2002 Newsletters

bulletJune 2002
bulletMarch 2002

June 2002

Come Bike With Me

Up to this point, I usually pulled Spencer, my grandson, in a cart behind my bike. Therefore, we confined ourselves to the paved areas of Swatara State Park. But not today. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I set out to see if my bike could traverse the old rail bed through Swatara State Park.

From Route 72, old Route 443 is the most accessible entrance, and there’s parking alongside the road. The Appalachian Trail Bridge is still inaccessible due to painting. There’s a huge tarp over the bridge, and towers of scaffolding climb from the Creek bed beneath the bridge. Even so, I rode from Route 443 south to the Appalachian Trail Bridge to check on its progress, then turned around and started riding north.

The threatening clouds blew away, and the day turned out pretty nice. I’ve only had my electric bike for about two months. Depending on the terrain, it’s supposed to go 22 miles before needing a charge. The rail-bed was wonderful terrain—no hills. The roads wind and go up and down hills, but the rail-bed is relatively flat. It took about an hour to ride the fourteen miles up and back.

Users of the Park that Sunday included:

bulletThree fishermen;
bulletTwo couples walking their dogs;
bulletThree groups of horse-back riders; and
bulletFour other bikes.
Everyone was courteous and shared the path. Litter was minimal. It was neat to see the Swatara Creek alongside for most of the trip. There were butterflies, a box turtle, and a six-foot long black snake too.

Potential problems encountered included:

bulletOne "mud bog" on the south end and another "mud bog" on the north end. Not too bad, but enough to make my bike a little muddy which meant a hosing down when I got home.
bulletThere was one ‘sinkhole" in the path on the north end.
bulletOne fallen sapling just about stretched the entire way across the road, and at another point, a fallen branch also partially blocked the rail-bed.
bulletThen there was an area where small rocks slid off of an outcrop.
So what would make the ride more user friendly? How about:
bulletWashington Monument style mile-markers —so you can judge how far you are from an intersection.
bulletSigns marking the rail-bed pointing to Route 443, Moonshine Road, Gold Mine Road, Twin Grove Park, Schneck’s Coal Company, Suedberg Church, and Swope’s Valley Road.
bulletA toilet and a place to fill your water bottle.
bulletA connection from the rail bed to Swopes Valley Road where the old Pony Truss Railroad bridge was removed.

All in all, the test of riding a non-mountain bike through the Park was a huge success! My battery held out, and I didn’t fall. Next time, maybe you’ll come ride with me.

 Adult volunteers, Students, Scouts, or Interns Welcome

There are many tasks involved with a successful Watershed organization. Here’s a sample list that you can choose from to help preserve our Watershed:

bulletClipping newspaper articles and maintaining the scrap book;
bulletEditing and preparing Swatara News for mailing;
bulletMaintaining the web site;
bulletWriting and tracking grants;
bulletWater quality monitoring;
bulletBeing available to help with labor intensive projects like installing signs and planting trees;
bulletProjects in Swatara State Park;
bulletCleaning up liter any time, anywhere;
bulletCoordinating the Swatara Sojourn (over night canoe trip).

Gifting

Another area that is difficult to talk about is gifting, or including a bequest to SCWA in your will. SCWA is a 501C3 non-profit organization who has been doing good work in the community for decades. In fact, SCWA was incorporated in 1970. So, if you’ve been blessed in life and feel blessed to have lived in a wonderful community rich in heritage, please consider a living legacy to help SCWA continue in their efforts. Thank you!

Future Swatara Watershed Meetings, 9:30AM, Harper’s, $3 Dutch Treat unless specified

2002 meeting dates:

June 26 Water Works clean-up day,

July 31, August 28, September 25, October 30, November 27.

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March 2002

Drought

Drought Warning still in effect

Be an H2O Hero. Save Water!

Send a stamped, self-addressed, legal sized envelope to SCWA for your conservation equation. Win a Water Conservation Kit with a retail value over $16.00. Teachers and scouts are encouraged to adopt the equation as part of their curriculum or as a program.

Water Trail

Thank you GPU for digging holes to allow SCWA members Bob Arnold and David Kohr to help install Water Trail signs in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County, at both the Water Works (PA Fish & Boat Commission property) and Union Canal Canoe Rentals! If they’re crooked, Bob read the level.

We are also trying to line up assistance from PP&L volunteers to dig holes for SCWA to install more signs in Dauphin County, perhaps on Earth Day. Please let Jo Ellen know if you are able to help.  

