2004 Meetings 
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It's all about Clean Water.  Post your pictures of our events, water conservation, floods, pollution.  Share your memories about the Swatara....  Our projects and areas of interest include the Bordner Cabin, Eagle Scout Projects, PA Conservation Corps, Swatara State Park, Swatara River, Swatara Sojourn, Swatara Water Trail, Tenaska, Swatara Watershed Park, and Water Companies

 Planning a Swatara Outing? Tips:

bullet Updated Map  
bullet Swatara Water Trail map and guide 7MB 10.12.2017.pdf
bullet Public     access points about every 7 miles.

For comparison, when the Harpers gauge at our launch @ 1929 Blacks Bridge Road, Annville reads the following heights:

5.5’, the Road to site #1 is almost covered, not             accessible and partly flooded;  


7’ our ramp is covered to the top gravel border; 


9’ the swell puts water onto sites 1-4 & site 8; and


10.56', only sites 26-35 do not flood. 

Depth  USGS Guages  National Weather Service provides forecasts for Harper's and Hershey gauges. Check the gauge nearest your start point.  Beginners should reschedule at 2.2' deep.  Reschedule if experienced, but water is rising between 3.5' & 4', or below .4'.  Kayaks may float a bit lower.  Memorial Lake is an option when the Swatara is too high or too low. 

bulletUse caution at dams:  With groups, avoid low-head dam in Jonestown.  Uneven portage on left bank, which disappears  into tree line in high water.  Hershey dam portage is also on the left.  Long, but flat, mowed route.  Take out at feeder stream on left before warning sign.
bulletU-Tow Canoes Available  http://www.mbcomp.com/swatara/redirect/watertrail/canoe_rent.htm

Canoe Use agreement: CANOE USE CONTRACT.pdf


Seasonal Primitive Camping Camp/2019 Campsite Agreement.pdf  Fishing, hiking, picnicking 


Visit the Bordner Cabin in Swatara State Park:  Bordner Cabin Drive thru Swatara State Park 9AM-3PM the 2nd Fri & Sat monthly & 4th Fri & Sat Mar, Apr, Sep & Oct.


Most recent Newsletter: 

2017 Swatara News .pub.pdf


newsletters/Swatara News 2018 final.pdf



Envisioning an Environmental Legacy for the Swatara EELS, the Book in pdf file


Mills and Bank Barns Mills and Bank Barns Book.pdf\


 Minutes/Statement of Importance of the Swatara Creek.pdf

About the Swatara Watershed


Watershed Description


Virtual Driving Tour


Maps of the Watershed


Swatara State Park (position papers: Bordner Cabin and Old State Road


Watershed Links (more than 200 links to Recreational opportunities, Schools, local government, and MORE!)


Tourist Destinations (New Feature)


Contact Information/Press Room



About SWA


Our History and Mission


Officers and Board Members


Legacy Giving


Lifetime Members


Become a SWA Member


Support SWA


SWA Newsletters


Meeting Minutes


SWA Awards and Publications

SWA Projects


Canoe Trips and Sojourn




Intern Opportunities

Rivers Conservation Plan


What is a RCP?


About Swatara's RCP


Get your own copy


Read the RCP on-line


View watershed maps

Swatara on Great Nonprofits: http://www.greatnonprofits.org/reviews/profile2/swatara-watershed-association


Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Swatara Creek Watershed Association

Meeting Highlights

October 26, 2004

Welcome! Bob Arnold,  Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Rugh Henderson, Carol Keesey,  Ann Lasky, Jo Ellen Litz, Dave McSurdy,

John Worrilow.


Bids were opened for 2000 EELS books:  Donald Blyler Offset $26,286; Bob Gallagher $24,675.30; and Boyer Printing $14,925.  On a motion by

Worrilow, seconded by Arnold, after reviewing funding sources, and a final count of pages, the bid will be awarded to Boyer Printing. 


A notice was received from Zinn Insurance stating that they, “recently received a notice of cancellation effective 11/2/2004 from Ohio Casualty for

(SCWA’s) Employee Dishonesty Bond…as our Agency no longer represents Ohio Casualty.”  They have other companies that will write the coverage

for us.

