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.
Planning a Swatara Outing? Tips:
Swatara on Great Nonprofits: http://www.greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/swatara-watershed-association
SWATARA WATERSHED ASSOCIATION Lebanon, PA USA
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
2005 Year in Review
Other Watershed Happenings:
¨ Quittie Wetlands boardwalk construction completed and held successful envirothons.
¨ Dry hydrants improving ISO ratings in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County
¨ $5 million released for Swatara State Park
¨ Future of Agriculture program by the Ag Extension Agency. Nitrogen Loads
¨ Jonestown Greenway is underway
¨ Camp Shand preservation GGII funding approved for the Lebanon Valley Conservancy
¨ Lebanon Water Authority
¨ Quittie Creek Assessment by Rocky Powell, using the Rosgin technique.
¨ Lebanon County Comprehensive Plan is underway
¨ Expansion of Rails to Trails
¨ Recycled tires by the Ag Extension Agency
¨ March 2005 one of three DEP public meetings held at the Lebanon County Conservation District
¨ Twin Grove Park amusement park dedication
¨ Sweet Arrow Lake - Simmone, Jaffe, and Collins unveiled a $3 million Master Site Plan for Schuykill County’s first county park. The club house is refurbished.
Please note that we will not have a December meeting. See you on January 25, 2006 at the Watershed office, 9:30AM.
Stay Out Stay Alive PSAs started to air Labor Day weekend. DEP Secretary Katie McGinty delivers the message targeting young males who comprise the majority of victims of quarry drownings. In the “background” footage, you may see someone you know from the Union Hose Fire Company in Annville, the First Aid and Safety Patrol Ambulance, Lebanon’s Emergency Management Agency, or the Lebanon Valley Scuba Club. While it is a very serious topic, Lebanon is honored to have been asked to participate in the making of this public service announce-ment, which can also be viewed on our web site under a new feature entitled “Safety” http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/StayOutStayAlive.wmv .
Ono Fire Company Dry Hydrants: With an RC&D grant, East Hanover Township installed the first dry hydrant on 6/23/05. The PVC pipe is at the Heagy pond, 769 Ono Road. Ono Fire Company brought the pumper/tanker out and tested it while NRCS was there.
¨ Next came Gamber's pond on Crooked Road and Jonestown Road, East Hanover Township. Then came Moyer's pond on Jonestown Road at Harper's.
¨ A goal for the program is to assist communities in reducing their Insurance Services Office (ISO) ratings. The insurance industry has long recognized the value of dry fire hydrants, and often offers discounts to clients where the hydrants are installed. Dry hydrants can also result in fuel energy savings and drought protection (treated water supplies can be reserved for drinking needs).
You may have read the EELS book or listened to the eloquent narration of the book by Gordon Weiss. Now $500 Gold Sponsors of the SCWA will receive a special incentive--"EELS, In Their Own Words"--a DVD collection of over 40 hours of living history (interviews conducted to create the EELS book) on the Swatara Watershed. It may be a cherished and valuable asset to your library or a way to teach your children about their heritage. Order your set today. Also, the Derry, Lebanon, and Pine Grove Historical societies received free copies of the interviews on seven DVDs, which will play in a computer or dvd player.
In July, SCWA picked up litter and repaired their adopted canoe launch damaged by Hurricane Ivan. Washed out poles needed reset, and members hand-shoveled a mixture of clay and limestone donated by Pennsy Supply, Annville and hauled by L&C Construction to "shore up" the existing steps.. Afterwards, they ate Watermelon at the Water Works. In attendance were Bob Arnold, Jarred Bartley, Tom Embich, Stephanie Harman, Jo Ellen Litz, Todd Shepps, Jack Stouffer, and John Worrilow
POWR staff change: Justin M. Shellenberger is now the Sojourn Program Coordinator.
