a new url for SWA’s web page was chosen:  Swatarawatershed.com

Swatara Painting:  Local artist Jean Wertz is working on a painting of the Swatara.

Water Trail:  On an invitation from Mayor Kaufman, SWA moved to the Swatara to attend Jonestown Borough’s “ground-breaking” of an improved launch.  This site was the first trailhead for the Swatara Water Trail.  Pierre Scotto donated the land.  Woodland Contractors will be completing the work before winter.  Funding came from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Calendar:

bulletJuly 4 Butterfly Count Tours 9 a.m. on July 4, 5, 14, and 21, and at 1 p.m. on July 13.  Tours will leave from the Fort Indiantown Gap Community Club on Fisher (Rt. 934) and Clement Avenues and will last 2-3 hours.  Participants must arrive at the Community Club at the starting time.  PA Press Releases:  http://www.pa.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=3053&mode=2
bulletJuly 30 SWA meeting--Watermelon at the Waterworks—litter cleanup.
bullet August 18, Monday, SWA meeting—invite new Swatara State Park Manger to speak.

May 28, 2008

 

Welcome and introductions:  Bob Arnold, June Blouch, Richard Blouch, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Soon Slayman, and Jack Stauffer.

 

Business:

On an Arnold/Embich motion, the board accepted the audit from Bill Oyster and moved to pay the $1200 bill.

 

Lebanon Mutual, our insurer, has converted to stock form, but the change will not have any effect on our insurance coverage or premium.

 

Sojourn:  Pictorial review.  CDs of 2008 Sojourn available.  Send $3 for postage and handling.  Read a letter from Dirty Jobs stating that they “are not doing any volunteer jobs,…only doing dirty jobs that people get paid for.  We will keep your application in case this changes.  Again I want to thank you for sending in your idea” (Saralyn Wilhelmi).  SWA also received a House citation sponsored by Representatives Gingrich and Swanger.

 

SRBC Draft Comp Plan for Public Comment to August 18 http://www.srbc.net/planning/compplanfiles.asp.  

 

Bridges:  Alternatives analysis shared for the Inwood and Mill Creek Bridges.

 

On a Lasky/Stauffer motion Conservation District award nominations include

bullet Landowner, Sydney Nolt is a conservation farmer;
bullet Conservationist, George Gress, who has served on the Conservancy Board and provides pro-bono Environmental Assessments of potential acquisitions;
bullet Educator, Kristie McKelvie, who impacts future generations while enthusiastically sharing environmental tidbits;
bullet Business Steward, Lebanon Daily News, for providing in-depth and educational coverage of the Conservation District, Conservancy, Comprehensive Plan, Quittie and Swatara Watershed events and activities; and
bullet Special Recognition nominees Earl and Lee Meyer who are a fantastic couple functioning as a team in Lebanon County Planning.  Earl motivates his staff to be the best they can be, skillfully negotiates conflict resolution, attends countless community meetings to educate the public, and has guided the new County Comprehensive Plan to a successful conclusion.  As a planner, Lee compliments Earl with her organization and computer skills.  SWA can’t think of a couple who have had more of an impact in preserving our quality of life for each and every one of us as well as for future generations.

 

Penn National/Hollywood Casino comments due June 2:  http://www.pgcb.state.pa.us:80/?p=57

 

Pennsy Quarry application with SRBC.   Comments were prepared by both Jo Ellen and Tom for submission to SRBC and DEP mining.  

 

Swatara River:  Nothing from USGS.

 

Swatara State Park & Bordner Cabin:

Historical Society article on Old State Road.

Lebanon Daily News article:  Bids to redo Old State Road will occur in the spring of 2009 with completion the following spring.

 

Union Township property:  No response to date.  Try to set up June meeting at this site.

 

Wise property:  For educational and informational purposes, four of five members of the East Hanover Township Planning Commission and Supervisor Dayne Burrows attended a "walk" of the Wise property.

  1. SWA's proposal for the Wise property is consistent with East Hanover Township's comprehensive plan.
  2. Recreational use will help to maintain East Hanover Township's quality of life.
  3. At minimal cost to the Township, preservation of this parcel will provide another option to recreation in East Hanover Township.
  4. Recreational use of the Wise property is permitted in an agricultural zone.
  5. SWA has a proven track record of creating a boat launch and parking area and conducting annual cleanups at a primitive canoe launch site at the Water Works.
  6. Litz reviewed SWAs 20-year history using the site, and SWA's efforts to purchase the property, as well as a new option for SWA to hold title to the property with a lease to the Township.

Other: 

 

5/31 Help is requested for a booth on Saturday for the Under 20 Festival @ LVC.

