2000 Meeting Minutes

bulletDecember 27, 2000 Minutes
bulletNovember 29, 2000 Minutes
bulletOctober 25, 2000 Minutes
bulletSeptember 27, 2000 Minutes
bulletAugust 30, 2000 Minutes
bulletJuly 25, 2000 Minutes
bulletMay 31, 2000 Minutes
bulletApril 26, 2000 Minutes
bulletMarch 29, 2000 Minutes
bulletFebruary 23, 2000 Minutes
bulletJanuary 26, 2000 Minutes

December 27, 2000

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on December 27, 2000 at Harper's Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road. Present were Jo Ellen Litz, Tom Embich, John Worrilow, Stephanie Harmon, Kristen Bardell, Karen Light, Dick Blouch, Harvey Bomberger, Bill Achor, Dave Lasky, Ann Marie Lasky, George Conner and Betty Conner.

SCWA Business

  1. The minutes of the 11/29/2000 meeting were distributed for approval at the January meeting.
  2. The treasurer reported that dues are receivable for year 2001.
  3. Nominations committee chair, John Worrilow, recommended the current slate of officers be retained. Election of officers will take place at the January meeting.
  4. Dates for meetings in the year 2001 were approved:
bullet1/31 SRBC video on Flood Forecast and Warning Initiave
bullet2/28, Wenger Feeds
bullet6/27 @ Water Works
bullet11/28 Ed Keener

Names and/or topics are being considered for possible speakers and topics for the coming year.  Suggested were: Ralph Heister's water monitoring class; David Lasky, Quittie Watershed Assoc. and cooperating land owners; Al Wenger, Wenger Feeds; Lebanon Valley Conservancy; and Sen. Brightbill. Further suggestions should be given to Jo Ellen as soon as possible.

bullet5. Jo Ellen reported that a resolution of support for the Swatara River Conservation Plan was received from Tremont Borough, bringing the total number to 26 municipalities, including 2 counties.
bullet6. Jo Ellen, Dave Lasky, Ralph Heister and George Conner attended the public meeting held by DEP Bureau of Water Quality at the Lebanon Municipal Building on December 22 to review the Proposed TMDL reports on streams in the Quittapahilla Creek Watershed, and on Elizabeth Run and Deep Run in the Little Swatara Creek Watershed. The Proposed TMDLs are assessments of current loadings of phosphorus and sediment in these streams, the sources of the pollutants, and an estimation of the reductions needed to bring the water quality up to the point where the streams are no longer considered impaired. Copies of the reports are available in the SCWA office. DEP is receiving comments on the Proposed TMDLs until January 31.
bullet7. Copies of letters sent to DEP and to Sen. Brightbill by Wenger Feeds relating to their Growing Greener Grant Proposal were circulated. SCWA thanked Wenger Feeds for their efforts in planning environmental restoration projects on the Dutch Country Farms properties. Since they did not receive the grant, Dave and Jo Ellen asked to meet with Bill Achor concerning a scaled down project.
bullet8. Canaan Valley Institute is offering used computers to watershed groups. The computers are IBM compatible 486s, with Windows 95 installed.
bullet9. A letter was received from Ken Connor, Camp Central, inviting SCWA to attend their next board meeting on January 6 at the camp. SCWA was concerned that Camp Central had applied for and received a Growing Greener Grant without notifying the Lebanon County Conservation District or providing an opportunity to review their grant proposal prior to submission.
bullet10. The Manada Conservancy has received a conservation easement on a farm in the Swatara Watershed.
bullet11. Jo Ellen reviewed the costs of administering grants as a 501C(3) umbrella organization. A 2% administration fee is allowed on a grant application, but the $2000 administrative fee on $100,000, is not sufficient to cover the costs of audits, bonds and liability insurance. An organization receiving more that $100,000 in grants is required to have a 133 Compliance Audit or Single Audit, which costs approximately $2400. In addition, administrative costs for officer’s bonds, liability insurance, and charitable organization fees result in minimum administrative costs of $3326 to $5654 when bonding umbrella groups. SCWA will need to include the minimum $3326 for these expenses in the 2001 budget which will be considered at the January meeting. Also there are grant-related expenses for telephones, copying, postage and travel. A discussion was held by SCWA members concerning documentation of their expenses incurred while carrying out SCWA business. All members should keep a log of mileage, telephone calls, postage, copying, and other expenses as well as # hours volunteered for SCWA. This is important for documenting in-kind contributions to the organization and its projects. For reimbursement of expenses, the following policy was decided: It was moved by George Conner, seconded by Tom Embich, that SCWA officers and designated representatives submit documentation for consideration of reimbursement of expenses incurred in relation to specific grant-supported projects. Motion passed.
bullet12. PA 2nd Summit of Volunteer Watershed Monitors - Feb. 23, 24 at Penn Stater conference Center, State College.

bullet1. Ann Lasky reported that the Quittie Nature Park plans to hold a skating party at the pond in the quarry on January
bullet2. Stephanie Harmon reported that the third round of Growing Greener Grant applications are due March 9. There will be a pre-application workshop scheduled in this area on January 9 at the Grantville Holiday Inn at 1:00
and 6:00 P.M.
bullet3. The Lower Susquehanna Basin Water Resources Study sponsored by the SRBC and Capital Region Water Board will hold its first public workshop on January 25 at the Wildwood Conference Center, HACC Campus, Harrisburg, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
bullet4. Bill Achor, Wenger Feeds, attended a meeting of Lancaster County watershed groups where ideas were exchanged and suggestions for sharing equipment were made. He also offered to contact insurance companies about the need to help watershed groups with liability insurance. Bill reported on the Wenger Feeds' revised plans for Growing Greener projects. DEP suggested that they consider doing an environmental education demonstration project. Another possibility would be for SCWA to apply for a 3rd Round Growing Greener Grant with Wenger Feeds as a partner as well as some farmers in the Little Swatara Watershed. One possible project would be to create wetland filters for wash water treatment. It was suggested that the various options be summarized and discussed with Mary Golab, our Growing Greener Advisor. Wenger Feeds will be meeting with the conservation district nutrient management specialists to discuss their nutrient management plans which will be presented to the Lebanon and Berks County Conservation District Boards at their January meetings
bullet5. The Water Conservation Kits described in the December minutes were discussed. It was suggested to involve schools. 6. Kristin Bardell, SRBC representative, announced that there would be a public meeting on January 24 at the Lower Dauphin Middle School, at 7 P.M., to present the Surface Source Water Assessment for the Swatara Creek.
bulletTODAY'S SPEAKER: Karen Light, Quittapahilla Audubon Society, spoke about "Flora and Fauna of the Swatara Watershed." Karen presented a slide program of wildflowers and plants in the Swatara Watershed with emphasis on the northern part of Lebanon County.

November 29, 2000

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on November 29, 2000 at Harper's Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road. Present were Dean Achenbach, Katelyn Achenbach, Bob Arnold, Kristen Bardell, Flynn Barnett, Dick Blouch, Harvey J. Bomberger, Betty Conner, Ann Devine, Tom Embich, Mary Golab, Stephanie Harmon, Dan Koury, Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Andrew Longenecker, Gina Mason, Walt Pomeroy, Ken Thomas, Jr., Chuck Wertz, and John Worrilow.


Minutes of the previous meeting were approved on a Worrilow/Light motion.

To date, no word was received on the second round of Growing Greener grant awards.

In the 3rd Growing Greener grant round, SCWA is submitting a proposal for $5000 to purchase 800 water conservation kits for educating the public about conservation of water. It was estimated 8 million gallons per year could be saved in the Watershed through this conservation technique.

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission invited SCWA to sign on as a partner in a Technical Assistance Grant Application to provide training and assistance to watershed groups in the SRBC Basin. It was moved by Chuck Wertz, seconded by Ann Lasky, to approve SCWA’s participation in the SRBC Technical Assistance grant. Motion passed.

A May Swatara Sojourn committee was announced: Norma Bingham, Rainbow Region Tourist Bureau; Dave Carbaugh, Lickdale Campgrounds; Don Dreese, experienced sojourner; Tom Embich, environmental consultant; Bill Friese, State Park manager; Walt & Barb Haber, experienced sojourners; Dan Koury, Bureau of Mining; Brooke Lenker, experienced sojourner; Craig Morgan, Schuylkill Conservation District; Mike Pavelek, GLRA and Horseshoe Trail book author; Chuck Wertz, Lebanon Conservation District; Bill Wise, Union Canal Canoe Rentals; Ed Chubb, Dauphin Parks; and Jo Ellen Litz, SCWA president and experienced canoeist.

Inspection of Camp Bashore’s Lake Stouffer was completed by diving team Rick & Jo Ellen Litz and Warren Kessler who took underwater videotapes of the drains and valves and found no debris or blockages.

Resolutions in support of the River Conservation Plan were received from 25 municipalities or 50% of the municipalities. The newest additions are Jonestown Borough, Lower Paxton Township, and Royalton Borough.

To cover the cost of copying, SCWA will charge $223 for a Final River Conservation Plan notebook with CDs. Swatara Watershed groups may receive a semi-final version of the Plan without charge.

Lower Susquehanna Basin and Swatara Creek Resources Studies – The SRBC, Capital Region Water Board, PADEP, and USACE are developing scopes of work for the two referenced studies. Both studies will be funded under Section 22 of the USACE program funds. The contract for the Lower Susquehanna study has been ratified and the "Start of the Study" coordination meeting was held on September 12. The Swatara Creek Study contract should be ratified in early fall.

SCWA acted on a call from Susan Bucks, Palmyra HS, concerning an abandoned car students pulled from the Swatara Creek bank.

5 miles of Rail Trail, Route 117 in Colebrook, were dedicated Sunday, 11/19/00.

Also in November, garbage spilled from a New York truck that failed to negotiate a curve on Route 81 at the Route 209 exit outside Tremont.

Lebanon Water Authority released the results of a Gannet Fleming study using water flow and climate records dating back to 1919. Focusing on the two most severe droughts of 1930 and 1980, computer simulations projected safe yield to be 7 million gpd. With today’s 16,568 customers, the year 2030 will most likely service 21,801 customers using 9.7 million gpd and 11.2 mgpd.

Center for Watershed Stewardship, Penn State Keystone Projects, 8 month curriculum for students enrolled in Graduate work. Students will work cooperatively on actual watershed stewardship problems, needs, and opportunities. By 1/15/01, preliminary expressions of interest must be sent in a brief letter outlining significant community needs and a challenging and rigorous educational opportunity.

Steve Whinham, PA Fish and Boat Commission, spoke to the Little Swatara Watershed Association.

2/23-24/01, DEP presents PA’s second statewide summit of volunteer watershed monitors, Penn Stater Conference Center, State College.