Rugh Henderson volunteered to serve on the Lebanon County Conservation District board.

Jo Ellen circulated a ‘Bay Journal’ dissolved oxygen chart with criteria for survival of fish:  striped bass 5-6; American Shad and White and Yellow

Perch 5; Blue Crab and Bay Anchovy 3; worms 1.

Members present had the chance to review the results of the Tulpehocken Greenway study.

‘Trails to You,’ published by the PA Recreation & Park Society (volume 1, issue4), contains an article on the Swatara Water Trail, including a colored

photograph from our last canoe trip.

Handouts were distributed from an Assembly Summit presentation this month.  www.Keystoneresearchmap.org  is an interactive map that tracks PIDA,

OGP, and IDP grants.


News articles were shared covering Owen and Kathy Moe’s vision for a bridge across the Quittapahilla Creek as well as an article on the Annville

Flour Mill.


In November, the RC&D dry hydrant program will kick-off in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County.  Installing dry hydrants in farm ponds will both

increase safety in rural areas as well as reduce fire insurance costs.  Currently, NRCS is reviewing engineering plans to ensure operation.


During their recent hearing which would allow more tonnage per day, the GLRA was thanked for their help and extended hours to assist victims of the

July Campbelltown tornado.


Supervisor Henderson shared that the tornado fell on his birthday.  Further, in the Kreider area development, the mature white oak trees were damaged. 

However, the Chesapeake Bay signs are up marking natural areas like wetlands.  A white vinyl fence surrounds the natural area.  South Londonderry

Township also plans to institute an ordinance recognizing the importance of wetlands.


Lasky invited everyone to a ‘pumpkin walk’ at Quittie Creek Nature Park this Friday, October  29.  On another note, Lebanon Valley College’s girls

basketball team on the Bucher farm along Bachman Run completed plantings.


Embich stated that an inspection of the Water Works canoe launch revealed flood damage.

Conner touched on the Chesapeake Bay tributary strategy involving phosphorous, storm water, acid mine drainage, global climate change….

Donmoyer summarized Sweet Arrow Lake activity, including plans to incorporate their group, the Army Corps of Engineers, and a $1 million DCNR grant. 

She also reviewed the PA Lake Management Society and a conference where she spoke about small dam removal.


Speaker Embich compared chemical monitoring as a snapshot of a given body of water at a single point in time.  Storms and pollution accidents are

examples of events that can change the results of a chemical analysis.  He pointed out that meaningful chemical analysis occur over a period of time

and are compared to an established baseline.  The purpose of your monitoring will determine the need to use simple or expensive analysis.  For example,

if you want to know if fish will live in the water, a low-end kit is fine.  However, if your testing is used in court or regulatory and compliance issues, a

costly high-end analysis is needed.

Because they are sensitive to oxygen levels, he believes organisms are a true gauge of the health of a body of water.  Collected bugs can be compared to

a chart for low or high-end classification, which separates species tolerant of poor water quality.  In general, if water quality is not good, organisms will

move or die.  Because of hatches and different physical appearances during their life cycles, it may be necessary to conduct monitoring of bugs a few

times per year.

Lancaster, Lebanon, and York are major contributors to pollution of the Chesapeake Bay, especially when it comes to clay, which takes a long time to settle out of the water.

September 29, 2004

Welcome! Bob Arnold,  Richard Blouch, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Waterways Patrolman Douglas Deppen, Stephanie Harmon, Carol Keesey, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Gail Smith, Dave McSurdy, Jack Stouffer, Tisha Walmer, John Worrilow.


EELS Project: 

¨       Second draft of book is in Barb Haber’s hands for one final proof. 

¨       Final draft of Water Trail is in hands of PA Fish & Boat Commission.  Agreement amendment signed for Water Trail with PA Fish & Boat Commission. 

¨       Time Line:  Seek bids for printing of book.   Turn over CD and tapes for DVD work.  Scan revisions on upper Swatara Water Trail (Red Lion (not Line) Café, Monroe Creek missing.  Add Woods Creek/Bonnie Brook to text.

Draft Statement on FIG.