5/31 Tour and American Chestnut Grove in Pine Grove.  At 10:30AM, meet at the waterfall lot at Sweet Arrow Lake.

May 31,2008 - Light’s Fort Open House 2-4pm 11th & Maple, Lebanon. Free admission, colonial crafts, demonstrations, tours. Questions: 717-270-0853

June 3 Center for Land and Water--last strategic planning session at MHS Horticultural Center. 

6/3 Tom Powers, 7PM, at Sweet Arrow Lake with a Bat talk followed by a tour of an active bat colony.

6/10 Frog Float on Sweet Arrow Lake at 7PM.  Bring your own canoe or kayak, or be one of the first 14 registrants to use a SAL craft.  You’ll paddle through a wetland too.

June 14 - Old Annville Days.  The Ray Swingholm bridge, voted the best bridge under $1 million, will be turned over to Annville Township.

June 25 SWA meeting—Union Township property—tentative

July 30 SWA meeting--Watermelon at the Waterworks—litter cleanup.

August 27 SWA meeting—invite new Swatara State Park Manger Angel to speak.

September SWA meeting--AES Ironwood--tentative (plant must be on-line for tours)

April 30, 2008

Welcome and introduction of attendees:  Brooks Abeln, Paula Ballaron, June Blouch, Harvey Bomberger, Doug Deppen, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Steph Harmon, Ann Lasky, Dave Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, John Worrilow, Damion Zampogna

Business:

Sojourn planning May 3 & 4

bullet Saturday dinner--Pot Pie by Ono Fire Company Auxillary
bullet Three Boy Scout troops participating: 17, 20, & 330
bulletOpen invitation to hear Lance Simmens who was trained by Al Gore, and will present a program on Global Warming at 7PM Saturday night at Hershey Highmeadow Campgrounds (public welcome).  Lance travels around the world with his presentations.  6PM, wild animals with Beth Carricato from the Dauphin County Wildlife Rescue, and a 20th Anniversary cake.  No charge for programs.

Pennsy Quarry application with SRBC.  When sinkholes formed in the Swatara two years ago, Pennsy created a grout wall forming a dam to hold back water.  Now, Pennsy would like to de-water the dam to restart operations.  To do this, they have to "stay ahead of the Creek."    Currently, the limestone pit is 250’ deep and pumps 12.9 million gallons of water per day.  Mining could take the pit to 500’ and require pumping of 29mgpd or 5% of the Swatara’s flow.  SRBC does not consider an average flow below 20% to be a concern.  Questions were asked concerning safety of boaters on the Swatara from intense dewatering causing sinkholes to reopen; increased sediment in the Swatara; dried up creeks on neighboring properties if sinkholes reopen; and impacts to fish, aquatic insects, and water quality.  A statement to this effect will be forwarded as comment to SRBC.

Union Township property:  No response or meeting to date.

Bordner Cabin United Way Day of Caring.  Great job, everyone!

Swatara River:  Nothing from USGS.

Wise property:  More questions from Supervisor Donmoyer.  Requested a follow-up meeting with Lori Yeich and Jackie Kramer.  Executed DCNR contract received.

Other

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Donmoyer reported that Joe Kosak will present images from Penns Woods at 7PM at the Sweet Arrow Lake Clubhouse.

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Lasky announced that on May 19th Quittie Park will plant three native red oak trees.  Further, the waling path was extended by 1800’ through Paul Graham’s property to High and White Oak Sts.  The Quittie bridge will receive a regional engineering award.

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Harmon stated that Conservation District events include a Green Roof Symposium and Native Plant Sale.

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Bomperger commented on a World War II experience by Ray Swingholm at Hershey Leader Home.

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Stouffer reminded members that the Center for Land and Water will meet on May 6.

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Embich mentioned that Paxton Creek Watershed is producing a weekly email newsletter.  Mease Motors was sold to Tony Allwein.

MAY 17 & 18, 2008 - 19th ANNUAL UNION CANAL DAYS - The Friends of the Union Canal Tunnel Park will be hosting its 19th Annual Union Canal Days on May 17 &18, 2008.  Great for adults and children alike.  Canal boat rides through the 621-foot tunnel. Saturday’s highlights include lots of music, puppet shows for children, a chicken dinner and some great music at the end of the day. Sunday sheep to shawl demonstration and a concert by the Perseverance band at 2:30 pm. Both days feature early crafts demonstrators, musical performers and for children, train and carriage rides. Food court--pork barbecue, hot dogs, funnel cakes, pies, soup, and drinks. No charge for admission. Saturday May 17th  (10:00 am – 7:00 pm) - Sunday May 18th (10:30am – 5:00 pm). For information about the Canal or Union Canal Days, contact the Lebanon County Historical Society at 717-272-1473 or  717-273-4115.