Quittie Wetland Boardwalk: Members of the Lebanon Conservation District and volunteers took advantage of the dry weather as they worked on installation of a boardwalk through the Quittie Wetland on the east end of the City of Lebanon in front of the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center. A Killdeer feverishly guarded her nest within five feet of the installation.
Swatara State Park: The Armor Bordner cabin roof needed replaced; Americans with Disability Act improvements; a new well; a larger septic system on a prohibitive slope; there was mold; and the logs were creosoted. It would have taken six figures to save the site. Added to this mix is the possibility that Old State Road will be closed. Therefore, we were informed that the cabin will come down.
POWR held a Sojourn Congress in State College. Discussions centered around: safety personnel; insurance; whether or not it would be advantageous to the American Canoe Association; new program ideas like a "U" Can Paddle demo day by outfitters; synchronized canoeing demonstrations to music; safety certifications on sojourns....
Statewide promotion and marketing is going to get kicked up a few notches. For example, working with DCED and the State Tourism Bureau is a high priority to get a publication out early that promotes all of the sojourns (PA is the only state with statewide sojourns), then distribute them at all TPAs and visitor centers throughout the state; customized brochures for a professional presentation and continuity; maybe even a public service announcement or jingle to which we can add a ten second tag line; "rough it by day, luxury at night" identifying bed and breakfast inns for baby boomers who enjoy trying new outdoor skills, but want pampered at night; family reunions....
More sojourns are incorporating cleanups, which some sponsors really like.
Topics that need attention might include incentives for tire recycling; for safety, signed bridges so that paddlers can report where they are located in an emergency; ....
Water Trail Extension Dedicated
The Swatara Water Trail extension runs north from Jonestown, Lebanon County, through Swatara State Park, to Route 645, Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, where the Lower Little Swatara empties into the main stem of the Swatara Creek. The previous trail ran 42 miles south to the Susquehanna River in Middletown, Dauphin County. The trail extension added approximately 18 miles, and the entire trail now runs through 3 counties and 19 municipalities. In partnership with the Swatara Creek Watershed Association, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Canaan Valley Institute, and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network have identified public access points, placed signs marking those accesses, and created maps to educate the public about the Swatara Creek's history, geology, camping facilities, canoe rentals, potential hazards, and more. To allow the public to obtain information twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, also new are map boxes placed on the sides of both new and old signs as well as at the Watershed office. Popular sites intersect walking and biking trails or adjoin campsites. Access Point Sponsors include: Heinbaugh Trailer Park, Twin Grove Park, Swatara State Park, Lickdale Camp Grounds, Lebanon Water Authority, Swatara Creek Family Restaurant, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Union Canal Canoe Rentals, Derry Township, Hummelstown Borough, South Hanover Township, and Lower Swatara Township. The Water Trail Guardian who will keep the map boxes full in Schuylkill County is Dave McSurdy; in Lebanon County, Tom Embich; and in Dauphin County, Art Schiavo. It took literally dozens of volunteers to make this Water Trail happen. More of our local heroes who helped to put this Water Trail together include Text Assistance from: Joe Hovis and Fort Indiantown Gap; Denise Donmoyer on the Schuylkill County segments, Francis Ditzler on Twin Grove Park, and the late Earl Leiby, Lebanon Historical Society president, who decades ago showed me many of the points that are located on the map, especially the Union Canal Locks. Then there was the Design, Assembly, and Installation Team of: Craig Andrews, Swatara State Park Rangers, Kyle Boltz, Met Ed, Betty Conner, Spencer Grogan, Bob Arnold, Dave Ravegum, Rick Litz, Jo Ellen Litz, and David Kohr.
Finally, if you are planning a vacation paddling the Swatara, in order to obtain an advanced copy of the map, you are also welcome to send a stamped, self-addressed, legal sized envelope to SCWA, c/o Jo Ellen Litz, 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 4, Lebanon PA 17042, and a map will be forwarded free of charge to your home.