SCWA Lebanon County Conservation District nominations for:

¨       Landowner,  Supervisor Kyle Smith

¨       Conservationist, Sue Bowman

¨       Educator, Candice Folger, LVC

¨       Business steward, GLRA, and

¨       Special recognition Steve Kachniaz, Lebanon County Career & Technology Center.

Nominate two Farm Directors for the board of the Lebanon Conservation District—Gail Phelps Smith.


Amendment #2 to 319 grant for Little Swatara /Reduction of Non-Point Pollution from Agricultural Activities Project extends the completion date of the agreement to September 30, 2005.  Check with Mark Chegwidden to see if he still needs landowners to sign up for projects, then ask Rus Wagner, our DEP project director, if we can do a mailing to farm owners in Swatara and Bethel Townships.


The September newsletter going in the mail Thursday highlights Ed Keener’s interview, and has a photo supplement on the recent hurricane and tornado in the Swatara Watershed.  In both incidents, many residents had to go without water and electricity.  Lebanon County had two bridges wiped out.  Information on FEMA assistance is available at http://www.fema.gov/pdf/about/process/help_after_disaster_english.pdf .


Visited Twin Grove Park.  Now open for catered events and Carousel Rides.


DEP Environmental Education Grants Program:  Grant round opens 10/1/04.  Pre-application form due 12/17/04.  Notice to proceed mailed 1/19/05.    Full applications on sustainable energy sources & technology, air quality, watersheds, and academic standards due 3/11/05.


Spoke with Dennis Grumbine, new Lebanon County tourism director, about including Swatara Water Trail in promotion booklet.


Palmyra Borough has applied to DEP for relocation of a San sewer lift station 300’ east to facilitate a warehouse expansion on West Broad Street.


Camp Swatara, Alive & Well


Greater Harrisburg Foundation session October 14 at Sheraton Four Points, 800 E Park Dr., Harrisburg.  Topics include grant-making guidelines and application processes, accounting and legal strategies, helping donors maximize their philanthropic impact….


Pennsylvania's 5th annual Watershed Conference and Youth Tract: "The Air Land and Water Connection" will be held on Sept 30, - October 2nd in the Lehigh Valley!  http://www.wildlandspa.org/Rivers/watershedconference_2004.html


Private bridge at Water Works crumbling.  On an old canal structure (arch that went under the canal), the downstream headwall area is failing and a portion has already collapsed into the stream.  The road above is still open and the top side does not look real bad but a piece of concrete has fallen from the under side into the creek and is partly blocking creek flow.  The size of the concrete is about as big as a pickup truck.  The issues here are safety - the bridge is on a no outlet private road serving 6 or 7 houses.  Without the bridge there is no access to the homes.  I cannot predict when the bridge will move again and become impassible.  It does not appear imminent unless we get a lot more rain.  Costs/ownership - nobody claims ownership and my gut feeling is that this will cost at least $25,000 to repair. The creek is partially blocked by the concrete mass and that may compound the problem since the outlet of the structure is small (headwall has settled).  Additional collapse could block the opening and cause upstream flooding and possible damage to property. 


A Human case of West Nile Virus was confirmed in Palmyra yesterday.  There are only five or six confirmed cases in Pennsylvania.


Bob Arnold reported that Greg Mohan, in Senator Brightbill’s office, believes that within a month, the Swatara State Park will appear on DCNR’s priority list of projects for release of funds.  A mailer will also go out.


Waterways Patrolman Doug Deppen asked for the public’s help in pinpointing the origin of a 50-gallon oil spill into a storm drain in the Swatara beside the pool on S Union Street in MiddletownAnother spill on Swatara Drive came from two and five gallon motor and hydraulic oil containers.  A 55-gallon drum of watered down gas was also discharged.  Doug will meet with DEP on Monday.  Call 486-7087 with information.


Karen Light passed out Audubon brochures with a calendar of meetings and field trips.  October 27, 7:30PM the program will be Guyana—A Jungle Adventure, at the Lebanon Valley Home, 550 E Main St., Annville.  October 10, 1:30, walk Furnace Hills, State Game Lands 156.  Contact Fritz Heilman, 273-0487.  October 17, Second Mountain Hawk Watch, 1:30, LV Mall, JC Penney front lot.


Betty Conner reported on statewide meetings.


Stephanie Harmon shared pictures and sample markers from a storm drain signage program occurring in the Swatara Watershed.  She reminded everyone about the Watershed Forum on October 30.  She shared information on Susquehanna River Basin Commission speakers and tomorrow’s Quittapahilla Watershed meeting, 7PM, featuring their consultant.


Richard Blouch mentioned the value of contour stripping and riparian buffers to keep topsoil in place on farms during the last two storms.

August 25, 2004

The July Water Works cleanup was a success.  View pictures of the results on visit our web site.  SRBC was prompt with payment for a grant to help cover costs.

Karen Light moved, and Jack Stouffer seconded, a motion to concur with signing of the Gateways grant agreement with the National Park Service for the EELS book and Water Trail maps. Motion carried.

After reviewing text for the Water Trail maps, Jack Stouffer moved, and Bob Arnold seconded, a motion to adopt text, as presented, for submittal to the PA Fish and Boat Commission.  Corey Anderson, Canaan Valley Institute (CVI), should be here Friday or Monday with the next draft of the Water Trail map.  For those who would like to help proof the map, an email will be sent to members announcing the exact date and time of Corey’s visit.

For August 30, Tom Embich will be asked to follow through with writing a proposal to erect a sign on property owned by Derry Township Municipal Authority (DTMA) who purchased the Hershey Trust Co., access at the mouth of Spring Creek. 

For the October publication of ‘Trails to You’, Lisa L. Litz, Training Assistant for the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, 2131 Sandy Drive, State College, PA 16803-2283, is editing an article on the Swatara Water Trail.

Members reviewed the first draft of the EELS book, and distributed six copies for proof reading to:  Marta Trainer, Jean Henry, Bob Arnold, Karen Light, Joe Hovis, and Jack Stouffer.  Harvey Bomberger commented that he was pleased with all of the history recorded in this document.

On behalf of SCWA, Cindy Metzger is attending the Chesapeake Bay Gateways training session.  We owe Cindy our sincere thanks. and Susan too, for allowing Cindy to represent us.

Loyal P. Hall, the West Nile Virus agent for Lebanon County was finally given permission by the property owners to inspect and treat the Vasil junkyard on July 9th.  There was a moderate mosquito population at the time.  They also treated the tires to lower that population.

The South Central Assembly for Effective Governance will hold its annual Summit on October 14th at the Harrisburg Area Community College.  This year the Summit will focus on the recommendations contained in the Brookings Institution Report, Back To Prosperity:  A Competitive Agenda for Renewing Pennsylvania. N The report can be read at http://www.brookings.edu/es/urban/publications/pa.htm.


Pine Grove Landfill is closing September 4, 2004.


Fort Indiantown Gap straddles two counties and seven municipalities.  SCWA members reviewed FIG’s environmental stewardship, including but not limited to improvements to erosion control through stream bank stabilization, maintenance of butterfly habitat, and sewer upgrades.  We have every reason to believe that they will do the same with a proposed expansion.  Further, as a large employer, we recognize the significant contribution FIG has to the economy of the Swatara Watershed.  Finally, we want to keep the lines of communication open with the military and encourage continued public input in such matters.  There are laws on the books that do not require FIG to hold public meetings to acquire feedback on land purchases.  Dave McSurdy moved, and Jack Stouffer seconded, a motion to support Fort Indiantown Gap’s land acquisition to expand the military reservation.  Joe Hovis also shared that FIG plans to identify and support farmland preservation around the Gap.  Further, Manada and Lebanon Conservancies and the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited were contacted concerning help to identify properties for conservation easements. 

At our next meeting, SCWA will consider Lebanon Conservation District Landowner, conservationist, educator, business steward, and special recognition awards.

Stephanie Harmon asked everyone to mark his or her calendars for the following dates:

¨      October 16 – 8AM-noon, for a kickoff announcing a storm drain stenciling project in eleven municipalities.  This project will raise awareness of how oil and other substances can go directly from storm drains to streams to the Chesapeake Bay.

¨      October 30 – A local Watershed Forum with Lancaster County, 9AM-noon, at Acorn Acres, Manheim/Mount Joy exit.  Breakfast is included.

Denise Donmoyer gave us an update on Sweet Arrow Lake.  They are very pleased with the services of Simone, Jaffe, and Collins.  Carol Keesey added that she was thrilled to see water in Sweet Arrow Lake this year.

A discussion on development of Swatara State Park took place.

Karen Light announced:

¨      Sunday, September 19 - a Conservancy picnic at Union Canal Tunnel Park, which will include canal boat rides.  Members tickets are $12 each, and non-members, $15.

¨      May 25, 2005 – an Audubon banquet at Friendship Fire Company.  George Constance, CVI, will speak on ‘Hollers, peepers, and highlands’.  Karen suggested that George would be available as a speaker for SCWA’s meeting too.

Dave McSurdy informed SCWA that we will be losing Ryan Koch.  He is accepting a position as an RC&D coordinator.  Always in the field working, Ryan was a great asset to the Watershed.  Dave McSurdy moved, and Denise Donmoyer seconded, a motion to send Ryan Kohn a letter of thanks for all of the contributions he made to the Swatara Watershed.

July meeting was a field exercise--litter cleanup at the Water Works.

May 26, 2004

In attendance were:  Bob Arnold, Jim Boyer, Tom Embich, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Jack Stouffer, Marta Trainer, & John Worrilow.


Susquehanna River Basin Commission: is providing maps for watershed groups.  Swatara is the model used.


Tom Embich:  reviewed a Commonwealth Court decision regarding "built-out" densities being challenged by a developer who had in effect used up a particular residential density and sought a curative amendment to the zoning ordinance to provide for additional areas of similar residential density at the expense of agricultural lands. [Heritage Building Group, Inc. v. Plumstead Twp. BOS, No. 3020 C.D. 2002; Commonwealth Court affirmed Bucks Co. decision of Nov. 27, 2002 on Oct. 17, 2003]


Union Township:  SCWA supports naming a stream—Woods Creek, which crosses Route 72 between the old Wood’s Creek ice cream parlor and sporting good store and Francis Ditzler’s property.


Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network application submitted.  Thank you Susan! 


Water Trail  Conference call with PA Fish & Boat & CVI Thursday May 26 at 3:30PM to work out technical details of the map.


EELs Update:  Reviewed chapters with Marta and Karen.  Will follow-up with Tom, Betty, and Gail.  Dan is working on his chapter right now.  Received Chuck’s chapter by email.  Susan is reviewing/revising lessons learned written by Jo Ellen.  Looking for a` live American eel to photograph.  Marta will review training book for photo release forms.


Sojourn: Huge success!  Viewed a slide show.  For next year’s trip, SCWA will consider a $5 per student fee for all Milton Hershey students--who are being taught to work within a budget—when accompanied by an adult.  MHS has canoes for the students.  Based upon feedback from participants, we should expand upon the “dolly concept” (devised by Tom Embich) for dam portage.  Tom agreed to work on his wheeled model.


State Soil:  At 1.5 million acres, Hazleton soil is more extensive than Berks, Gilpin, or Penn soils, and located in more than 34 of 67 counties across PA.


Fish for Camp Bashore:  Received approval from the Fish Commission to get Trout from 3 local Co-operative hatcheries. Dauphin County Anglers Conservation Club, Swatara Sportsmen’s Conservation Club in Pine Grove, and Short Mountain Conservation Club in Lykens.  Still looking for bass, crappies and blue gills.  Ed from Ron’s Bait shop in Harrisburg is checking his suppliers, but so far, only fingerlings.  Would like 6-8 inch bass so next year of legal size.  Purchasing 100 catfish from Ed, and he’s donating 10 pounds of fathead minnows and several pounds of crayfish.

  Larger crappies and blue gills also needed.  Does anyone have any ideas?  Water Conservation officer says we can catch up to 50 pan fish per person and re-release them in the lake.  Schaefferstown Isaac Walton League might allow thinning out their pond but needs member approval.  Will they then survive the ride to camp from that distance?  A pond closer to camp would increase their chance of survival.  Any suggestions? 


Dry Hydrants:  18” of water needed to install PVC hydrants in rural areas, which will lower insurance premiums.  RC&D materials will be sent to all municipalities within the seven-county area we service. The packets will also be posted on the RC&D website by 6/1/04. Applications will be accepted until Friday, 8/13/04.


Dave Hess:  Former DEP Secretary accepted the position of Director of Policy and Communications with the government affairs firm of Holston & Crisci in Harrisburg.


Fish & Boat License:  The PA Fish and Boat Commission is seeking a license and boat registration fee adjustment.  The proposal is embodied in HB 2155.  Motion made by Worrilow/Stouffer passed unanimously to support this action.


Representative George introduced House Bill 2621 and Representative Dan Surra introduced House Bill 2010.  While we are unsure of the content of this bill,  SCWA believes  in open space, community revitalization, farmland preservation, and repairs of state parks and forests infrastructure. Bill Friese will be notified of our position.


Swatara State Park was discussed in detail.  Of note was:

bullet A tree blocking Old State Road that prevented a student field trip from their water monitoring destination on Rattling Run.
bullet Problems SCWA shore support will encounter without Old State Road on next year’s sojourn;
bullet Old State Road is one of the last horse riding trails in the county;
bullet Accessibility to extinguish fires is vital, and as a compromise, a one-way road is acceptable—preferably following the flow of the Stream.

As a result of the discussion, SCWA decided to ask Senator Brightbill to request a meeting with DCNR for a progress report on Swatara State Park and any decisions concerning Old State Road.


Fort Indiantown Gap:  Additional public meetings will be held to answer questions concerning the land exchange that will expand their perimeter.  SCWA members agreed that with appropriate notice, we will advertise these meetings.


DCNR will close a grant round in October.  Therefore, each SCWA members is welcome to submit their Top Three Priorities to Jo Ellen for consideration in compiling a grant.  Jim Boyer will be asked to assemble a grant application.


State of the Swatara Watershed:  With a focus on goals attained that are listed in our Rivers Conservation Plan, a report will be compiled for distribution and inclusion in our grant applications.  Jim Boyer was also asked to compile the report.


Karen reported that Cindy Dunn will be the main speaker at the Audubon banquet tonight, and Saturday, the Appalachian and local Audubon groups will meet at Heisey’s Diner at 8:30AM to visit the Greater Lebanon Landfill Blue Bird Trail.


Ann reported on Love Your Park day and the United Way Day of Caring that brought together students and volunteers to clean up the park.  Trails were mulched, black willow tree shoots were planted along the bank, and milk, garter, and water snakes were examined. 


Further, even though the property owners are in agreement, funding is in place, partners are on board, and petitions show public support, for a footbridge connecting a path from Annville Cleona High School through Quittie Park to the library, a zoning hearing board variance appeal is delayed until July 2.  For it’s high point, which would favor the least impact from high water, engineers recommended the site of the bridge.  There is concern that Penn DOT will not hold the funds.



bullet May 27, SRBC Flood Forecasting  & Warning @ Millersville University
bullet June 3, 9AM, DEP, NE Regional Office. 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre Sub-area committee meeting
bullet June 30, 9:30AM, next SCWA meeting, 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 4, Lebanon


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


April 28, 2004

The meeting was called to order at 9:30AM at the Swatara Watershed Association office.

In attendance were:  Jim Boyer, Betty Conner, Tom Embich, Adam Fletcher, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Amy Morgan, & Ray Swingholm.

Members reviewed the audit from Faren Associates.  The Baord gave direction to ask why the value of the board’s donated labor was not included in the audit.

Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network application due May 14.  Susan Parry and Liz Baker volunteered to write the grant. 

Water Trail  On behalf of PA Governor Rendell, the Northern Swatara Water Trail is approved for a grant in the amount of $19,000 from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Partnership Program.  The funds come from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation (Key 93) Fund or the Environmental Stewardship Act (Growing Greener) Fund.  With matching funds, this will allow SCWA to add 12 miles and seven new access points to the existing 48 mile Swatara Water Trail for a total of 60 miles.  We will be able to purchase fiberglass signs plus frames for each new access, maps of the entire Water Trail, and weatherproof map boxes to attach to the signs.  Sample maps were available.

National Water Week is next week. 

EELs Update:  Comments on abstracts.  Progress reports on chapters.

Susan Obleski, SRBC obtained permission from the Army Corps of Engineers for us to use the impervious surface map created during the water Supply study.

