Our major efforts right now, in autumn 2016, are focused on several related projects.
1. Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP)
To improve a watershed, you first need to identify the problems and map out a viable solution. On April 25, 2016, the Lebanon Valley Conservancy, Inc., acting in collaboration with the Quittapahilla Watershed Association, was awarded $26,250 Growing Greener grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, for the development of a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) for the Upper Mainsteam of Quittie Creek and for Upper and Lower Snitz Creek. A WIP formally approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Departrment of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) is in most cases an essential precondition for state, federal, and private foundation grants. This is the "identify the problem & map out a solution" phase. Next is the "do the work" phase! We are thrilled about the award, because it means that our efforts to improve the quality of the Quittapahilla watershed continue to bear fruit, and that the Commonwealth recognizes the importance of these efforts and supports them not just in words but with resources sufficient to get them done.
2. Quittapahilla Creek Stream Restoration Project in Annville
This project took about 16 years from beginning to end. The final phase, dubbed "Phase 2," began in July 2016 and was mostly completed by late September. Phase 2 was made possible thanks to a $422,462 Growing Greener Grant from PA-DEP. The funds for Phase 2 came atop the $444,126 Growing Greener grant and $80,000 from the PA Fish & Boat Commission for Phase 1, awarded in 2014 -- bringing the grand total for Phases 1 & 2 to nearly $1 million ($946,588). Studies that made the work possible began around the year 2000.
The following organizations & businesses combined efforts to make this project happen:
• Lebanon Valley Conservancy (overall project management & administration, finances, reports)
• Quittapahilla Watershed Association (oversee re-vegetation, coordinate with landowners, monitor annually)
• Lebanon Valley College (pre- and post-construction biological surveys & monitoring)
• Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (post-construction habitat evaluation)
• Clear Creeks Consulting, LLC (professional services for project coordination)
• Sylva Native Nursery & Seed Co (matching for planting materials)
• Aquatic Resources Restoration Company (did the work)
A week-to-week photoblog on the Stream Resoration Project can be found under "Photos & Images" at left, under the sub-tab Restoration 2014-16. Work on this major & important project began on Monday, November 10, 2014, and was formally inaugurated a week later, on Nov. 17, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Raymond Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge off Bachman Road in Annville. The goal of the project is to restore 3,450 linear feet of Quittie Creek — about two-thirds of a mile (0.65 of a mile), from 150 yards upstream of the Old Mill Dam in Quittie Creek Nature Park to just upstream of the 934 Bridge, as shown on the Site Location Map below. Phase 1, covered by the Growing Greener and Fish & Boat Commission grants and mostly completed on 19 February 2015, removed most of the concrete remnants of the Old Mill Dam and restored approximately 1,750 linear feet of streambank and stream channel, starting about 150 yards upstream of the Pedestrian Bridge and continuing a couple of hundred yards past Stumpy's Little Footbridge off Bachman Road. Phase 2, which took the project down nearly to the Route 934 (White Oak St.) Bridge, saw its formal conclusion at the closeout meeting of Monday, October 3, 2016.
This project will remain prominently listed on this Projects & Grants page because it was a big project and a big success, and because the QWA will be responsible for annual monitoring of the restored areas until the year 2021.
The area encompassed by both Phases 1 & 2 is shown in the map below:
Site Location Map detail adapted from USGS (7.5 min. quad.) Palmyra & Lebanon PA as modified by Skelly & Loy, Inc. June 2012, Fig. 1, Attach. G.
In the box below is the Executive Summary of the project, taken from a massive, map-laden December 2012 report, titled "Chapter 105/Section 404 Environmental Assessment Authorization Application Package, Quittapahilla Creek Nature Park Restoration Project, Annville & South Annville Townships, Lebanon County PA, Prepared for the Quittapahilla Watershed Association by Skelly and Loy, Inc."
QUITTAPAHILLA CREEK NATURE PARK STREAM RESTORATION PROJECT
This 405/105 Joint Permit Application package has been prepared by Skelly and Loy, Inc. for the Quittapahilla Creek Nature Park Stream Restoration Project in Annville and South Annville Townships, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. The project site follows Quittapahilla Creek from approximately 450 feet above the Old Mill Dam to a point upstream of the Route 934 Bridge. The site is located at 40° 19' 37" N Latitude, -76° 30' 24" W Longitude. The project site is characterized by a publicly owned park and private property consisting of a mix of woodlands (upland and floodplain), meadow, and mowed yards. No permanent structures are situated within the proposed limit of disturbance. There are no wetland impacts for the project. Under the proposed project, the existing stream will be restored and the existing land uses will not change. The project proposes to restore approximately 3,450 linear feet (49,018 square feet) of Quittapahilla Creek and 240 linear feet of adjacent tributaries (2,300 square feet). The restoration will involve channel improvements to Quittapahilla Creek in order to provide aquatic habitat, stream stability and water quality benefits as well as to reduce sediment loading downstream. The total area of disturbance for the project is 9.47 acres. A detailed FEMA floodplain (Zone A6) is mapped along Quittapahilla Creek through the project area. The proposed improvements will not result in an increase in the 100-year surface elevation.