Swatara Sojourn May 4-5

Please see insert. Additional PA Sojourns will probably take place on the Allegheny River, Chartiers Creek, Clarion River, Delaware River, French Creek, Juniata River, Kiski-Conemaugh, Lehigh River, Schuylkill River, Susquehanna River, and Youghiogheny River. For more information on these sojourns, please visit POWR’s web site http://www.pawatersheds.org .

Hershey Symphony

The Hershey Symphony will honor and recognize the Swatara Creek Watershed Association with a free concert on April 7, 3PM at Hershey Theater. For your free tickets, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the Watershed office.

SRBC Signage Program

bulletThe Swatara Creek will soon sport it’s name at the following locations: Borough of Middletown, Derry, Lower Swatara, South Hanover, East Hanover, North Annville, & Swatara Townships, and Pine Grove Borough.
bulletThe Upper & Lower Little Swatara Creeks in Washington Township will also have signage.
bulletSo will Bachman Run (South Annville), Indiantown Run (East Hanover), Killinger Creek (South Annville), Little Swatara Creek (Tulpehocken, & Bethel Townships), Quittaphilla Creek (Annville, North Annville, North Londonderry & South Annville Townships as well as the City of Lebanon), and Reeds Creek (East Hanover).

 

PA Trails Week Event on May 18 @ Swatara State Park

Simone, Jaffe, Collins is planning to share the ongoing park master planning process on Swatara State Park. Contact Bill Friese or Sharon Southall, Keystone Trails Association and the Lebanon Valley Hiking Club, afternoons at (717)274-5509 for more information. On May 18, hikers will traverse approximately 10 miles in about 4 hours along the rail bed, Old State Road, and do a test stream crossing. Meet at 8AM at the Lebanon Municipal Building or 9AM at the Appalachian Trail Head Parking lot at the Route 443 & 72 intersection near Trout Run. Bring a brown bag lunch, water, and a towel to dry your feet. Then, on May 23, appointed committees will meet at FIG. A Public Open House will take place on June 20 at the Fort Indiantown Gap Community Center between the hours of 7 and 9PM.

SCWA Active Grants

bulletGeographic Information System (GIS) Vector Contour mapping: Additional training for SCWA members, municipal representatives, and other interested parties will take place soon. Please let us know if you’d like to attend. Contractor-Mackin Engineering. Funded by DEP & DCNR Growing Greener, Lebanon County & IBM.
bulletWater Trail Signs are being installed at pre-approved locations in Lebanon and Dauphin Counties. Funded by Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, PA Fish & boat Commission, & Canaan Valley Institute.
bulletStreamlynx is an on-line mapping system in CAD format that will soon appear on SCWA’s web site. Contractor-Hedin Environmental. Funded by a DEP Growing Greener Grant.
bulletQuittie Restoration – Clear Creeks Consulting. Funded by a DEP Growing Greener Grant.
bulletQuittie’s Hammer Creek Funded by a DEP Growing Greener Grant.
bulletConservation Kits available to the first 800 individuals who complete a conservation equation. Funded by a DEP Growing Greener Grant.
bulletLittle Swatara/Wenger Farms – implement Best Management Practices, create wetlands…. Contractors: Natural Resources Conservation Service & Lebanon County Conservation District. Funded by a DEP/EPA 319 Growing Greener Grant.

SRBC Legal Technical Assistance Workshop

Volunteers can learn more about the Good Samaritan Act on March 19 at Radisson Penn Harris Hotel, Camp Hill by attending the Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s Technical Assistance Workshop.

Volunteers, Scouts, or Interns Welcome

There are many tasks involved with a successful Watershed organization. Here’s a sample list that you can choose from to help preserve our Watershed:

bulletClipping newspaper articles and maintaining the scrap book;
bulletEditing and preparing Swatara News for mailing;
bulletMaintaining the web site;
bulletWriting and tracking grants;
bulletWater quality monitoring;
bulletBeing available to help with labor intensive projects like installing signs and planting trees;
bulletProjects in Swatara State Park;
bulletCleaning up liter any time, anywhere;
bulletCoordinating the Swatara Sojourn (over night canoe trip).

Gifting

Another area that is difficult to talk about is gifting, or including a bequest to SCWA in your will. SCWA is a 501C3 non-profit organization who has been doing good work in the community for decades. In fact, SCWA was incorporated in 1970. So, if you’ve been blessed in life and feel blessed to have lived in a wonderful community rich in heritage, please consider a living legacy to help SCWA continue in their efforts. Thank you!

Future Swatara Watershed Meetings, 9:30AM, Harper’s, $3 Dutch Treat unless specified

2002 meeting dates: March 27, April 24, May 29, June 26, July 31 Water Works-work session, August 28, September 25, October 30, November 27.

bullet

Return to the SCWA homepage

bullet

Return to the "About SCWA" page