May 24- Annville Memorial Day Parade. - Parade begins at 9 a.m.and will be held rain or shine, lasting approx. 2 1/2 hours. The parade route travels along Route 422, north onto College Ave., east onto Maple St. to the reviewing stand at Maple and Long Streets. A Memorial Service immediately follows the parade at the reviewing stand. For additional information on the parade call, Mary Jane Gacono at 717-867-5511. Photo by Rebecca Gacono.

May 31,2008 - Light’s Fort Open House - 2pm to 4pm Located on the corner of 11th and Maple Streets, Lebanon. Free admission, colonial crafts, demonstrations, tours. Questions: 717-270-0853

June 14 - Old Annville Days.  The Ray Swingholm bridge will be turned over to Annville Township.

March 26, 2008

Welcome and introduction of attendees:  Bob Arnold, Richard Blouch, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Donna Fabry, Stephanie Harmon, Rugh Henderson, Griffith Jones, Ann Marie Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, Honorable Rose Marie Swanger, Ray Swingholm, John Worrilow.

On 3-18-08, facilitated cleanup of trash. There were some documents, a cell phone with intact SIM card and two witnesses who provided circumstantial evidence. Not enough for a clear conviction but enough for a warning and possible circumstantial case conviction. GLRA issued a warning, and kept evidence and witness information.

Senator Casey (PA) has launched a nationwide petition on his website against the Department of Energy’s implementation of the National Interstate Electric Transmission Corridor designation. NIETC designation affects all or portions of 8 states in the Mid-Atlantic and 2 in the Southwest, and is quickly becoming a national program.  http://casey.senate.gov/actions/

Using the Swatara Water Trail map, on March 13, Tom and Jo Ellen, along with other interested parties, met with DCNR Lori Yeich, Terry Hough, F&B’s Jackie Kramer, Scott Bollinger, Earl Meyer and Planning Department staff to look for potential sites for projects that DCNR and FBC could support along the Swatara River.  Sites identified include:  Pine Road in East Hanover Township, Hershey Dam area by PA American Water Company, Wise Property, and Valley Glenn.  South Londonderry properties were also mentioned.  They are also looking for acquisition partners.

Swatara River:  Package of endorsements sent to USGS.  New endorsements from Representative Rose Marie Swanger and Senator Mike Folmer.

Google project to scan books from the Library of Congress contain many Swatara River references:  http://books.google.com/books?q=swatara+river&lr=&sa=N&start=0

Sojourn Planning:  May 3 & 4, 2008

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The Lantern Lodge is a new sponsor.  They provided room accommodations for our guest speaker.

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Alternate Pot Pie dinner source—try Hans Gartner at Ebenezer United Methodist

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A call came from a Reading Boy Scout Troop.

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Sunday sweep—Andy and Liz have another commitment.

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Ray Swingholm will also serve as a driver.

Bordnersville Rd. Farm

On behalf of Mr. Jeff Camp, Griffith L. D. Jones, HRG, offered the Association an historic bank barn, log cabin, spring house, and 3 wetlands on 7+ acres in Union Township.  During Q&A, Jones agreed to ask Camp to partner with grounds maintenance…as a condition of industrial park tenants.  The land will contain a conservation easement for the wetlands.  SWAs interest in the property is to preserve the groundwater recharge area and headwaters of a tributary to the Swatara, preserve and/or re-establish three wetlands on the property, and preserve the barn with old growth timbers and log cabin, which is under the white siding.  (SWA has published a book on Mills and Bank Barns.)

If the donation comes to fruition, SWA will use the buildings for: conservation meetings and make the meeting space available to other conservation organizations, store canoes, an environmental education center as well as seek a DCNR grant to establish the best use for the rest of the property--planting Chestnut trees, providing habitat for a barn owl,....  We would need to determine if a conservation easement or farm preservation is the most appropriate way to ensure that the property retains it's special features.  Bill Ross is a local contractor who is an historic barn and log cabin expert.  We would consult with him too.  On a Worrilow/Lasky motion, SWA agreed to move ahead with the offer.  Jo Ellen will meet with Mr. Camp.  Dick abstained.

Wise Property

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Met with property owners and negotiated terms of an extension.

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Permission granted from DCNR to pay a small portion of the grant to hold the property past the current settlement deadline. 

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Will attend East Hanover Township meeting on March 31.

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Will resubmit Fish and Boat grant application.

Swatara State Park

Angel Croll is the temporary ranger for Swatara State Park.

After flooding, Barb Davies, State Parks, called to say that stone was purchased for emergency repairs to Old State Road.  DCNR is contracting with a backhoe to complete repairs, and we should be set to go for United Way Day of Caring on April 19 at the Bordner Cabin. 

At the Hershey Library, Manada Conservancy's April 21st panel discussion on the Swatara Greenway will focus on working with private landowners to find ways to protect the Swatara corridor in southern Dauphin County and western Lebanon County through conservation easements, land donation and private stewardship.  Panel participants are Rich Zaino, Chair of our Greenway committee, Nancy Cladel, Manada President, John Conner, former President, Steve Rannels, naturalist and donating landowner, and Mike Benner of the Milton Hershey School. There will be opportunity for discussion, and to gather ideas from the audience.  For more information check their web site, www.manada.org on the calendar page.

Awards for Greenways Design Projects

The Conservation Fund: Kodak American Greenways Awards Program
The Kodak American Greenways Awards Program, a partnership project of the Eastman Kodak Company and the Conservation Fund, provides small grants to stimulate the planning and design of greenways in communities throughout America. Greenways are corridors of protected public and private land established along rivers, ridges, abandoned railroad corridors, utility right-of-ways, canals, scenic roads, or other linear features. In general, grants can be used for all appropriate expenses needed to complete a greenway project including planning, technical assistance, legal, and other costs. Awards are primarily provided to local, regional, and statewide nonprofit organizations. Applications are accepted from March 1 to June 15, 2008. Visit the website listed above for application guidelines.

The Lebanon Valley Conservancy has a position open for a part time administrative assistant.  The candidate must be able to work well independently with minimal supervision, and as part of a team.  Strong organizational, communication and writing skills, prompt and dependable.  Will work closely with the Board of Directors.  Candidate must have an enthusiasm for and commitment to land conservation and environmental protection.  The position has flexible work hours and the possibility for advancement.  For more information, contact the Lebanon Valley Conservancy at tmw@lmf.net.  Resumes may be sent to LV Conservancy, 2120 Cornwall Rd. Suite 5, Lebanon, PA 17042

Watershed Specialist Stephanie Harmon reported that a Regional Action Plan by Gannet Flemming is being created with four representatives from each county.

Betty Conner reviewed Lower Susquehanna Regional Water Board recommendations for further study as critical water planning areas.  Because of extensive development, Conestoga, Chickees Creek, Swatara River, Conawago, Codorus Creeks and Deer Creek.

Calendar:

March

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25-29 Builder’s Show at LV Expo

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28 Sweet Arrow Lake Red Creek wildlife rehab on owls release program.  7PM.

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29 Pancake and Sausage breakfast at Sweet Arrow Lake club house 6-10AM

April

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1 Tree sale orders due at LCCD.

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5 Unitarian Church, 1280 Clover Lane, Harrisburg Spaghetti at 5:30PM.  Gene Wingert, speaker on global warming.

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10, Rain barrel workshop, 6-7PM at Conservation District.  $20.  Sign up Wednesday

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13 Bob Hoffman on St. Luke’s founding of the GSH @ 4PM

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14 Program at 11AM on Climate fluctuation at Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg.  2nd floor auditorium

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16 Pick up ordered trees

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19, United Way Day of Caring volunteers needed to clean up Bordner Cabin and help install mantle over fireplace.

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19, United Way Day of Caring volunteers needed to clean up and make the mantel at the Bordner cabin in Swatara State Park.  Quittie will also pull garlic mustard and plant red dogwoods.

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20 Polar Bear Survival Tour 1:30 at Allen Theater, Annville.

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20 150th Anniversary of St. Luke’s, 6th & Chestnut Streets.  1879 architecture presentation will include re-enactments of speeches given by Mrs. Horace Broch….

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21 Manada Conservancy Swatara Greenway at Hershey Library,

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21-25 Quittie Educational Wetland programs

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30 Next SWA meeting will take place at the Wastewater Treatment plant.

May                       

3-4, Swatara Sojourn canoe & camp.  Entertainment:  Lance Simmens was trained by Al Gore, and will present a program on Global Warming at 7PM Saturday night at Hershey Highmeadow Campgrounds (public welcome).  Lance travels around the world with his presentations.  Listen to the Down to Earth Band, wild animals with Beth Carricato from the Dauphin County Wildlife Rescue, and more.

28 SWA meeting at AES Ironwood (subject to their approval).

June

25 SWA meeting at Custer farm on Bordnersville Road, Union Township

February 27, 2008

Welcome and introduction of attendees:  Dick & June Blouch, Harvey Bomberger, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Steph Harmon, Rugh Henderson, Scott Ihn, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, Jack Worrilow

To accommodate an anticipated name change from Swatara Creek to Swatara River, Tom Embich moved, and Jack Stouffer seconded a motion to change the name of the organization from the Swatara Creek Watershed Association to the Swatara Watershed Association.  Motion carried unanimously.  The website, letterhead, and banners will be updated.  We will check with Attorney Henry to see if we must file any “official” papers.

Swatara River:                                             

bullet Our mission is to educate the public about the Swatara.  We also looked for ways to make our 20th anniversary of canoeing and cleaning up the Swattie very special.  The proposed name change from creek to river has provided an outstanding opportunity to exercise this mission.  People are talking about our waterway, asking questions, and becoming engaged.
bullet Stories and editorials appeared in the Lebanon Daily News (River runs through it), Patriot News (How about 'Way down upon the Swattie River?'), and on WGAL TV8 and  WHTM 27. 
bullet Letters of endorsement to date have come from: Berks County Conservation District, Mauree Gingrich, Jonestown Borough, Lebanon County Commissioners, Lebanon County Conservation District, National Guard, North Londonderry Township, and Palmyra Borough..
bullet French and Yellow Breeches Creeks were formerly Rivers of the Year.  Perhaps emphasizing the historical connection would win over the State to make the Swatara River of the Year.

Sojourn Planning:  May 3 & 4, 2008

It's our 20th Anniversary--Still Paddlin' After All These Years!

Administration

bullet Grant application submitted to POWR
bullet Registration completed and posted online
bullet Lebanon Daily News is working on an insert
bulletFish and Boat float plan approved by Doug Deppen.
bullet Must contact Weidle for dumpsters at:  Boat House Road Park, Hershey Highmeadow Campground, Middletown launch (also contact municipality).  Scott Ihn will provide a UTV and trailer to help haul trash from the River. 
bullet Must contact Hershey Highmeadow and Indian Echo Caverns about use of grounds and electricity.
bullet Must contact Jeff Hollenbeck, new owner of the Lantern Lodge, for speaker Lance Simmens’ accommodations.

Food:

bullet Saturday breakfast – June and Dick Blouch
bullet Saturday lunch – subs (Volunteer needed to see that Seaman’s subs are at the lunch site.)
bullet Saturday dinner – homemade pot pie, TUMC-Dan Seaman
bullet Sunday breakfast -  June and Dick Blouch
bullet Sunday lunch – JoJo’s pizza, Ann and David Lasky

Land Logistics/Shore Support: 

bullet Jack Stouffer and Laurie Andrews
bullet Students from the Community Action Partnership may help with trash

Portage:  Bob Arnold

Programs:  Denise Donmoyer:  Down to Earth Band, animals, Lance Simmens, Banjo Bob Balthaser

Safety:  Liz and Andy Ramsey

Transportation:  Tom Embich, Dick Blouch, Norm Brandt, possibly Dave Wentling

Water Trail:  Eagle projects require 100 hours of community service. 

bullet Eddy Kosik:  Eddy is working with Ray Ebersole, Senior Project Manager for Bridge Management at PennDOT.  If all goes well, these bridge signs will be in place for the Swatara Sojourn:  Jonestown Road, Route 72, SR 4006, SR 4007, Yorty Road, SR 934, Black's Bridge, SR 4011, SR 743, SR 2015.
bullet Joe Hirneisen:  Also an Eagle scout, will sign the northern bridges:  Route 22, Route 78, Lickdale (iron bridge), Monroe Valley (new cement bridge), Inwood Iron Bridge (County owned and scheduled for replacement), Route 81  (Two tall bridges on pillars), Appalachian Trail (iron bridge), Swope's Valley Road.  By sharing information, uniform signs should be on the upstream side of bridges.  The efforts of these two young men will improve the safety of boaters on the Swatara by helping them to identify their whereabouts. 
bullet On a motion by Jack Stouffer, seconded by Tom Embich, members voted to provide up to $100 to each scout toward the purchase of the signs.
bulletBoth scouts will be invited to make a presentation—either on the Sojourn or at a future meeting.

Bordner Cabin:

bullet Mitch Hoffman, no further report on Labor and Industry standards.
bullet Mayor Kaufman is still recuperating, so there is no bridge report.
bullet New journal placed.  The 2007 journal was passed around.  Apparently, two wedding proposals occurred in the cabin.  Here are a few other wonderful comments found in the journal:  Lebanon beautiful; awesome; breath-taking; amazing; holy moly, it’s gorgeous; definitely a keeper; legendary; paradise; extraordinary; exotic; magical; a place of peace; a boy can be a boy out here; and and wow, wow, wow!
bullet Some people got spiritual:  “Stopped in just to get away from the world and closer to God.”  “God is the “painter.”  Armar is the “framer,” and we are lucky spectators.”  “God’s presence is everywhere.”
bullet And very moving, was a note from a father and son who visited the cabin together.  Recently, the father passed away.
bullet Even in winter, people visited the cabin, “As cold as it is, I played my guitar here.”  “Nice to see so many footprints in the snow.”  “Happy New Year!  With the New Year comes change, but I hope this place stays the same.”
bullet Person after person thanked us for saving the cabin.  Many wanted to live there, and one person said they will write their next children’s book there.
bullet People visited from California, Maine, Mississippi....
bullet People found the cabin while hiking, cross-country skiing, biking, motorcycle riding, horse back riding, while out fishing, after a hunting trip....
bullet Numerous former students of Armar visited and signed the journal.
bullet Scott Ihn, will have the mantle ready for installation on United Way Day of Caring.  From 9AM-noon, we will also sweep up the cabin that day, pull weeds….

Bordnersville Road Farm

bullet On behalf of Mr. Camp, Griffith L. D. Jones, HRG, offered the Association an historic bank barn, log cabin, spring house, 3 acres wetlands.
bullet In addition to land donation, would need an endowment for repairs and maintenance and an annual fee to help cover maintenance, insurance,….
bullet Request to hold our next meeting there.
bullet Meet with Lori Yeich and County Planning on March 13 at 10AM.
bullet Shared resource with other conservation groups—Audubon, Conservancy, Conservation District, Quittie Watershed, Trout Unlimited...?
bullet Betty will talk to George Ross, PA Log House Society.

Swatara State Park:

bullet DCNR update:  No report.  Bill Friese was promoted, and is no longer at Swatara and Memorial Lake State Parks.  

Inwood Bridge

bullet No update.

Wise Property

bullet Fish and Boat match pushed back to July 1.  Scott Bollinger requested that we revise the heading of our grant.  Contact Tom Donmoyer.

Water Deficit Areas – Betty Conner reported that the Lower Susquehanna Regional Water Resources Committee helped to prioritize critical watersheds, per Act 220, where public water supply is not enough to meet demand.  The group identified the Swatara, Conestoga, and Octarora on the east bank and the Conewago and Cadores on the west bank.  Determinations were made using DEP and USGS ‘Pour Point’ data at the mouth of each waterway. 

Jack Worrilow requested that meetings be set up at the Waste Water Treatment Plant and AES Ironwood.

On a motion by Tom Embich, seconded by Jack Stouffer, Rugh Henderson received a vote of support for a letter to include in a DCNR Community Conservation Grant for trail development/passive recreation at Stone Knoll, an 18-acre tract along a tributary to Spring Creek south of Campbelltown.  The land is a gift from the developer, Brownstone.

June Blouch shared a story about cisterns in Switzerland.

Tom made everyone itchy with his wooden pen made from the stem of poison ivy.  Talk about a poison pen, it was a valentine’s gift from Gwen, his wife.

Calendar:

March

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20 Scott Weidensal, author of A Feather, will appear at 7PM, Sweet Arrow Lake

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25-29 Builder’s Show

April

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10, Rain barrel workshop, 6-7PM at Conservation District.  $20.  Sign up Wednesday

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16, Pick up ordered trees

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19, United Way Day of Caring volunteers needed to clean up and mount the mantel at the Bordner cabin in Swatara State Park.  Quittie will also pull garlic mustard and plant red dogwoods. 

May

3-4, Swatara Sojourn

January 30, 2008

Welcome and introduction of attendees:  Bob Arnold, Richard and June Blouch, Harvey Bomberger, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harmon, Rugh Henderson, Karen Light, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, John Worrilow.

Swatara River:

bullet The dictionary defines a river as a body of water that is fed by tributaries and empties into a larger body of water.
bullet The Swatara Creek meets this definition of a river.
bullet The Swatara flows through four counties and 46 municipalities, then empties into the Susquehanna River, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.
bullet 71 miles in length over 570 square miles of south-central Pennsylvania, the Swatara is fed by the Upper, Lower and Little Swatara Creeks as well as the Quittapahilla, Manada, Boe, and other Creeks such as Trout Run.
bullet Previously, the 50-mile long Conestoga Creek was named as the Conestoga River.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conestoga_River
bullet Other rivers in PA are smaller than the Swatara:  For example, tributaries to the Delaware River like the Lackawaxen River is approximately 25 mi long; The West Branch is approximately 15 miles long; and the Christina River is approximately 35 miles long.
bullet Since the 1700’s the Swatara is listed as a navigable river on maps.
bullet Still navigable by small craft, the Swatara Sojourn is held annually on the Swatara.
bulletThe Swatara is a working river with four water companies relying upon withdrawal to service business, industry and the citizens of the Watershed.  In other words, the Swatara is the lifeblood of our communities.  The Swatara is integral to public health and safety.
bullet Because of it’s name, the Swatara may have missed out on being named River of the Year for the State of PA
bulletIn several instances, the Swatara determines political boundaries--between Jonestown Borough & Swatara and Union Townships; between East Hanover and North Annville & North Londonderry Townships; between East Hanover and Derry Townships; between South Hanover & Swatara Townships and Hummelstown Borough; between Lower Swatara and Londonderry; and between Middletown and Royalton Boroughs in Dauphin County.
bullet Therefore, as previously discussed at meetings, on January 17, 2008, an application was completed with the United States Geological Survey to request a name change from the Swatara Creek to the Swatara River.

                                                                                            

Sojourn Planning:  20th Anniversary, May 3 & 4, 2008

Administration:  Jo Ellen Litz

bullet Cost:  $20 for adults/5 for children
bullet Registrations will be posted on the web
bullet Web update
bullet Sponsor letters will request cash and in-kind donations
bullet Events calendars:  Chamber of Commerce, Daily News, Merchandiser, Patriot, Sun, WGAL, EXPO Tourist Promotion Agency,….

Food:

bullet Saturday breakfast – June and Dick Blouch
bullet Saturday lunch – subs (Volunteer needed to see that everything is at the lunch site.)
bullet Saturday dinner – homemade pot pie - TUMC-Dan Seaman
bullet Sunday breakfast -  June and Dick Blouch
bullet Sunday lunch – pizza Ann and David Lasky

Land Logistics/Shore Support:  Jack Stouffer and Laurie Andrews

Portage:  Bob Arnold

Programs:  Denise Donmoyer

bullet Confirmed Lance Simmens, who was trained by Al Gore as a national speaker on global warming, has agreed to speak to us.  (needs lodging)  Will confirm which day and time is preferred. 

Safety:  Liz and Andy Ramsey

Transportation:  Tom Embich, Dick Blouch, Norm Brandt (More volunteers needed to shuttle drivers.)

Water Trail:

bullet Eddy Kosik:  Boy Scout Eagle project requires 100 hours of community service.  Eddy is working with Ray Ebersole, Senior Project Manager for Bridge Management at PennDOT.  If all goes well, the bridge signs will be in place for the Swatara Sojourn.

Bordner Cabin:

bullet Mitch Hoffman, DCED advisor to DCNR on L&I issues, will tour the Bordner cabin to hopefully define what will be required to remove the no trespassing signs.  In advance, Daily News pictures and the cabin floor plan were provided.
bullet Mayor Kaufman is recuperating, and there is no bridge report.
bullet A new journal is needed.
bullet Don Mock, owner of Windswept Christmas Tree Farm, placed a beautiful tree at the cabin over Christmas.

Swatara State Park:

bullet Provided a history of the park to Darryl Lawrence, Assistant Consumer Advocate, Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate. 

In 1969, the state set aside $30 million dollars to acquire the land (much by eminent domain), build a dam, and construct other recreational facilities. Over the next 20 years, the main sticking point was the issue of water quality, particularly the acid mine drainage originating upstream.  The promise was 'clean up the water and the dam will be built'.   Ultimately, the upper watershed was cleaned up with a lot of hard work, money, and ingenuity. The highway was relocated and the culm banks were removed.  Finally, the permitting process for the dam began in the late '90s. However, too much time had passed and the window of opportunity to build a dam (any dam in the U.S. for that matter) had closed due to opposition of all dams!

Subsequently, the permit process was terminated and the only recourse at this point was to develop a Park with passive recreational facilities. In 2001, the state hired a consultant led by Simon Jaffe Collins of Berwyn, Pa to draft a master plan for the Park now that the dam had been mothballed. There was a series of public input meetings and on June 20th, 2002, the Final Plan was unveiled. An Executive Summary was later published in April 2003.  We figured a passive-recreation State Park is better than nothing at all.  All of us felt now that the dam controversy was decided, implementation of the Master Plan would rapidly follow.  Old State Road terms were only recently accepted.  We're waiting for construction to begin.

Swatara State Park is in a prime location right off I-81, and only 25 minutes from Hersheypark.  During the peak season, the Herco-owned Highmeadow Campground is full to capacity and must turn campers away.  Not only that, it is a likely overnight spot for campers/RVers coming from the New England states and lies right on the Appalachian Trail.

 

bullet Ask DCNR for an update on progress toward bidding work to complete Phase I of Swatara State Park, plans for the Suedburg Railroad station in the upper end of the Park, and whether or not they plan to incorporate the Inwood Bridge as a footbridge.

Inwood Bridge

bulletFrancis Ditzler reported two accidents at Boon Road and Monroe Valley Road.  More lots are being sold, and another bridge is needed to accommodate all of the traffic.

Wise Property

bullet DCNR Grant Workshop on February 5:   Lori Yeich is using the Wise property as a model of the type of projects that DCNR will fund.  Pictures provided for their PowerPoint at a February 5 grant workshop.
bullet Fish and Boat match pushed back to July 1.  Tom Ford, from F&B, is now at DCNR--Lori Yeich’s boss.  Jackie Kramer is SCWA's new F&B contact.

Water Deficit Areas

bullet Currently Good Spring Creek, near the Dauphin County line, and Fredericksburg, which serves three chicken plants.
bullet Watch areas not served by public water and sewer, or wells at homes may run dry. 
bullet Encourage conservation measures.
bullet Similar to the countywide floodplain ordinance, a countywide conservation ordinance may be necessary.  Conservation measures can actually save landowners money.  For instance, trees can provide shade, act as windbreaks, and reduce air conditioning costs.  Pervious pavement allows groundwater recharge.  Cisterns collect rain water from roofs for use to water gardens, wash cars, or flush toilets.  Therefore, you aren’t paying for public water.  Many more conservation measures will help us to avoid a crisis situation in times of drought.

Penn National/Hollywood Casino

o        January 22 Conservation testimony presented at East Hanover Township, Dauphin County planning commission in relation to withdrawal applications from the SRBC. Questioned what measures are in use--pervious pavement, cisterns, low flow toilets in the "old" sections...?

Manada Creek:

bullet Chris Scott, West Hanover Township resident raised concerns.
bulletHarper Hotel Project (small) & Old Towne Project (large) on Rt 39 between Routes 22 and 81-- a 48 room, 3 story high hotel. Their plan is to empty and redirect their storm water directly into Manada Creek
bullet www.manadacreek.org

Fort Indiantown Gap amended plan:

bullet Several members took along copies of the amended plan for review.

Center for Land and Water:

bullet In a planning process.  Meet this Friday at Milton Hershey.  Four members plan to attend.

Assembly Summit:

HACC on 1/31 to 2/1/08 at Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA. The event marks 10 years of the Assembly’s service to businesses, governments, and communities in South Central Pennsylvania...  Theme:  Barriers, Bridges, and Best Practices.   As a model of Bridges--regional cooperation, a presentation will be made on the Swatara Rivers Conservation plan at 1:30 on Thursday.  To register, contact:  Deborah Kravitz, Indiana University of Pa., Administration & Leadership Studies Research and Training Center, Phone (717)720-4431 or via email at Deborah.kravtiz@iup.edu

Per Stephanie Harmon, Growing Greener Grants should be awarded in February.  Also, presidential stands on environmental issues can be viewed at www.LCV.org

Per Tom Embich, maps of Spring Creek helped to identify Total Maximum Daily Loads as required in Act 167, the storm water management act.  Gil Hershel, Dauphin County Conservation District, provided information.

Other:

January 31 and February 1,

bullet

Bellgrove Fire Company is having a potpie supper.

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Assembly Summit at Wildwood Center, HACC

February

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5 DCNR Grant Workshop

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27 Next Swatara Watershed Meeting.

April

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2, Sweet Arrow Lake will host Grover on Groundhog Day.  Prepared by Country Club chef Tony Wietmer, potpie is served at lunch.  Another fundraiser will take the form of a Chinese auction.  Also, a Valentine raffle will be drawn for a stay at the sterling Mansion Bed and Breakfast owned by Ky Skov in Reading.

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7, A Green Roof Symposium is being held by the Lebanon County Conservation District's Karl Kerchner in Berks County.

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16, Tree seedlings will be ready for pickup from the Lebanon Conservation District.

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19, United Way Day of Caring volunteers needed to clean up and make the mantel at the Bordner cabin.  We have the log, but need a craftsman to direct us.

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20, the LV Conservancy is hosting Chad Kister, on Polar Bear Survival, at the Allen Theater, 1:30PM.

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21, Manada Conservancy will host a review of the historical and natural resources along the Swatara Greenway, 7PM at the Hershey Library.

May 3 & 4 Swatara Sojourn

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