17th Annual Swatara Sojourn
89 people were on the water Saturday and 53 people on the water Sunday, but on shore, we had dozens of volunteers who helped with safety, portaging canoes, feeding us, and providing overnight accommodations: Lebanon County League of Women Voters, Sunset Lions Club, Izaak Walton League, Ono Fire Company, Swatara State Park Rangers, Army National Guard, Kyle & Tammy Boltz at Lickdale Campgrounds, Rick & Julie Bleisath at Swatara Creek Family Restaurant, Swatara Creek Watershed Association members—Tom, Dick, George, Betty--and my family—Laurie, Craig, Ella & Spencer, Carol & Colton. Elected officials who helped us kick-off the event: Representative Peter Zug and Representative Mauree Gingrich presented certificates as well as a proclamation from Lebanon County Commissioners Bill Carpenter, Larry Stohler, and Jo Ellen Litz. In addition, City Councilman Richard Wertz joined the Sojourn--paddling and picking up trash I might add--on Sunday.
Our Safety team was superb. Andy and Liz Ramsey, Ron Boyer, Tim Lehman, Joe Sabnosky, Dave & Sharon Murphy, and Joe Sieck all pitched in to assist Jo Ellen Litz and the Swatara Creek Watershed Association to make the weekend memorable for everyone.
We enjoyed entertainment by the Blue Grass band known as the Crick Pickers who not only wrote and played the
Swatara Song, but also included it on their new CD. They are now known as the Down To Earth Band, and they were fabulous. For CD purchase information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
One final thank you to our fabulous sponsors: The Army National Guard, Bass Pro, Bayer, Canaan Valley Institute, Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network/National Parks System, CLEAN, Daubert’s Distributors, First Energy, Gooseberry Farms Restaurant & Truck Stop, Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority, Heinbaugh Trailer Park, Rhonda R. Hess & Associates, HL Snyder Funeral Home, Izaak Walton League, League of Women Voters of Lebanon County, Lebanon County Conservation District, Lebanon Tourist Promotion Agency, Lebanon Valley Conservancy, Lickdale Campgrounds, Northern Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Simon Kettering, PA American Water Company, PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Watersheds & Rivers, Schuylkill County Conservation District, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Swatara Creek Family Restaurant, Swatara Creek Inn, Swatara State Park/DCNR, Twin Grove Park, Union Canal Canoe Rentals, Weidle Sanitation, Wengers Feed Mill, Wengert’s Dairy, and Werners Lumber of Pine Grove.
In addition to a kayak, on May 14 SCWA received a $500 cash contribution for our conservation efforts.
On May 17, 2005, DEP Secretary Katie McGinty came to the Swatara Watershed to announce the “Stay Out, Stay Alive” safety program. At a time of year when schools are closing for the summer, and secluded abandoned quarries tempt teens to swim, Secretary McGinty reminds everyone that it is illegal to swim in quarries. State Police will issue fines that can include the taking of a driver’s license. Even if under the driving age, the six-month suspension will wait until an individual turns 16 years of age.
Swatara Watershed president Jo Ellen Litz was invited to talk about safety issues like thermo clines of cold water that cause cramping and obstructions left behind from mining operations. Congressman Holden’s representative, Matt Boyer, addressed federal funding to close unused quarries.
Together we've identified 21 'inactive' quarries in Lebanon County. Additions/corrections welcome.
This effort will also prove helpful for our local EMA in responding to accidents. Prior to an emergency, we need to chart the best access points. Thanks for your interest and any help that you can provide.
Mandy Kohler, USDA, recently held regional meetings to talk to farmers and the public about the future of agriculture. Here’s a summary from one of those meetings.
Ag forum 3/4/05 at the Ag Center, 2120 Cornwall Road, Lebanon
Good things about being a farmer in Lebanon County (From the farmer's perspective):
Future of Farming in Lebanon County:
Suggestions for Positive Change: