On Sunday, June 8, 1997, a group of local citizens gathered in Annville, Pennsylvania to create the Quittapahilla Watershed Association, a non-profit organization whose mission was "to protect and improve the water quality in the watershed". The group included conservationists and other local activists who had established the Quittie Creek Nature Park in Annville PA.
Through their efforts, 24 acres of woods, wetlands and limestone bluffs were set aside in 1991 to preserve the area's natural & cultural history. After the Quittie Creek Nature Park's creation, the group realized that they could not maintain the beauty of the creek that ran throughout the park without considering the watershed as a whole. In 1998, the QWA affiliated with the Swatara Creek Watershed Association, with which it continues to enjoy a close & abiding relationship.
In the nearly 20 years since its founding, the QWA has undertaken more than a dozen major projects funded by state & federal grants totaling over $1.5 million. All these projects are summarized on the Projects & Grants page and detailed in the Archives. Yet much work remains. Our mission statement, expanded in verbiage, remains much the same as in 1997: to improve the water quality of Quittapahilla Creek & its tributaries; to raise public awareness about the watershed's importance to the local quality of life and to the Chesapeake Bay watershed; and to encourage citizens, organizations & businesses in Lebanon County to help maintain the health & viability of the watershed's streams & ecosystems.
The QWA was awarded the Governor’s Watershed Stewardship Award in 2001, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts Watershed Protection Award in 2002.
Partners of the QWA include the Lebanon County Planning Department, the Lebanon County Clean Water Alliance, Lebanon County Conservation District, Lebanon Valley College, Annville-Cleona School District, Cedar Crest School District, Lebanon School District, Lebanon County Career and Technology Center, Palmyra School District, Annville & Cleona Townships, the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Swatara Creek Watershed Association, the Hammer Creek Watershed Association, the Quittapahilla Creek Garbage Museum, the Friends of Old Annville, Lebanon Pipeline Awareness, Lancaster Against Pipelines, Pennsy Supply, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The QWA gratefully acknowledges the longtime sponsorship of the Lebanon Valley Conservancy, under whose federal non-profit 501c(3) tax umbrella the QWA falls, for purposes of state & federal grants.
Despite many challenges & against formidable obstacles — including excessive agricultural runoff, urban & industrial waste, a major flood (Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011), and endless flows of rogue plastic garbage — all those involved in the QWA's efforts have worked hard to improve the water quality in Quittie Creek and its tributaries.
For a more extended discussion of those obstacles & challenges, and some of the ways they have been (and are being) addressed, see the Creek Protection and Ongoing Issues pages in the "Photos & Images" section of this website.
For more recent events, click here for the Streambank Restoration Project of 2014-2016 -- also housed under "Photos & Images" and an exciting transformation of the streambanks in Quittie Creek Nature Park and points downstream.