Dan Koury, Bureau of Mining, reported that the OSM is starting a project to restore the stream where a sinkhole developed in the Swatara Creek headwaters last July causing the falls to disappear. On Hegins Run, a limestone channel is being installed, and the BAMR is restoring Middle Creek to the surface.

Bill Achor, Wenger Feeds, encouraged SCWA to submit an application for the Watershed Stewardship Award.

Ann Devine, SRBC Community Liaison, announced that there would be a public meeting the week of January 22, on Surface Water Assessments.

Stephanie Harmon, LCCD Watershed Specialist, announced a meeting on December 6 at the Lebanon Ag Center for groups working on creeks in Lebanon County. There will also be an Earth Day Committee meeting on December 14 at 5PM.

Chuck Wertz and Stephanie Harmon reported that EASI asked the LCCD to host a chapter in Lebanon County. Senior Centers would also be involved. EASI goals involve water monitoring and education. Actual collected data are need to calibrate computer models of streams and basins. The Office of Aging has computers to record the data collected. Chuck suggested that EASI could help educate the public on topics such as recharge areas, septic tank maintenance, stormwater issues, and wellhead protection.

Flynn Barnett, Trout Unlimited Doc Fritchie Chapter, reported on work being done to increase by 2/3 the capacity of the limestone diversion well at Rausch Creek in Stony Valley. The project has been ongoing for 13 years. Next year TU will focus on Manada Creek which was an excellent trout stream in the past, but has been degraded by siltation in the last few years from activities at FIG.

Jo Ellen reported that she was asked to serve on the board of directors of Canaan Valley Institute. She will attend a meeting next week in West Virginia.

Today’s Speaker, Walt Pomeroy, Pennsylvania Organization for watersheds and Rivers—POWR.

OCTOBER 25, 2000, 9:30AM

Present were: Bill Achor, Bob Arnold, Kristen Bardell, Dick Blouch, Tom Embich, Tim Emenheiser, Mary Golab, Stephanie Harmon, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, and Gary Whitmeyer. Betty Conner is in New York representing SCWA at an EPA round-table discussion.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved on a Blouch/Light motion.

So far, Chuck Wertz, Tom Embich, Jo Ellen Litz, Walt Haber, and Mike Pavelek have volunteered to serve on a “sojourn” committee. Eugene Tripp volunteered to organize fire company volunteers for safety and "shore support." On an Arnold/Blouch motion, SCWA voted to expand our one-day canoe trip to two days. Dave Carbaugh, Union Township Supervisor and owner of Lickdale Campground has agreed to provide a group rate and meeting room to accommodate the event. Bill Wise, Union Canal Canoe Rentals, has also offered his campground facilities to accommodate guests. A $1000 per day grant is available from DCNR. Grant applications are due November 3. The PA "River of the Year" will receive a bonus.

Nominations of directors for the Lebanon Conservation District are being accepted. Mr. Earl Ziegler is willing to continue, but George Ungemach is leaving the board. Since this is a farm position, not an at-large appointment, no nomination was suggested at this time. Dick Blouch volunteered to help edit the newsletter and prepare bulk
mailings as well as maintain the scrapbook. Other volunteers are welcome. Commitment involves one-half day each quarter to help prepare the mailing, and/or one day per month to update the scrapbook.

OCTOBER 14 was a grand day for the Swatara Watershed! First our rivers conservation plan appeared in the PA Bulletin giving us Official River Registry status. 21 Municipal Resolutions were received to date: County of
Lebanon; City of Lebanon; Annville, South Lebanon and Union Townships; and Palmyra Borough. In Dauphin County, Conewago, East Hanover, Derry, South Hanover, and Swatara Townships as well as Humelstown and Middletown Boroughs. County of Schuylkill, Tremont Township, and Pine Grove Borough. In Berks County, Tulpehocken and Upper Tulpehocken Townships. Phyllis Caskie, Chuck Wertz, Jim Boyer and Jo Ellen collated the fifty watershed plans that will be available for distribution to municipalities providing a Resolution of support.

Wayne Schultz, from the Derry Township Municipal Sewer Authority also requested a color copy of the plan. They are willing to pay for the plan.

Then , SCWA’S Success story was heard by 400 people attending the first DEP Growing Greener Conference in State College. Thank you to everyone who helped to fine-tune our partners list. A follow-up article appeared in Watershed Weekly published by POWR- PA Organization of Watersheds and Rivers. An encore presentation--after Lunch with Larry was also given to 100 at DEP’s central office (the Rachel Carson building) in Harrisburg on October 19. There was talk about one or two more presentations. An updated board picture is requested for inclusion in the PowerPoint presentation. Jo Ellen will be in touch with dates to try and get everyone together.

(click to enlarge photo)

Betty, George, John & Jo Ellen met representatives of the Greater Harrisburg Foundation on Friday afternoon at the Water Works Canoe Launch for a photo to appear in their annual report.

Both the Northern Swatara (Craig Morgan) and Quittapahilla (Dave Lasky) requested guidelines for using our 501C3 status.

October 24 Tom presented SCWA’s success story to the Paxton Creek Watershed Association. Tom is also working with Friends of the Union Canal Tunnel on a possible new land donation.

A Little Swatara grant report was submitted to Mary Golab. The next meeting of the Little Swatara is on Monday, October 30, 2000, 7pm, at Mt. Aetna Fire Company.

The Quittie Watershed has a new web site http://community.pennlive.com/cc/quittiewatershed

The League of Women Voters of Lebanon requested questions to ask of candidates in the November 2 debate at the Lebanon Municipal Building and broadcast on WLBR. Three members responded.

An idea about a "Water Conservation Kit" was discussed for our next Growing Greener Grant Round. The kit could take the form of a shower head and water displacement device for toilets and distributed to "contest" winners who answer a conservation question on local radio stations. The amount of water saved per day/week/month/year could be calculated for measurable results.

Bill attended a Nutrient Trading exchange outlining a market-based strategy and alternative technology.

Gary attended a Growing Greener land-use forum about regionalization.

Tim reported on farms accepting Philadelphia sludge which led to a discussion that Derry Township has been accepting local sludge for about thirty years. The issue of high concentrations of heavy metals was raised. Depending upon the type of soil, there are calculations of lifetime limits for soil application of heavy metals. When the limit is reached, application is permanently banned.

Steph is attending an EASI meeting at the Area Agency on Aging tomorrow. She also shared that the Rail Trail at Colebrook is about to open.

Mary said Round 2 Growing Greener grant announcements were moved to at least to weeks after the original date of 10/13. Legislators may call with the announcements. Training for Round 3 will take place 12/4, and grants will be due 12/22. Also, the Environmental Futures Team plan is done. Mike Steiner will be taking steps to implement recommendations.

Karen agreed to provide the December program.

Tom Embich spoke on Susquehanna River Basin Commission Sediment study. Forty percent of the phosphorous load is tied up in sediment. Sand is course. Silt is fine. Clay is even finer, the last to settle out of the water, and actually bonds to the phosphorus. Where sediment drops is related to velocity. Holtwood, Safe Harbor, and Conowingo are all 70 years old. If all the reservoirs are filled to capacity, all the sediment will "run with the River" and drain right into the Chesapeake Bay. While both Holtwood and Safe Harbor are at capacity, Conowingo has between twenty and forty years of "sediment life" left. However, if another flood occurs like Agnes in 1972, the sediment could be scoured and cleaned from the bottom of the reservoirs Questions about what to do about the sediment are being discussed by scientists. Are existing Best Management Practices--riparian buffers, contour strip farming...--adequate? Is it really the sediment, algae bloom, or both that stop the sun from reaching plants in the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay? Is suction dredging an alternative, or is it too hard on the environment--or too expensive? Is the sediment toxic? Where will we put the sediment? When the sediment is disturbed, what other releases may occur? To that end, borings are being collected and studied. For example, one-meter wide belts of coal have been found. Look for enhanced monitoring programs to include sediment load. In addition, scientists are looking for ways to obtain maximum energy dissipation like mother nature's forest beds of pine needles and leaves absorbing pelting rains. Ironically, the lower 12% of the Susquehanna River Basin (around the Conestoga) produces about 60% of the River's sediment load.

Respectfully submitted,
Jo Ellen

September 27, 2000
Minutes of Meeting at
Harper’s Tavern Restaurant
East Hanover Township

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on September 27, 2000 at Harper’s Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road.

Present were Jo Ellen Litz, Tom Embich,, John Worrilow, Chuck Wertz, Ruth Dietz,, Karen Light, Bob Arnold,  Dick Blouch, Gina Mason, Jim Boyer, Stephanie Harmon, Bill Achor, Harvey Bomberger, Ann Marie Lasky, Kristen Bardell, Charles Cravotta and Betty Conner.   Others?

The minutes of the last meeting on 8/30/2000 were corrected to show that Ryan Koch attended the meeting, but that Dick Blouch and Jim Boyer did not attend.   The corrected minutes were approved on a motion by John Worrilow, seconded by Bob Arnold.

Jo Ellen reported on the second Little Swatara Watershed meeting held on September 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mt.Aetna Fire Hall.  A presentation was made by Pam Spayd, Berks County Conservation District, about historical water testing data on nitrates and phosphates from thirteen sites in the Little Swatara Watershed in Berks County from 1988 through 1992. Stephanie Harmon, Lebanon County Conservation District Watershed specialist, outlined a typical watershed organization structure.  Flynn Barnett, Trout Unlimited and Quittapahilla Watershed Association, described streambank fencing as the most effective project to restore streams.  The next meeting will be on October 30 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mt.Aetna Fire Hall.  Nominations for officers and board members are currently being received so that an election can take place at that meeting.  Ademonstration of water testing kits will be conducted.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a fresh sample of water (kept on ice) from a creek or well in the watershed.

The completed Swatara Creek Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan was mailed to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to arrive before the September 30 deadline.  Copies are also available to all 50 municiplities in the Watershed.   To date the following resolutions from municipalities in the watershed have been received:
>Lebanon County Commissioners
> Union Township Supervisors, Lebanon county
> Swatara Township Supervisors, Dauphin County
> Derry Township Supervisors, Dauphin County
> Pine Grove Borough Council, Schuylkill County

Tom Embich reported that supplemental doocuments will be submitted to DCNR today.  A verbatim transcript of the final public hearing held on September 20 will be submitted as a videotape.  Copies of the GIS information on CD and as hard copy maps will be sent to PASDA and DCNR.   Mackin Engineering is editing the Pagemaker text and putting it into a PDF format.  The Plan’s Executive summary will be put on the SCWA website in Word format.

A Pre-Application Workshop for the DCNR Comunity Conservation Partnerships Year 2000 Grants was attended by Betty Conner on September 21 at theHarrisburg Holiday Inn West.   Instruction was given on the  Handbook and Grant Application Form covering 21 different grant project types including planning projects, technical assistance projects, acquisition projects, development projects, and federally funded recreational trails and Land & Water Conservation Fund projects.  The deadline for grant applications is November 3, 2000.  Potential applicants are urged to consult with their Regional Advisor before filling out an application.

Jo Ellen reported on a meeting at Ft. Indiantown Gap on Monday, September 25,  held by DCNR to discuss a process to solicit bids to develop Swatara State Park.

Jo Ellen will give a presentation at the statewide Growing Greener conference to be held in State College on October 13 and 14.

SCWA has been invited to send representatives to a workshop with the Kresge Foundation, hosted by the Greater Harrisburg Foundation, on October 13.

SCWA has been invited to send a representative to a Mid-Atlantic Region Watershed Roundtable to be held by EPA October 25 - 27 in Frost Valley, New York.   Betty Conner will attend.

Tom Embich reported on some other watershed groups in the Susquehanna River Subbasin 7.   The Codorus Creek Watershed Group is having a study conducted by Skelly and Loy.   The Paxton Creek Watershed Association is getting stared with help from HACC Wildwood Campus and the Olewine Nature Center at Wildwood Lake.  They will hold two public meetings on Tuesday, October 24 at 3:00 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. in Room 130, Blocker Hall, HACC Wildwood Campus.

Bill Achor attended the EPA Workshop on Green Communities held at the Grantville Holiday Inn on September 13.  The Swatara Creek Watershed was used as an example of a Green Community.

Ann Lasky reported that the Quittapahilla Watershed Association will be sponsoring two tree planting days, October 7 and October 14.  Volunteers will meet at the Allwein Center near the entrance to the Quittie Nature
Park.  They should bring shovels.  The Nature Park will hold its annual Pumpkin Walk on October 27 from 6:30 tp 8:30 p.m.

Stephanie Harmon spoke to another waterhsed group interested in monitoring water quality along with Pam Spayd, Berks County Conservation District.  Stephanie is also working on a Water Monitoring Study Design for Furnace Creek in Lebanon County.  There is concern about the Covance intensive animal operation.

Gina Mason distributed brochures for the Growing Greener Conference to be held October 13 nd 14 in State College.  The emphasis will be on succcess stories.

Kristen Bardell reported that the SRBC is working with drinking water suppliers to conduct a source water assessment of surface water intakes. They will assess the raw water at the intakes and its susceptibility to
contamination from the watershed.

TODAY’S SPEAKER:  Charles Cravotta, USGS
Results were presented from his study, “Changes in Water Quality from Implementation of Limestone Treatment in a Coal Mined Watershed in Pennsylvania” by Charles Cravotta and Jeffrey Weitzel.  Two papers were published from the study and one is in review.  A presentation was made at the National Non Point Source Monitoring Workshop in Connecticut on September 12.   Funding for the study came from federal 319 program funds through the DEP Growing Greener Grant Program, from a DCNR Grant, and from Schuylkill County’s Landfill Monitoring Fund.  Volunteers from the Northern Swatara Watershed Association helped with construction.  Mine owner Earl Kieffer was given an award by the Schuykill County Conservation District for his efforts.  The goal of the study was to determine what factors affect the performance and function of passive limestone treatments.  In Pennsylvania, 45 out of 67 counties are affected by acid mine drainage and more than 3000 miles of streams are so impaired.  The cause of the acidity is the exposure of naturally ocurring iron disulfide, or pyrite, to oxygen and water in the mining process, producing iron sulphate which breaks down to iron hydroxide and sulphuric acid.  The iron hydroxide forms the reddish sediment seen in these streams.  Aluminum, copper, lead and manganese, as well as zinc, nickel and cobalt, are often present with the pyrite and can be trapped in the iron hydrxide sediment.  If the sediment is resuspended by storms and carried downstream to the Chesapeake Bay, the metals can go back into solution in the anoxic bottom waters of the Bay.In the passive treatment systems, calcium carbonate in the form of calcite or dolomite is used to neutralize the sulphuric acid.  The systems were constructed between 1995 and 1998.  Results have shown increases in pH from around pH 4 to near neutral pH. in the treated streams.  In the Swatara Creeek at Ravine no fish were detected from 1985 to 1990.  In 1999 after installation of passive limestone treatment upstream, there were 21 species of fish detected including brook trout and small mouth bass.  However, the macroinvertebrates are not coming back as fast.  The concentration of Metals in the sediment is still high.  Settling ponds are needed to remove the metals.

NEXT MEETING:  October 25, 9:30 a.m., Harpers Restaurant.
Speaker:  Tom Embich, “Sediment Study by SRBC”

August 30, 2000

Minutes of Meeting at Harper's Tavern Restaurant, East Hanover Township

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on August 30, 2000 at Harper's Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road. Present were Jo Ellen Litz, Tom Embich, John Worrilow, Chuck Wertz, Ruth Dietz, Karen Light, Bob Arnold, Gina Mason, Ryan Koch, Mark Chegwidden, Stephanie Harmon, Tim Emenheiser, Craig Morgan, Joe Hovis, Bill Achor, Harvey Bomberger, Ann Marie Lasky, and Betty Conner.

The minutes of the last two meetings on 6/28/2000 and 7/26/2000 were approved on a motion by John Worrilow, seconded by Karen Light.

The treasurer reported that Mackin Engineering invoices #12 for $4135.00 and #13 for $4135.00 were submitted for approval for payment.   John Worrilow moved, and Bob Arnold seconded, to approve payment pending reimbursement from DCNR.  Motion carried.

Jo Ellen reported on the first Little Swatara Watershed meeting held on August 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mt.Aetna Fire Hall.  Over 40 people attended the meeting.  Issues and natural assets in the watershed were identified and prioritized.  The next meeting will be on September 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mt.Aetna Fire Hall.

The Susquehana Sojourn Reunion sponsored by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will take place the weekend of September 3.  There will be presentations at the campfire at Union Canal Canoe Rentals at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 3.

Nominations for the Annual Lebanon County Conservation District Awards are due August 31.  The following nominations were made: It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Tom Embich, to nominate Ed Krebs for the Special Conservation Award.  Motion carried. It was moved by Bob Arnold, seconded by Ann Lasky, to nominate Ralph Heister for the Conservation Educator Award.  Motion carried.  It was moved by Tom Embich, seconded by Betty Conner, to nominated the Bucher Farm for the Conservation Landowner Award. Motion carried. It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Ann Lasky, to nominate John B. Wengert for the Conservationist Award.  Motion carried.

A number of DEP Growing Greener Grant applications from groups in the Swatara Watershed were submitted for the second round of grants applications due August 11.  For grants sponsored by SCWA, Memorandums of  Understanding were signed by Wenger Feeds/Dutch Country Farms $510,750; Streamlynx $44,952; and Quittapahilla Watershed Association $413,755.  Since we will be pushed into a higher level, thus more expensive audit, we asked that the budgets of grants sponsored by SCWA include 2% for grant administration by SCWA.  Grants were also submitted for Water Trail signs $13,770; and GIS Contours $19,584.  Letters of endorsement were sent for grants submitted by Northern Lebanon High School; and Dauphin County Conservation District.   A motion was made by John Worrilow, seconded by Harvey Bomberger, to affirm actions.  Motion carried.  The announcement of grant awards will take place in October.

A letter was received from the South Hanover Township Supervisors in support of the Swatara Creek Water Trail and the access point at Swatara Park just below Union Deposit Dam in South Hanover Township.  Special thanks were expressed for their endorsement.   Also thanks to Tom Embich for attending their meeting to answer questions.   Parking time will be restricted to launching canoes, then the cars will have to be moved elsewhere.

The canoe trip last Saturday from the Waterworks site to Harpers revealed that there were still a lot of discarded tires as well as a vending machine in the Creek.  The canoists also saw a mink.

Craig Morgan reported that the Northern Swatara Creek Watershed Association gave awards to Sweet Arrow Lake Association;  Earl Kieffer of Hegins Mining;  and Bob Evanchuk's Handicapped Fishing Access.

Gina Mason announced that there will be a Growing Greener Conference on October 13, 14 in State College.

Joe Hovis, Biologist at Ft. Indiantown Gap, reported that a Draft Water Resources Plan is being prepared.  They did an inventory of natural resources on the Gap property, including wetlands and species diversity.
He said they found a spread wing damsel fly in the impact area. They are starting a baseline monitoring plan to establish background parameters on water quality, toxics, macroinvertebrates and sediment. They are planning to address erosion and sedimentation on tank trails and on the road up to second mountain.

Ann Lasky reported that the Quittapahilla Watershed Association is trying to repair the damage in the Nature Park caused by the trucks used to bring in the large rocks for streambank stabilization.  The group needs some
small equipment to move dirt.

Tom Embich reported that the Chesapeake Bay Commission invited him to make a presentation on the Swatara Creek Watershed Association, along with Cindy Dunn, Audubon Society, and Walter Pomeroy, PA Organization for Watershed and Rivers, at the Commission's meeting on September 8 at Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. He will show our 10 minute video and give a short overview.

There will be a Sediment Conference sponsored by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission on December 7 and 8 at the Hershey Convention Center. Sediment is one of the main reasons for streams in PA being listed on the 303D list.  "Clarity" has been added as a goal for TMDLs.

Chuck Wertz reviewed some of the areas where the Lebanon Conservation District is working.  In addition to the Little Swatara Watershed, he suggested that the southeast part of the county would benefit from the formation of a watershed group.  There are a number of concerns in Heidelburg and Millcreek Townships.  Other areas where the conservation district is working include the Dirt and Gravel Road Program in Ft. Indiantown Gap and meeting with engineers from the Game Commission in regard to the Rexmont Dams.

The Lebanon Valley Conservancy continues to meet at the Ag Center the first Thursday of the month at noon.  Terry  Kauffman, Berks Conservancy, will attend the meeting next Thursday to describe how the William Penn
Foundation can help fund the start up of new conservancies.

Today's Speaker, Craig Morgan, Northern Swatara Watershed Association, described the Adopt-A-Stream Program of the Fish and Boat Commission through which the Asssociation has carried out a number of streambank stabilization projects in the Upper Little Swatara Creek watershed. Graig grew up near the Upper Little Swatara Creek and remembers it being one of the "worst" streams for carrying sediment after a rainstorm.  The improvement in the stream due to streambank stabilization projects has been dramatic.  He showed slides of areas before and after streamside plantings and projects were installed from1986 to1988.  They created
"saw tooth" deflectors and "mud sills" using a backhoe to move stone.   They received a donation of R4 and R5 rock worth $2000.  Streamside plantings included basket willow.  He noted that a DEP permit is required for such streambank modifications.  The Association continues to work in the Northern Swatara Watershed and has just completed another project.

The meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

July 25, 2000

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on July 26, 2000 at Harper’s Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road. Present were Jo Ellen Litz, Tom Embich, John Worrilow, Chuck Wertz, Ruth Dietz, Bob Arnold, Dick Blouch, Gina Mason, Jim Boyer, Mark Chegwidden, Bill Achor, Ann Marie Lasky, Horace Bomberger, Ernest & Gail Hostetter, Brook Lenker, Dana Lomma, and Betty Conner.

Report of New & Renewing Members: (For a list of lifetime members, see our web site.)

Bill Allexander, Berks Conservancy, Ronald Bernhardt, Ed Carney Jr., Phyllis Caskie, Mary Louise Conrad, DEP rep, Harvey Ditzler, Steve Eggert, John Gibble, Eugene Graham, Ken Hahn, Shirley Halk, Fox Hardware, Lloyd Hartman, Joe Hoffman, Edward Krebs, Lebanon Conservation District, Richard Light, Steve McFeeters, Heidi Neiswender, Lois Rank, Gail Smith, Cy Whitson.

The meeting began with a Multi-Media Power Point presentation prepared by HACC students on the Swatara State Park and a Streamlynx CD showing a user-friendly, layered mapping system that could potentially be added to our web site. Later in the meeting a grant proposal for a Swatara Streamlynx project was discussed.


Mackin Engineering invoices #10 for $1079.44 and #11 for $3259.09 were submitted for approval and payment. John Worrilow moved, and Bob Arnold seconded, to approve payment subject to reimbursement funds from DCNR. Motion carried.

Jo Ellen explained the need for a new copier for the SCWA office. A motion by Dick Blauch, seconded by Ann Lasky, to authorize the purchase of a new copier for between $500 and $1000 carried.

Jo Ellen Litz reported on a team clean-up project with members from Middletown Fire Company’s Search and Rescue team and Lebanon Valley Scuba Club that removed a refrigerator and a large tree from the Middletown Dam. An adjacent landowner, Mr. Daly, was instrumental in getting the job done.

The work session picnic at the Waterworks Canoe Launch Site on June 28 was successful. Mulch was spread, litter was picked up, and signs and a bluebird box were installed. Participants were Tom Embich, Bob Arnold, Ann Lasky, Chuck Wertz, Stacy Cromer and Jo Ellen Litz.

Jo Ellen reported on a presentation to the Center for Watershed Stewardship on June 16.

In State College, at the Acid Mine Drainage conference, she had an opportunity to meet Robert Kennedy, Jr. but did not agree with some of the things he advocated such as using lawsuits as a primary way to get environmental results. Jo Ellen also met Bob Hedin who developed the Streamlynx Project. He offered to create a project for the Swatara Watershed, similar to the one on the Clarion Watershed, which could be put on the DEP website. He suggested that we apply for a Growing Greener Education Grant. John Worrilow made a motion, Ann Lasky seconded it, to go ahead with developing a grant proposal. The motion passed.

DCNR will allow Watershed groups to submit multiple grant applications or combine them into one package. To measure the success of the River Conservation Plans, DCNR will also track the number of projects implemented.

Chuck Cravotta, USGS, has offered to give a Power Point presentation on stream flow, metals, and suspended sediment at a future SCWA meeting. SCWA will invite him to speak at a fall meeting.

NIER data was submitted for free printing of a Watershed profile.

A final report from SCWA was sent to the William Penn Foundation.

A copy of the William Penn Foundation Annual Report was circulated.

A copy of the Canaan Valley Institute publication ECHO was circulated. The Swatara Watershed is featured on pages 17 and 18.

An inquiry was received from the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Association regarding our organization’s insurance coverage. A response was sent describing our policy with Lebanon Mutual Insurance Company.

Jim Boyer, Mackin Engineering, reported on the two public meetings to review the Draft River Conservation Plan held July 12 and 13 at Northern Lebanon High School and Lower Dauphin Middle School. There was excellent coverage in newspapers like the Patriot and Lebanon Daily News and on WLBR/WQIC radio before the meetings, and e-mail notices were sent to almost 500 people. The Dauphin County meeting had local officials and new people interested in the River Conservation Plan. Representatives of South Hanover Township, Lower Swatara Township, and the Manada Conservancy support our work and are seeking our support for their trails and programs. While there were no substantive changes, the meetings produced good feedback and suggestions were made for additional projects to be included in the Plan.

A meeting with Terry Hough, DCNR, on the Swatara River Conservation Plan took place on June 23. He described the DCNR Conservation Partnership Grant program, which will offer 22 types of grants. Deadline for the first round of applications will be in November.

Topographic Maps report: An additional $3000-$5000 will be needed to purchase contour maps. It was suggested that we make a request to Sen. Brightbill.

DCNR requested a list that SCWA considers priorities for acquisition. After some discussion, it was agreed that a Swatara Creek launch area; land along Swatara Creek adjacent to the entrance to Swatara State Park; and land adjacent to the Union Canal and Tunnel Park are high priorities.

Wenger Feeds representative, Bill Achor, gave an update on their proposed project in the Little Swatara Watershed. They met with the Berks Conservancy who pointed out more areas to include in the project and recommended a demonstration/education component geared to farmers. Wenger Feeds also met with Trout Unlimited to make them aware of the project and seek their support, and met with the main technical people from the Lebanon County Conservation District, the Berks County Conservation District, NRCS and the Farm Service Agency. Another meeting with the technical people will be held on August 3rd. Wenger Feeds wishes to take a comprehensive watershed approach and will bring the Final Proposal to SCWA before August 9 so that a Growing Greener Grant application can be submitted by August 11. There will be a meeting at the SCWA office on August 9 at 9:00 a.m. to review this and other Final Proposals.

Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay representatives, Brook Lenker and Dana Lomma, reported on the Susquehanna Sojourn sponsored by the Alliance, which took place during June. A Reunion Trip on the Swatara will take place on Sunday, September 3 starting from the Waterworks launch site (or Harper’s) to Union Canal Canoe Rentals. .

The Swatara Creek Water Trail Logo was approved by SCWA and given to the Fish and Boat Commission. A letter is needed from South Hanover Township. Tom Embich will work on obtaining the letter.

A request for support was made by Gail and Ernie Hostetter who wish to apply for a Growing Greener Grant to install composting toilets on their farm and rodeo facility in East Hanover Township. It was pointed out that Growing Greener Grants are directed towards nonpoint source pollution. It was suggested that the Hostetters include other conservation possibilities on the farm such as riparian buffers. There is a spring-fed pond on the property. The conservation district representatives said they would be willing to help. John Worrilow moved, and Tom Embich seconded, to draft a memorandum of understanding for SCWA to facilitate the Hostetters’ grant application. Motion carried.

A Little Swatara Watershed inaugural meeting is planned for August 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mt. Aetna Fire Company. A mailing list is being developed for sending notices. Names and addresses should be given to the SCWA office. One suggestion was to include PTOs of local schools.

A suggestion was made for a future project to include a movable, floating environmental classroom, such as a pontoon boat, to teach students about the Swatara Watershed.  It could travel around the watershed--from Marquette and Sweet Arrow Lakes to the Middletown boat launch and Union Canal Tunnel Park, to Stoever's Dam and Ebenezer Lake, as well as Boat House Road Park... as a setting for water testing and education.


Ann Lasky reported on a recent project carried out on the Quittapahilla Creek by a group of 25 traveling college students. They volunteered to move some large stones to fill in the wooden cribs constructed by Quittapahilla Watershed Association. Flynn Barnett devised a new way to move the stones across the creek by floating them in buckets attached to inner tubes.

Tom Embich reported on his presentations to the DEP Central Office Watershed Team, the Susquehanna and Potomac River Basin Commissions, and the Adams County Watershed Association.

SCWA was asked to join an EPA-sponsored electronic partnership with environmental groups in the Ukraine. This would involve becoming "electronic pen pals" with them. Tom Embich moved, and Dick Blauch seconded, to go ahead with this project. Motion carried.

Tom reported on talking to a Royalton Borough councilman about the park site where we do our water monitoring at station WQN211. The borough has been doing shrub and tree limb chipping along the banks of the Swatara Creek. The Dauphin County Conservation District has recommended planting trees and shrubs that would put the banks back into a natural state.

NOTE: Chemsweep, sponsored by Lebanon County Cooperative Extension, Saturday, August 12 at the Lebanon Ag Center. An opportunity to dispose of household hazardous wastes such as empty paint cans, unwanted pesticides, cleaners,…. Tires will also be accepted.

bulletLobbying as defined by William Collette & Ron Simon, Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes, Inc.:

…Tax-exempt groups ARE permitted to engage in SOME lobbying (provided it does not consume a "substantial" part of the corporation’s resources, generally defined as 20% or less). Nonprofit, tax-exempt groups are not allowed to spend any of their resources in endorsing or promoting candidates or getting involved in partisan political activities.

NEXT MEETING: August 31 at Harper’s Tavern, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road

SPEAKER: Craig Morgan, Northern Swatara Watershed Assoc.

May 31, 2000

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met on May 31, 2000 at Harpers Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road, Lebanon County. Present were officers Jo Ellen Litz, Tom Embich, Walt Haber, and  Betty Conner; board members Ann Marie Lasky, Dick Blouch, and Charles Wertz; members and guests Joseph E. Hoffman, Karen Light, Jim Boyer, Bob Arnold, John Worrilow, Mark Chegwidden, Debra Martz, Rick Meck, Bill Achor, Cy Whitson, Ruth Deitz, Greta Rank, John B Wengert, and John E. Wengert. .

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m..

The following new and renewing members were recognized: Dean Achenbach,
William Achor, Robert Arnold, Thomas Bement, Tom Bowman, Linda Brown, Marion Brown, Ruth Dietz, Elvin Ditzler, Lee Dreibelbis, Aldus Gingrich, John
Grab, Doug Gray, John Grumbein, Jen Gummert, William Heeter, Warren Kessler, Ralph Lindsay, Deb Martz, Janet Moore, Roy Newsome, Mike Pavelek, Carla Peetros, Eunice Reist, Millie Rittle, Mary Lousie Sherk, Frank Smoker, Larry Strait, Elizabeth Tobias, John Worrilow, Dr. Helen Wrzos.

1.  The minutes of the last meeting on April 26, 2000 were approved following a motion by John Worrilow, seconded by Karen Light. .

2.  Bills #9 for $4400 and #10 for $1079.44 were received from Mackin Engineering.   On a motion by John Worrilow, seconded by Bob Arnold, it was voted to approve payment of the bills subject to review by Tom Embich and Jim Boyer and availability of funds.

3.  The National Institute for Environmental Restoration (NIA) has offered to publish a Swatara Watershed Profile as part of a series on the Chesapeake Bay Basin.  If copy is provided, they will consider printing 500 copies at no charge to SCWA.  On a motion by John Worrilow, seconded by Bob Arnold, acceptance of the offer was approved.

4.  Jim Boyer gave an update and distributed notebook copies of the Rivers Conservation Plan Draft Report for review .  He said comments are welcome, especially on sections 9 and 10, Issues and Management Options.  So maps and updates can be inserted, he asked that the notebooks be returned to him at the close of the meeting today.  Reports can be reviewed at the watershed office.

5.  The Greater Harrisburg Foundation responded to our grant application by awarding SCWA $2500 to purchase topographic contour maps and multi-media equipment for presentations of the Swatara Watershed Conservation Plan. Grants were also received from ALCOA for  $1000 and from Wenger Feeds for $200.  A motion was tabled on whether to purchase contour maps or a multi-media projector and equipment with the grant money received until more information could be obtained on the cost and availability of vector contour maps, which can be edited, compared to raster maps, which are for view only.  So that we can begin to prepare for public hearings and township presentations of the Rivers Conservation Plan, findings will be shared with the Board for action prior to the next meeting.

6.  The copy machine which was donated to SCWA by the Conservation District needs a new drum.  Jo Ellen suggested using some of the donated funds to purchase a new table top copier that would be more useful for SCWA needs. Debra Martz said that Wenger Feeds had a spare copier they would be willing to donate.

7.  SCWA was awarded a $3,500 grant to initiate a watershed organization for the Little Swatara Creek. The contract was signed and returned to DEP along with the scope of project and a simplified budget.  A meeting for Growing Greener Grant recipients held May 30 at the DEP South Central Regional Office was attended by Betty Conner representing SCWA.  Also in attendance were Brian Bachman, Katy Jay, Gene Siegrist,and Andy Azemar.  Our DEP advisor for the project is Mary Golab.  The responsibility of SCWA is to help set up the watershed organization, develop a mailing list, schedule meetings, and increase public awareness of the watershed.  The starting date for the project should be before June 30.  A second round of Growing Greener Grants will be offered this summer with an application deadline of August 11.   Starting date for the projects would be some time in October.  There will be an informational workshop for applicants in south central PA on
June 27 at the DEP Regional Office.  There will also be a Growing Greener Conference on October 13, 14 in State College.  A newsletter, PA Watersheds, will be published and videos on how to get a watershed organization started will be produced.

8.  Dan Koury sent an e-mail report from the Northern Swatara Watershed Association on their canoe trip on the Swatara from Pine Grove to Jonestown and their tour north of Ravine.  Fish are being stocked in the Pine Grove area of the Swatara for the first time because the water quality has greatly improved.

9.  Jo Ellen reported that the Mills and Bank Barns book was sent to the following magazines for review:  SPOOM, Central PA, PA Magazine, and PA Heritage.  On a motion by Ann Lasky, seconded by Walt Haber, it was voted to give copies to libraries in the watershed.  Walt Haber volunteered to distribute copies to the libraries.

10.  Following the April 26 meeting of SCWA, a Watershed Snapshot was conducted at streamside by Tom Embich on the water quality of Swatara Creek near the mouth of Indiantown Run.  Results were:  Depth 1.5 ft; Temperature 14.3 - 14.6 C.; Dissolved Oxygen 12.6 - 12.2 mg/L;  pH 5.9;  Conductance 154.9

11.  A special meeting with Terry Hough on the Swatara Watershed Conservation Plan will be held on June 23 at 1:00 p.m. at the SCWA office.  Management options will be discussed.

12.  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation released findings from their survey of watershed organizations in the Chesapeake Basin.  Issues in order of greatest concern were:  drinking water, rivers/streams, floods/droughts, wildlife, fisheries, biodiversity, quality of life, the Bay, resource lands, green space, growth, recreation, and other.

13.  The PA Fish and Boat Commission announced that Waterways Conservation Grants are available.

14.  By Governor’s Proclamation, June was designated Rivers Month and 2000 was designated the Year of State Parks.  For more details see the DCNR website at www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/press/new.htm

15.  A 1966 newpaper article containing historical background about the High Bridge Reservoir and water supply needs in Lebanon County was circulated.

16.   On a motion by Bob Arnold, seconded by Ruth Dietz, a confirmation vote on the letter sent to Senators Specter and Santorum, and to Reps. Gekas and Holden, providing an educational background  and support of a reservoir in Swatara State Park passed after questions and discussion.  Karen Light voted nay.

17.  Betty Conner moved, and Dick Blauch seconded a motion to approve final drafts of letters to legislators at regular meetings.  Motion carried.

18.  A copy of the DEP South Central Regional Office Draft Environmental Futures Report on the Swatara Waterhshed was sent to SCWA for comment.  Jo Ellen prepared a summary which is available by e-mail.  Initial review revealed the recycling rate for Lebanon County was reported as 15% based only on the figures reported by the municipalities.  When the drop-off centers operated by the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority and others are included, the recycling rate is closer to 50%.  Another point, that no Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence were given in Lebanon County for 1999, should be amended.   The AMP (Tyco) plant in Lickdale received an award for 1999, as well as Curwood Specialty Films.  Awards were also given in 1997 and 1998 to companies and organizations in Lebanon County.

19.  Nominations are being received for the Year 2000 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence.  Ruth Dietz volunteered to look over the nomination form to see if there are any organizations or companies that SCWA could nominate.

20.  The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will meet in Altoona on June 8. Milton Hershey Schools and Guilford Mills Penn Dye and Finishing Plant are on the agenda.

21.  A discussion ensued about the number of grants for which a non-profit can apply.  Guidance will be sought from DEP/DCNR on this matter.


Bob Arnold urged members to take part in the June 28 SCWA meeting and workday at the Waterworks Canoe Launch.  He said that mulch is needed for the launch site, as well as help to transport it.  Lunch will be provided.

A representative of Wenger Feeds asked about SCWA's partnership with Dutch Country Egg Farms to seek a grant for watershed restoration.  This will be discussed at the meeting on the Rivers Conservation Plan Management Options with Terry Hough on June 23.

John E. Wengert talked about the Lebanon Valley Conservancy which is in the formative stage.  A Board of Directors and officers have been named.  The mission of the organization is to promote the conservation of natual resources, open spaces and agricultural lands.  In cooperation with neighboring conservancies and trusts, local and state governments, the Lebanon Valley Conservancy seeks to preserve unique cultural,  historical and environmental heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.

Betty Conner announced that a third forum, Building Communities Together - Municipal Cooperation, sponsored by the Cooperative Extension, will be held at Cedar Crest Middle School on June 20.  Speakers include Dr. Beverly Cigler, Penn State Harrisburg, Terry Kauffman, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, and Kerry Wilson, DCED Governor’s Center for Local Government Services.  There is a choice of attending a morning session from 9:00 a.m. to noon or a similar evening session from 6:00 p.m. to 9.:00 p.m.

Tom Embich discussed the Watershed Academy planned for DEP South Central Regional Office staff  June 6 - 8 at Hotel Brunswick in Lancaster.  Gina Mason is the Watershed Academy Director for DEP.  .

Joseph Hoffman, Berks Conservancy, described a study of the Little Swatara Creek carried out by Kutztown University’s Environmental Science Forum. They have produced a report and video.  The Berks Conservancy has received a three year grant from the William Penn Foundation which includes fundingfor the Little Swatara Creek area.

Guest Speaker:  John B. Wengert, Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails Rail Trails provide close to home recreational outlets.  Pennsylvania is leading the way for rails-to-trails projects in the USA with over 300 projects and 150 established trails.  The Lebanon Valley Rails-to-Trails project began in 1996 with the Swatara Exp.  Today the County Commissioners, Planning Department, local governments, local businesses, and landowners are all working together so that the project is ready to begin trail building this summer.  In Phase I, a 4 mile segment from Route 72 to Colebrook will be constructed with a 4 inch bed of crushed limestone for a 25 to 30 foot wide trail.   Improvements to bridges and construction of parking lots at Colebrook and Cornwall will be included.  A fund drive to raise $350,000 in private donations has received $320,000 so far.  For Phase II, a federal T21 grant was obtained through PennDOT for $500,000. McCormick Taylor, Inc. will be the consultant to administer the T21 grant for PennDOT.  Also a $120,000 acquisition grant was received from DCNR  Phase II, starting next spring, will extend the trail south to Lancaster County and north to the City of Lebanon.  A segment of the short line railroad from ALCOA to the city still needs to be acquired.  The trail will accommodate non-motorized uses:   hiking, bicycling and horseback riding.  There will be a parallel equestrian walk 8 feet wide.  To prevent ATVs and dirt bikes from using the trail, ballards will be installed at entrances to the trail.  As more people use the trail there will be more oversight.  Some of the important connections to the trail include Lebanon Fair Grounds, Lebanon High School, Cedar Crest High School, South Hills Park, Cornwall Furnace Historical Site, Governor Dick Recreational Area, State Game Lands, Mt. Gretna, Lawn Municipal Park, the Horseshoe Trail and the Conewago Trail.  The long term goal for the Lebanon Valley Rails-to-Trails is to create a trail from the Lancaster County line near Lawn to the Swatara State Park and connecting with the Union Canal Greenway.  A feasibility study would need to be done for the northern part of the trail because part of the abandoned rail line has been sold and easements would need to be negotiated.  However, the segment north of  Lickdale was purchased by the state.

Saturday, June 3 is National Trails Day.  To highlight Lebanon Valley Rails-to-Trails, there will be a 2 mile hike from the Daily News Building to the Fairgrounds starting at 10:00 a.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.  NEXT MEETING:  June 28 is a work
session at the Water Works canoe launch.

June 3 - National Trails Day, Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails Hike from Daily News to Fairgrounds and Good Samaritan Hospital Street Fair, starts 10:00 a.m.

June 8 -The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will meet in Altoona.
Milton Hershey Schools and Guilford Mills Penn Dye and Finishing Plant are on the agenda.

June 16 - PSU Center for Watershed Stewardship, State College followed by PA Watershed Conference on Acid Mine Reclamation.  Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,
main speaker.  SCWA speaker in the early session is Jo Ellen Litz, late session Dan Koury and Craig Morgan.

June 18 - 24 -  Susquehanna River Sojourn

June 20 - Lebanon County Land Use Forum, “Building Communities Together,
Municipal Cooperation”, Cedar Crest Middle School, 9:00 a.m. or 6:30 p.m.

June 22 - Weiser State Forest Management Plan public meeting, Grantville
Holiday Inn, 7:00 p.m.

June 23 - SCWA Board and Conservation Plan Steering Committee to meet with
Terry Hough to discuss Management Options.  1:00 p.m.

June 28  SCWA meeting and workday at Waterworks Canoe Launch Site. Starts
at 9:30 a.m.

June 9,10 - Citizen Volunteer Monitoring Workshop - Muhlenberg College

August 4,5 -  Citizen Volunteer Monitoring Workshop - Dickinson College

April 26, 2000
The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met on April 26, 2000 at Harpers Tavern Restaurant, Route 936 and Old Jonestown Road, Lebanon County.

Present were Tom Embich, Bob Arnold, Tim Emenheiser, Larry Shirk, John Worrilow, David Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Dick Blouch, Jim Boyer, Ed Chubb, Gary Witmeyer, Linda Slaybaugh, Marie Levitz, Dean Auchenbach, Betty Shultz, Brian Bachman, Rita Wilhelm, Debra Martz, Ruth Deitz, and Betty Conner...........

1.  The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m.   The minutes of the last meeting on March 29 were approved.

2.  The Treasurer reported that the audit was completed by Steiner and Faren.  Copies were distributed.

3.  Jim Boyer, Mackin Engineering, reported that the Final Draft River Conservation Plan will be completed by May 31.  The Plan Steering Committee will meet May 15 to review the Draft chapters.  Mackin Engineering submitted a monthly bill for $4400.  It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Linda Slaybaugh, to approve payment of the bill.  Motion passed.

4.  Jo Ellen gave an update on the Swatara Creek Water Trail.  The PA Fish and Boat Commision has helped to extend the trail to Middletown for a total of 42 miles.  The water trail map will be available in June for PA Rivers Month.   Written agreements for access points have been obtained from Scotto's Restaurant in Jonestown, Union Canal Canoe Rentals in East Hanover Township, Boathouse Road Park in Derry Township, and Hummelstown Borough.  Verbal agreements were made for Union Deposit Park in South Hanover Township and Clifton Bridge at Fulling Mill Rd., Lower Swatara Township.   Fish and Boat Commission access points at the Waterworks (created by SCWA) in Lebanon County and at Middletown will also be included on the map, as well as points of interest and places where portage is necessary.

5.  The Mills and Bank Barns book is printed and ready for distribution. There was discussion about how copies should be distributed and whether copies should be given as incentives for membership.  It was moved by Dick Blouch, seconded by Betty Conner, to give copies to members for the year 2000.  There is an additional $3 postage and handling charge for mailed copies.  Motion passed.

6.  Membership cards were printed and passed out to members present.

7.  A grant application to the Greater Harrisburg Foundation was completed and submitted for funds to purchase a laptop computer, projector and/or topographic maps to use for Swatara Creek River Conservation Plan presentations to municipalities.

8.  Our Growing Greener Grant application to form a Little Swatara Creek Watershed Organization was approved by DEP.  Grant applications by the Lebanon Water Authority to treat acid mine drainage in the Siegrist Reservoir watershed, and by the Lebanon County Conservation District to install BMPs in the Little Swatara Creek watershed, were also approved.

9.  The Lebanon County Commissioners are considering forming a County Parks and Recreation Department.  It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by David Lasky, that we send a letter of support to the commissioners.

10.  An Eagel Scout Project in Swatara State Park will be carried out by Andrew Roth.

11.  Jo Ellen proposed sending a letter to Senators Specter and Santorum, and to Rep. Gekas concerning Swatara State Park Reservoir.  Some of the issues suggested for the letter are:  population projections for the watershed and the need for future water supplies and recreation;  EPA’s concerns with water quality and preventing degradation of the stream; designation of that segment of the Swatara Creek if a “cool water fishery”; the presence of vernal ponds and wetlands in the riparian zone, potential habitat for endangered species.  In order to document water supply needs, it would be necessary to do a wide study including census data and a survey of all available sources of water in the area.  Jo Ellen asked that comments on the draft letter be sent back to her.

Some concerns and questions raised by members present were: -  Would a dam improve or degrade the environmental quality of Swatara Creek?  Would the creation of a water supply reservoir hinder recreation? Could releases during the dry part of summer conflict with maintaining the water level in the reservoir for boating and swimming?  The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Comprehensive Plan includes Swatara Reservoir as a future source of consumptive use make-up.  The State Park should provide some access now for parking, canoeing, fishing and hiking that would not hinder development of a reservoir in the future.  A motion was made by Tom Embich, seconded by Betts Shultz, to send a letter to our congressional delegation.  After a healthy discussion, Tom withdrew his motion.  Board members wanted to see the letter first.

Tom Embich reported that the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will be sponsoring a project for students involving water testing and buffer planting along Lenker Brook in Dauphin County.

Ed Chubb will be a coordinator for this year’s Susquehanna Sojourn, June 18-24, which will make a stop in Middletown.

Betty Connner reported that the Capital Region Water Board will be sponsoring an 8-county study of water uses and drinking water supplies in this southcentral region.  The study will be conducted by the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers.   Phase 1 to determine the scope of the study will begin this summer.

Jim Boyer from Mackin Engineering reported that applications for the second round of Growing Greener Grants will be available in August with an October deadline.  SCWA will be eligible to apply for projects included in the Swatara Watershed Conservation Plan.  Tom Embich commented that money from grants are good, but it takes engineering and technical assistance to implement the projects .  People are needed to carry out projects and funds for administration of grants as well.

David Lasky reported that the Quittapahilla Watershed Association is proposing the development of an educational wetland near the Lebanon Career and Technology Center at the headwaters of the Quittapahilla Creek.

Guest Speakers were Brian Bachman and Rita Wilhelm.

Brian Bachman described the history of the Little Swatara Valley Association which formed in response to a 1999 proposal for a 28,000 hog operation in Tulpehocken Township, Berks County.  In the 1980s a hog farm operated by a local farmer at the same location created problems when manure sprayed on fields was carried by wind to nearby houses and when manure spread on top of snow and frozen ground resulted in polluted runoff to Little Swatara Creek.  The hog manure storage lagoons are still there.  In 1999 plans were submitted to the township for 4 adjacent farms to develop facilities to raise 28,000 hogs per year, with 500 acres available to receive manure.  The 28,000 hogs would produce 16 million gallons of manure per year, but the 500 acres could only receive 2.3 million gallons per year.  The remaining 13.7 million gallons of manure would be exported by a broker who would try to find farmers willing to take the manure.  Because of hog manure's questionable commercial value, there is an economic limit to the distance that the manure can be transported, approximately 5 miles.  One of the problems with exporting the manure is that the receiving farm is not required to have a nutrient management plan or a conservation plan.  There appears to be little oversight of where or how the manure is applied on receiving farms.  The Right-to-Farm Act precludes townships from taking any action to address manure spraying that damages neighboring houses.  Because each of the four hog facilities would manage less than 1000 animal units, or 1 million pounds of animal weight calculated on an average weight of animals from start to finished weight, the developers did not apply for a NPDES permit or plan to have public review of the proposal.  Currently, one facility is being built and a second is planned for next year.  The Little Swatara Valley Association is appealing the decision by DEP to approve the plans.

Rita Wilhelm, the second speaker, talked about the new organization, Pennsylvanians For Responnsible Agriculture, which has members in 17 counties.  The organization promotes the sustainability of family farms
and encourages environmentally sound farming practices.  They feel that the new system of concentrated animal feeding orperations is undermining the viability of family farms and weakening the ability of local governments to deal with the negative impacts of CAFOs.  Some problems they believe need looked at include:  (1) better oversight of exported manure, (2) the capability of conservation districts to review large numbers of nutrient management plans, (3) notification of neighboring landowners when proposals are submitted for concentrated animal feeding operations, (4) disallowing manure storage in flood plains in PA, (5) education of landowners to understand the Clean Streams Law, their responsibilities and requirements of contracts, (6) what happens when contracts end?, and (7) who should bear the cost of cleanups, road repairs and storm drain improvements needed as a result of concentrated animal operations?

There being no further business, the  meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

May 6 - Swattie Canoe Trip
May 17 - Meeting with Susan McDowell, EPA Green Communities Program and Terry Hough, DCNR Rivers Conservation Program
May 31 - SCWA monthly meeting
June 18 - 24 -  Susquehanna River Sojourn
June 20 - Lebanon County Land Use Forum, “Intergovernmental Cooperation”: Cedar Crest Middle School, 9:00 a.m. or 6:30 p.m.
June 28  SCWA meeting at Waterworks Canoe Launch Site.  Starts at 9:30 a.m.

March 29, 2000

Harper’s Tavern, East Hanover Township

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on March 29, 2000 at Harper’s   Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road.  Present were Jo Ellen Litz, Tom Embich, Walter Haber, John Worrilow, Chuck Wertz, Ruth Dietz, Ray Swingholm, Karen Light, Bob Arnold, Dick Blouch, Greta Rank, Larry Anderson, Dean Auchenbach, Edward Rettinger, Jeffrey Hartranft, Debra Mantz, Dorothy Sterner, Hugh Archer, Jeanne Moore, Katie Jay, Josie Jay, Roy Newsome, Gina Mason, Diane Wilson, Jim Boyer, Tim Emenheiser, Gary Witmeyer, George Conner, Betty Conner and Mr. Heister's class..

The minutes of the last meeting on 1/25/2000 were approved. The treasurer reported that bill #7 for $8,800 was received from Mackin Engineering  for work completed to date on the Swatara Watershed Conservation Plan.  It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Bob Arnold, to approve payment of the Mackin bill.  The motion passed.   An audit statement was also signed.

Tom Embich reported that an extension was filed for the contract with DCNR.  The value of the GIS maps obtained from municipalities is now included as “in-kind” income.

An anonymous letter was received with photos asking if SCWA was interested in an AMD polluted stream in the Siegrist Reservoir watershed.  The stream is a tributary to Gold Mine Run.  The letter was forwarded to Dan Koury, DEP, and Charles Cravota, USGS, who responded that the stream was surveyed and a Growing Greener grant was submitted by Ed Keener and the Lebanon Water Authority.

A letter was received from Dr. Katherine Murray Leisure indicating her interest in contributing a conservation easement along the Swatara Creek in North Annville Township.  The letter will be shared with groups interested in establishing a Swatara Greenway.

Our Liability Insurance is due to be renewed.  It was moved by Tom Embich seconded by John Worrilow, to renew our policy with Zinn Insurance which bought out Kurtz Insurance Company, our previous agency.

Membership cards for SCWA will be printed.  The consensus was that they should be the size of business cards.

Tom Embich reported on a meeting he attended with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay regarding a new initiative called “Watershed 1-2-3”  the project involves education of homeowners, whether in town, suburb or rural area, to learn about how to manage their land to protect water resources.  Techniques of water conservation through landscaping, stormwater recharge, household hazardous waste management and
minimization, integrated pest management, planting riparian buffers where there are waterways...  The Alliance conducted a pilot project on Lenker Brook in the Beaver Creek watershed, and they hope to extend the project to the whole Swatara Watershed.   It was moved by Betty Conner, seconded by John Worrilow, to write a letter of support for this project to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  The motion passed.

Jo Ellen gave an update on the Swatara Water Trail Project.  An article was published in February in the Fish and Boat Commission magazine, PA Angler and Boater.   The Water Trail Map is ready to be published following final proof reading.   Scotto’s Italian Restaurant in Jonestown sent a letter of permission for an access point at their property to be placed on the map.

At the last meeting it was noted that one of the stream signs was in the wrong place.  Bachman Run, where it crosses Route 322, was mislabeled as Beck Creek.  The sign will be changed.

Hershey Food’s donation of $500 for the canoe trip was used to purchase insurance and whistles.

Susan McDowell, EPA Green Communities Coordinator, will meet with SCWA and staff from DCNR on May 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the SCWA Office, 2501 Cumberland Street, Lebanon.  We will discuss how EPA can help us implement the Swatara WatershedPlan.

The Earthday Snapshop of Water Quality 1999-2000 publication was distributed by Diane Wilson, DEP Coordinator for Volunteer Water Monitoring. Extra copies are availble at the SCWA office.  A map of impaired streams in Pennsylvania was circulated.

A letter by Craig Morgan was circulated on behalf of the Northern Swatara Creek Watershed Association to Carmeuse Inc. thanking them for their donation of limestone for acid mine remediation projects.

The Wildlands Conservancy sent a letter announcing their new Community Relations Manager.

A major part of the meeting was spent in reviewing the Wenger Feed Company proposal for a parnership with SCWA to apply for a Growing Greener Project to be carried out on the four Dutch Country Egg Farms in Lebanon and Berks Counties.  Two of  the farms are located in the Little Swatara Creek watershed, one of the most impaired streams in the Swatara watershed.  The other two are located on Oil Creek which flows to the main Swatara north of Jonestown.  Debra Mantz, Wenger Feeds representative, described the areas targeted in the remediation project, of the total 512 acres, there are 15 acres of wetlands, 5 acres of ponds and 3.8 miles of sreams.  Dr Archer described the purpose of the improvements.  He said that nonpoint source pollution is the biggest cause of water impairment in Pennsylvania.  While the CAFO regulations call for NPDES permits, the requirements for chickens are in a gray area.  Nevertherless, Wenger Feeds will apply for a NPDES permit and conservattion plan as a measure of assurance to protect the waters.  Best management practices will be installed at the farms to provide bufferiing for water bodies and to prevent pollutants from leaving the sites.  A goal of the Growing Greener Program is to link land owners with watershed groups to protect surface water quality.

Jo Ellen described her site visit to the properties.  She spoke to the property owner who is agreeable to working with Wenger Feeds to improve the watershed.   Wenger Feeds owns the business but not the property.  As a result of visiting the farms there were a number of issures raised:
1.  There is no outside storage of manure, but there is a temporary stacking area.  This will be phased out.
2.  What are the plans for fly control?  The manure is moved in the fall, sprayed to reduce flies and turned under the soil.
3.  Is there a Conservation Plan on file?  No, but one will be filed and implemented.
4.  What is the disposal method for bad eggs?  A lagoon storage area which needs to be addressed.
5.  What are the sewage facilities?  This needs to be addressed.
6.  How are dead chickens handled?  They are composted.

Members of SCWA then asked questions:
1.  Are the farms protected from unusual flood conditions?  The farms are outside of the 500 year floodplain..
2.  While Wenger Feeds owns the business, who controls the land use, maintains the BMPs and bears liability for the manure?  Wenger Feeds will install the BMPs and contract with the owner of the land to maintain the BMPs and the land use.   Wenger Feeds as generator of the manure would bear the liability.
3.  Does Wenger Feeds expect to greatly expand or change business in the future?   No.
4.  Does SCWA take on any liability by facilitating a Growing Greener grant application?  No, according to Dr. Archer.
5.  The National Wetlands Inventory was used to delineate wetlands on the property, but the Inventory doesn’t show previous wetlands drained by farm practices.   Would Wenger Feeds consider future restoration of drained wetlands for sediment control?  The landowner is still growing crops on previously drained wetlands.   BMPS will be installed at the margins of fields to prevent sediment runoff.

When there were no more questions, a motion was made by Bob Arnold, seconded by John Worrilow, to approve facilitation by SCWA of a Growing Greener Grant application for the Dutch Country Egg Farms.  The motion passed with one opposing vote.

Ralph Heister, Biology Teacher at Lebanon High School, introduced his honors class who presented the results of their year-long study project of streams impacted by acid mine drainage in northern Lebanon County.  The project included research on the history of the area, development of goals and methods for data collection, discussion of their results, and conclusions.  Mr. Heister plans to have his students conduct update studies on a four year cycle with other locations in Lebanon County.  Last year’s study was conducted in the Quittapahilla watershed.   Copies of this year’s report are available in the SCWA office.

The second part of today’s program was coducted by Diane Wilson, DEP Citizen’s Volunteer Water Monitoring Coordinator, Kristin (Foster?), Stroud Water Research Center, and Gina Mason, DEP Watershed Academy.  Diane Wilson began by asking, “Why do you want to test water?”  some of the answers were:  “To establish a baseline for data” or “To measure the effects of BMP improvements.”   Diane gave an
example of the Little Juniata Creek Group which decided to address the reason why the mayflies had disappeared and the Biotic Index had dropped from 40 to 4.   They found it was due to pesticide contamination from a termite treatment.that traveled through the septic system.  Diane said that the questions to ask first are “Why are you monitoring?” and “Who are you monitoring for?”  The Pennsylvania Citizens’ Volunteer
Monitoring Program Handbook,  Chapter 2, contains the 10 Design Steps for developing a good study design for water monitoring.  Chapter 6 contains the worksheets for Chapter 2.  Good study design enhances the credibility of data..  Each step begins with a question.  Step #2 is the most important, “Why Do You Want to Monitor?”  It is important to identify the reasons for collecting data.   For Step #4, “What Are Your Data Quality Objectives?”  A narrative statement can be negotiated with the data user.  It is possible to form a technical committee with DEP.  The methods used depend on the data quality needed.  For Step #6,  “Where Will You Monitor?” carefully map your sampling locations.   For Step #8, Quality Assurance Measures” do split samples with DEP.  Step #9 “How to Manage, Analyze and Report the Data” should be decided up front.   The Handbook contains monitoring packages” to fit various situations.   DEP is willing to give us training and help us set up a monitoring program.

The overall goal of DEP is to assess every stream mile in Pennsylvania within the next five years, as well as the 4000 lakes.  DEP would like to gather as much information as possible.  There are 84,000 miles of stream in Pennsylvania.  The existing DEP Water Quality Network has only 180 monitorng stations.  Information from the Citizens’ Volunteer Monitoring Program can be very helpful in complimenting the data collected by DEP and in identifying problem areas.

The meeting adjourned to the banks of the Swatara Creek at the mouth of Indiantown Run to collect water samples for a hands-on demonstration of testing equipment.

NEXT MEETING:  April 26 at Harper’s Tavern, 9:30am, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road.  IN LEU OF ROOM RENTAL, $3 DUTCH TREAT FOR COFFEE, JUICE & DANISH.   SPEAKER:  on CAFO'S

February 23, 2000

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on February 23, 2000 at Harper's   Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road. Present were Jo Ellen Litz, John Worrilow, Ruth Dietz, Gina Mason, Sherry Carlin, Jim Boyer, Tracy Longenecker, Bob Arnold, Ed Chubb,  David Lasky, Walter Haber, Ray Swingholm,  Karen Light, Harvey Bomberger, Marie Levitz, Dean Auchenbach, Linda Slaybaugh, Debra Martz, Al Wenger, Rick Meck, and Betty Conner.

The corrected minutes of the last meeting on 1/25/2000 were approved.

The treasurer reported that a bill for $8,800 was received from Mackin Engineering for work completed to date on the Swatara Watershed Conservation Plan.  It was moved by Walter Haber, seconded by John Worrilow, to approve payment of the Mackin bill.  The motion passed.  It was also moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Dave Lasky, to  approve a contract with Steiner and Faren to complete an audit of the SCWA financial records.  The motion passed.

Jim Boyer, Mackin Engineering, reviewed progress on the Rivers Conservation Plan.  There will be a meeting of the steering committee in March to review the format and content of two chapters, draft management options, and give more input on issues and concerns.  Some proposed projects recently suggested include Stoevers Dam Park, Rexmont dams and watershed land, Indian village remains at Ft. Indiantown Gap, and Jonestown Park and access along Swatara Creek.

The Annual Swattie Canoe Trip will take place on May 6 from Union Deposit to Middletown.   The brochures are being printed by Bayer Corp.  Sponsors this year include AES Ironwood, Bayer Corporation, Dauphin County Parks and Recreation, Hershey Foods, Hummelstown Borough, Izaak Walton League of Lebanon County, League of Women Voters of Lebanon County, Lebanon County Conservation District, Lebanon Valley Scuba Club, Lebanon Water Authority, Mackin Engineering, PA American Water Company, Performance Partners, Ron's Beer Depot, Simon S. Kettering & Sons, Susquehannna River Basin Commission, Union Canal Canoe Rentals, and Wengert's Dairy.

The "Mills and Bank Barns of the Swatara Watershed" book project is moving along.  Photographs are being taken of existing mills and research is being conducted by members of SCWA.  Walt and Barbara Haber are proof-reading the text.   Estimates for printing a 60 page book with color photographs on the cover were sought from three printing companies.  After reviewing the quotes from two companies who responded, it was moved by Walt Haber, seconded by Karen Light, to order 1000 bound full color cover copies from Blyler Printing.  The motion passed.

A presentation was made by Al Wenger, Wenger Feeds, on a proposal for a partnership with SCWA to apply for a grant to improve conditions at Dutch Country Egg Farms in the Little Swatara Creek watershed.  The project would include installation of riparian buffers, rerouting surface drainage, elimination of potential sources of pollution, and improved management of Waste by indoor storage.  Mr Wenger answered questions from the members present and offered to supply further information.  The group asked for time to consider the proposal and discuss it at the next meeting.

ITEMS AND LETTERS circulated for review and available on file in the SCWA office:
1)  Swatara Creek Watershed Association application for a Growing Greener Grant to start up a Little Swatara Creek Watershed Organization.  The Quittapahilla Watershed Association and the Lebanon County Conservation District also submitted applications.

2)  An equipment inventory prepared for the SCWA office.

3)  A summary of the current status of Swatara State Park.

4)  An article  by George Constanz, Canaan Valley Institute, on the use of GIS to inform supervisors about water harvesting in the Greenpoint area.

5)  A letter from the President's Council on Environmental Quality regarding the American Heritage Rivers Initiative.

6)  A letter from Todd Swisher requesting transfer of the funds designated by Wal-Mart for his water testing project in the Quittapahilla Watershed.  Jo Ellen was instructed to request an invoice for payment by the treasurer.

7)  Notice of the Year 2000 Watershed Snapshot to take place between April 14 and 30.

8)  Notice of the Schuylkill Water Monitoring Congress to take place March 4 and 5 at Penn State-Schuylkill Haven.

9)  EPA Green Communities Workshop to be held in Philadelphia March 29 and 30.

10)  The Appalachian Clean Streams Initiative which will provide up to $1.75 million for cooperative projects between the Office of Surface Mining and not-for-profit groups, especially watershed organizations.

11)  A copy of the Draft Chesapeake 2000 Agreement received from the Chesapeake Bay Program, Annapolis MD.  Public comments on the Draft are due by March 31.  It was  moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Bob Arnold, that SCWA return the response form with comments of support for the Agreement. Motion passed.

12) It was noted that one of the tributary signs was placed in the wrong location.  The error will be corrected.

Ed Chubb, Director, Dauphin County Parks and Recreation

The Dauphin County Parks and Recreation Department was started 25 years ago with a goal of developing regional facilities in Dauphin County to supplement the many local parks developed by the municipalities.  In 1994 the Department asked the Natural Lands Trust to develop a Greenway Plan for the Swatara Creek Corridor from Hummelstown to Middletown.  The Natural Lands Trust has already developed a Greenway Plan and Conservation District for the Hershey Trust covering land from the Lebanon County line to Hummelstown.  The Hershey Trust owns 90% of the land on the south side of the creek and 10% of the land on the north side.  In 1996 the Dauphin County Swatara Greenway Plan was completed and submitted to DCNR for placement on the Pennsylvania Rivers Conservation Registry.  Now the Implementation Phase has begun.  Phase I, which will take 3 to 10 years, will include development of a conservation zone along the creek, review and updating of flood plain ordinances, creation of more access points to the creek,  reconstruction of the covered bridge at Clifton for recreational use, and workshops for local officials.  Phase II which will take 10 to 20 years, will include efforts to protect the core greenway, prehistoric and historic sites, caves and cliffs, and the Union Canal structures;  public acquisition of riparian land for a linear park; a study for a regional county park;  and use of the canal towpath as a trail. Phase III, which will extend 20 years and beyond, will emphasize
conservation easements to save land along the creek, quarry restorations, and hiking trail links.  In Pennsylvania quarries must have restoration plans which can result in public use if feasible.  It is hoped that the local municipalities will be involved with the quarries in developing restoration plans.  Many municipalities are already acquiring land along the creek for recreation and access.

The long term vision is for a Union Canal Heritage Greenway from Middletown to Reading.  Already there is a greenway from the Schuylkill River to Blue Marsh Lake following the Union Canal along the Tulpehocken Creek.  The Berks Conservancy is working on extending this part of the greenway.  The Friends of the Union Canal Tunnel in Lebanon County are working on preserving parts of the canal from the tunnel to  Swatara Creek.  There is also the Swatara Creek Water Trail, submitted by SCWA to the Fish and Boat Commission, which will extend from Jonestown to Middletown.  Questions have been asked about liability issues when easements on private land  are open to public use.  According RULWA, the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act, property owners cannot be sued if they open up their land at no charge to hunting. fishing or hiking.  This does not apply if the landowner makes a commercial profit from the recreation.

NEXT MEETING:  March 29 at Harper's Tavern, 9:30am, Route 936 and Old Jonestown Road featuring Water Testing Training & a student presentation.  Instead of room rental, each attendee pays $3 for the availability of coffee, juice, and a sweet.

January 26, 2000

The Swatara Creek Watershed Association met at 9:30 A.M. on Janaury 25, 2000 at Harper's Tavern Restaurant, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road.  Present were Tom Embich, Jo Ellen Litz, John Worrilow, Chuck Wertz, Ruth Dietz, Dick Blouch, Gina Mason, Al Winn, Jim Boyer, Mike Mayhak and Betty Conner.
The minutes of the last meeting on 12/29/99 were approved as corrected on a motion by Worrilow, seconded by Embich.
>Bill #5 for $4,400 was received from Mackin Engineering for work completed to date on the Swatara Watershed Conservation Plan.  It was moved by Worrilow, and seconded by Embich, to approve payment of the bill. The motion carried.
>Jim Boyer, Mackin Associates, reviewed progress made on the Watershed Plan.  He said we need to consider what is the focus of the Plan and what management options and projects to include for the near and long terms. This will be a 10 to 15 year Plan.  An area of focus of immediate concern is nonpoint source pollution from agriculture and mining.  Another area of focus is the Swatara Greenway and how far it should extend beyond Dauphin County.  He suggested that we take a look at priority items listed at the public meetings and also look at DEP's "problem analysis" for the Swatara Watershed being developed by the SCRO.  At 1:00 p.m. today Mike Mayhak, GIS Specialist for Mackin Engineering, will conduct ARCVIEW training at the SCWA office for anyone interested in learning how to use this GIS program.

1.  Water Trail update:  We received written agreements from Boathouse Road Park in Derry Township and from Union Canal Canoe Rental to list them as access points to the Swatara Creek.  We are still working on a Jonestown site near the Main Street bridge over the creek.  Other possibilites include the picnic area near the Appalachian Trail Bridge in Swatara State Park and a property near the railroad bridge in Jonestown.
2.  Canoe Trip Sponsors to date include:  Lebanon Water Authority, PA American Water Co., Wengert's Dairy, Lebanon Conservation District, Performance Partners, and Hummelstwon Borough.  The canoe trip this year will go from Union Deposit to Middletown, and take place on May 6. Volunteers are needed to help with activities that day and to shuttle drivers.  We will need to contact Mr. Daley, the owner of the property bordering the low head dam near Middletown, for permission to portage around the dam.
3.  Mills and Bank Barns Project:  Sources of information, interviews and photographs are being collected.  Members of the Lebanon Historical Society are interested in helping with the project.   Permission to reproduce
printed material will be sought.  The results of the project will be presented in book form.  It was moved by Conner, seconded by Blouch, to ask for quotes from printing companies.
4.  Cora Brooks Foundation Application:  It was moved by John Worrilow, seconded by Tom Embich, to send an application to the Cora Brooks Foundation, which offers grants up to $5000, for funds to purchase a multimedia projector and laptop computer for use in presentations of the Swatara Watershed Plan to various groups.  The motion passed.
5.  Greater Harrisburg Foundation:  The current deadline for accepting applications is April 14 for awards in May.  We will also send an application to them.
6.  U.S. Department of the Interior AMD Reclamation Projects:  Grant applications are being received for projects to remediate acid mine drainage.  The information was given to the Northern Swatara Watershed Association.
7.  Quittapahilla Watershed Growing Greener Grant Application:  The SCWA has endorsed the Quittapahilla Watershed grant application and will act as the 501C3 sponsor for the project.
8.  We received a notice from the Allaince for the Chesapeake Bay that it is time to renew our membership exchange with them.  It was moved by Worrilow, seconded by Wertz, to notify the Alliance that we wish to renew our membership exchange.  The motion passed.
9.  Reports and Letters received in the last month:
(a) SRBC Report on Study of Nutrients and Sediment for the Years 1995-1998.
(b) Letter from NIER announcing a new program to assist watershedorganizations in the Susquehanna Basin in the development of watershedprofiles and water trails.  Resources include a Resource Center to help with water trail development;  a manual for creating a Water Trail; and 2 watershed profile/water trail conferences to be scheduled in PA.
10.  Jim Boyer hopes to combine part of the Swatara Float Trip for the conservation study with the Annual Canoe Trip on May 6.
11.  October 28 is the 10th Annual Make A Difference Day.  The goal is to get projects done such as cleanups, or water testing.  Grants can be obtained for projects.  Gina Mason has more information.

Chuck Wertz, Manager, Lebanon County Conservation District
The Little Swatara Creek Watershed

The Little Swatara Watershed covers 140,000 acres of which 6,400 acres are in Lebanon County.  There is not much data available on this watershed.  On the DEP website, Watershed Restoration Action Strategies, there is no strategy for the Little Swatara.  In 1988 the Lebanon County Conservation District assessed 72 farms in the whole Swatara Watershed.  Three of the four subwatersheds in the Lebanon County portion of the Little Swatara Watershed were found to have a high potential for nonpoint source pollution:  Elizabeth Run, Earlkill Run and Deep Run.  Earlkill Run watershed had the highest animal density in Lebanon County.  Out of 1822 acres studied in the Little Swatara Watershed, soil loss on 767 acres was less than T, loss on 981 acres was between T and 3T, and loss on 74 acres was greater that 3T.

The Chesapeake Bay Program has provided matching funds to 36 farms in Lebanon County, 12 in the Little Swatara Watershed, for a total of $810,000 for Best Management Practices (BMPs) since 1988.  The newer USDA Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP) targets funds to priority areas.  There is a new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which has payments more like market rental rates.

The Lebanon County Conservation District has a new Watershed Coordinator position which is funded for the next five years. Also, an Agricultural Technician is being hired.  There is a need for more field presence in the Little Swatara Watershed to encourage land owners to cooperate with the funding programs.  A nonprofit watershed organization would be helpful.  A number of SCWA members live in the Little Swatara Watershed and there is interest in forming such an organization.
NEXT SCWA MEETING: February 23, 2000 at 9:30 a.m.
    Harper's Tavern, Route 934 and Old Jonestown Road

Meeting Schedule for 2000:
2/23 Ed Chubb   Swatara Greenway
3/29 Gina Mason, Diane Wilson Water Quality Monitoring Training
4/26 Brian Bachman  Concenetrated Animal Feeding Operations
5/31 John Wengert   Rails to Trails
6/28 Water Works Canoe Launch Site Cleanup
7/26 Open - TBA
8/30 Craig Morgan, Dan Koury Adopt-a-Stream Project
10/25 Tom Embich on SRBC Sediment Task Force
12/27  Open - TBA


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