Supporting documentation, including detailed maps of the proposed project, appears on the Studies & Documents page of this website. We express our gratitude to the Lebanon Valley Conservancy for its sponsorship of our Growing Greener and Fish & Boat Commission grant applications under the umbrella of its 501c(3) tax status.
The third main project we're working on right now we're calling the Cleona Quittie Creek Restoration Project. The project, still in its infancy, is envisioned as streambank restoration along Quittapahilla Creek from Dairy Road all the way downstream to Mill Street -- about a mile. Our goal right now is to secure permissions from all landowners on both sides of the creek along this mile-long stretch.
To that end, we coordinated with Cleona Borough public officials to hold a public meeting at the Cleona Borough Hall on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, at 7:00 PM to address any questions or concerns that landowners along the creek might have. Below we provide links to the four items we mailed to landowners in the second half of May:
Securing "landowner commitments" and "landowner access authorizations" from every landowner on both sides of the creek from Dairy Road to Mill Street would just be the first step in what is envisioned as a multi-year project. In the most optimistic scenario, the actual restoration work would begin in 2018 or 2019.
On August 1, 2016, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission announced a call for proposals, with a deadline of Sept. 30, for "grant funding opportunities to address water quality, aquatic habitat enhancement, and recreational access in the Tulpehocken Creek and Quittapahilla Creek watersheds in Berks and Lebanon counties. . . . Only project proposals located within these two watersheds will be considered." On September 29, the Doc Fritchey chapter of Trout Unlimited responded with a detailed proposal for a grant of $148K to restore 1,200 linear feet of Lower Snitz Creek in North Cornwall Township, mainly on the Hershey Property. See the Studies & Documents page for the Sept 2016 proposal. The QWA strongly endorses this proposal. Awards should be announced in Dec 2016 -- so keep your fingers crossed!
The fifth main project we're working on right now is building this website and bringing everything on these web pages up to date. Thank you for your patience as we move forward.
Major past projects
Here we list the major projects undertaken by the Quittapahilla Watershed Association since its founding in June 1997. See the materials housed on the Archives page of this website (the first item under "Photos & Images") for a more detailed look at each of these projects, including not only final reports but correspondence, photos, memos & notes, receipts, and related material.
• 2009-2010. PA-DEP Growing Greener Grant to study work in Annville, completed in 2010, to prepare a plan to stabilize 3,300 feet of stream bank. Grant amount: $90,000.
• 2008-2010. PA-DEP Growing Greener Grant BMP3 2008, completion in 2010. To create a wetland to remove sediment and phosphorous. Grant amount: $250,000.
• 2006. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant for sediment study. Completed. Grant amount: $25,000.
• 2005-2006. PA Fish & Boat Commission grant to stabilize the stream bank in Cornwall Borough Park. Final Report submitted 2/1/07. Grant amount: $10,000.
• 2001-2006. PA-DEP Growing Greener Assessment Grant - 1B. Completed. Grant amount: $282,000.
• 2000-2001. PA-DEP Growing Greener Assessment Grant 1A. Completed. Grant amount: $175,000.
• 2003. Cleona Park mitigation grant to stabilize the stream bank in Cleona Park, $3,600.
of Community & Economic Development (PA-DCED) Grant for
developing an educational wetland involving four
school districts and Lebanon Valley College. Final Report submitted 2003. Grant amount:
DEP construction work at wetland. Final Report submitted 2003. Grant amount: $37,000.
• 2000-2002. PA-DEP Growing Greener Grant & PA-DCNR Grant. Work on four farms on Little Swatara Creek: installation of 9,825 feet of streambank fencing and planting of riparian buffers. Final Report submitted 6/30/2003. Grant amounts: PA-DCNR: $14,513.60. PA-DEP: $19,425.
• 2000-2002. PA-DEP Growing Greener Grant for the Hammer Creek: 9,916 feet of streambank fenced and riparian buffers planted on six farms. Final Report submitted 6/30/2003. Grant amount: $56,618.67.
• 2001. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grant for component of assessment study. Completed. Grant amount: $5,000.
• 1999-2000. PA-DEP Watershed Restoration Grant. 10,115 feet of stream bank fenced and riparian buffers planted on seven farms. Final Report submitted 6/30/2000. Grant amount: $28,204.59.
• 1998-1999. PA-DEP Watershed Restoration Grant. 25,451 feet of stream bank fenced and riparian buffers planted on eleven farms. Final Report submitted 6/30/1999. Grant amount: $44,844.45.
• 1998-2002. Over three tons of trash collected from the watershed in multiple community cleanups organized or sponsored by the QWA.
• 1998-2001. Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission Adopt-a-Stream Grant. Stabilized 4,000 feet of stream bank In Quittie Creek Nature Park (1000 feet per year). $2,000 per year for four years, for a total of $8,000.