Sojourn: Registration posted to the web site. Mark your calendar for May 1 & 2.


Review itinerary and confirmations.


Walkie Talkies—channel ?


Called into Don Bowman on WLBR Radio.


Mauree Gingrich will present a citation at the sojourn kick-off and Senator Brightbill sent a proclamation


Jim Schucker, Union Canal speaker and Tom Emich, EELs speaker Saturday


Indian Echo Caverns is on board for a tour and use of the pavilion for Sunday lunch.

Gretta is still trying to get fish donated for the lake at Camp Bashore.  They closed the valve. Within a few hours the level had risen 5 inches so it didn’t take long for it to fill.

Christine Bittinger, Instructor, made contact concerning internships.  Completed an interview with Dylan Moyer who is attending HACC in an Environmental class (probably one of Christine’s students), and is interested in an internship.  He was directed to go through RC&D. 

Contacted by Jeff Benoit of the Marstel-Day team working on the Fort Indiantown Gap Compatible Uses Plan.

West Nile Virus education is done so well that I’ve had numerous calls about tires on properties.  Agriculture is exempt when tires are used to weight down tarps.  Vassel junk yard was another site of concern.  Loyal Hall responded.

Jo Ellen will present at SRBC's "Getting the Insurance Coverage Your Watershed Group Needs" on Thursday afternoon, May 13, 2004 at the Four Points Sheraton, Harrisburg.

May 8, PSU Hazelton, speak on NEPA Passing Go Training about your “real world” success with a Marketing/Fundraising Plan.

·         A portage trail is established around the Route 81 bridge reconstruction just south of the Appalachian Trail bridge and Swatara State Park.  Large chunks of limestone have rolled into the stream bed.  Also, if something fell, it is extremely dangerous to travel under the bridge.   All of the macadam and/or concrete is ripped up in the North bound lane.  Chris Wall, who heads the construction crew, relayed that they will be replacing I-beams next.  The South bound lane will only be done next year.



May 1 & 2 Swatara Sojourn.

May 16 Bear Creek Festival

. May 26, 2004 .PA Recreation &, Park Society (PRPS) is sponsoring a Statewide Water Trail Workshop at the PA Fish

& Boat Commission headquarters.

. May 20, 2004. 12 to 1:30 pm, Rachel Carson Auditorium. What Is the Potential for Soils, Forest, Agriculture, and Deep Geologic Carbon Sequestration in Pennsylvania? The problem of human-induced climate change creates an enormous need as well as significant potential economic opportunities for storing carbon in soils,

agriculture, forests, and deep geologic formations. Entities around the world are already engaged In carbon sequestration projects that are providing economic value and much scientific research is under way that will very likely lead to carbon sequestration protocols that will create additional economic opportunities. This

program will review the state of the science and policy formation relating to sequestering carbon in various media. This program will also examine how Pennsylvania might take advantage of the economic opportunities provided by carbon sequestration projects. Speakers will include a representative from Rodale Institute, an organization doing leading research on soil sequestration, and researchers from several Pennsylvania universities working on forest, agriculture and deep geologic sequestration issues. Speakers will be named later.     \              

May 26 - 9:30AM SCWA meeting, Watershed Office

March 31, 2004

In attendance were:  Harvey Bomberger, Betty Conner, Denise Donmoyer, Tom Embich, Adam Fletcher, Carol Keesey, Ann Lasky, Karen Light, Jo Ellen Litz, Susan Parry, Gail Smith, Chuck Wertz, John Worrilow.

The Swatara Water Trail was awarded Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network status by the National Park Service, which makes SCWA eligible for federal grants.  Susan Parry, Liz Baker, and Ed Chubb volunteered to attend a mandatory training at the Maryland Historical Society on April 2.  The goal is to link Gateways through a network of boating, walking, biking, or driving routes that explore the Bay area and rivers of the Bay watershed.  Connecting routes fosters appropriate public access to, and interpretation of, the natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources along the route.  Trails and water trails emphasize low-impact use and offer opportunities for volunteers to help restore or conserve Bay resources.  For more information, visit www.baygateways.net/about/types.htm .

EELs Update:  Copies of abstracts were distributed for comments by our next meeting.  Corrections are to be highlighted on the printouts.  Assignments to write chapters were accepted by:  Jo Ellen Litz, 1-American Eels; Tom Embich, 2-History; Dan Koury, 3-Mining (suggested); Chuck Wertz, 4-Agriculture; Gail Smith, 5-Agnes; Betty Conner, 6-Water; Marta Trainer, 7-TMI; Karen Light, 8-Recreation; and Susan Parry, 9-Lessons Learned.

Lebanon Daily News insert featured the Swatara Water Trail. By David Pidgeon

Sojourn: Registration posted to the web site. Mark your calendar for May 1 & 2.


Review itinerary and confirmations.

bulletSunday Patriot announced sojourn.
bulletMauree Gingrich will present a citation at the sojourn kick-off:
bulletJim Schucker, who has Earl Leiby's old slides and added his own, confirmed as a Union Canal speaker for Saturday night.
bulletIndian Echo Caverns is on board for a tour and use of the pavilion for Sunday lunch.
bulletBob Arnold will coordinate the portage around Hershey Dam and take responsibility for Saturday night's dinner.           
bulletAdditional sponsors include Canaan Valley Institute, First Energy, Sunset Lions.                           ~


Jo Ellen will present at SRBC's "Getting the Insurance Coverage Your Watershed Group Needs" on Thursday afternoon, May 13, 2004 at the Four Points Sheraton, Harrisburg.


Very much appreciated GLRA and East Hanover Township's cooperation in cleanup of waste dumped on a farmer's property. While GLRA &, EHT didn't know it, according to Mary Golab, someone called into the Governor's radio talk show about this trash, and if I understood correctly, tied together grants we receive with why we didn't clean it up. The caller must have been unaware that we are all volunteers, and each person in Lebanon County can pitch in like SCWA, the GLRA and EHT to help keep our community clean. Grants come with funds committed for specific actions.


GLRA permit modification review, public comment. and final action scheduled to take 40S days. Action will not increase footprint. but will allow average daily Lebanon County waste to increase. which will reduce the life expectancy of the landfill from 17 to 13 years. Demolition at FIG as well as increased population are needs identified in the application.  Neighbors are monitoring progress and commenting on the harms/benefits of the proposal.                               


Tulpehocken Greenway update.


A proposed township ordinance was discussed, and a vote was taken to draft a letter addressing property rights for farmers.


 Water Authority report


Hazleton-Soil-a-State soil?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


CVI position open for a geospatia1 coordinator

Denise updated SCWA on Sweet Arrow Lake.

Ann shared information on Quittie Creek Nature Park’s “Love your Park Day” scheduled for April 24.

Tom recalled the SRBC meeting water withdrawal requests included Pennsy Supply.

Also, the April ballot will have a question concerning a $1.4 million bond issue to cover water and sewer upgrades.

Betty outlined a Land Trust Conference in Lancaster and the Lower Susquehanna Regional Planning document.

Chuck reviewed a Strategic Planning Session for the Conservation District.          

Speaker: Dave McSurdv shared his extensive knowledge of Indian culture, and other topics concerning the Northern Swatara Watershed.  His talk was taped for archival purposes.



April 28 – 9:30AM SCWA meeting, Watershed Office

May 1 & 2 Swatara Sojourn.

May 16 Bear Creek Festival

May 26, 2004 .PA Recreation &, Park Society (PRPS) is sponsoring a Statewide Water Trail Workshop at the PA Fish

& Boat Commission headquarters.

. May 20, 2004. 12 to 1:30 pm, Rachel Carson Auditorium. What Is the Potential for Soils, Forest, Agriculture, and Deep Geologic Carbon Sequestration in Pennsylvania? The problem of human-induced climate change creates an enormous need as well as significant potential economic opportunities for storing carbon in soils,

agriculture, forests, and deep geologic formations. Entities around the world are already engaged In carbon sequestration projects that are providing economic value and much scientific research is under way that will very likely lead to carbon sequestration protocols that will create additional economic opportunities. This

program will review the state of the science and policy formation relating to sequestering carbon in various media. This program will also examine how Pennsylvania might take advantage of the economic opportunities provided by carbon sequestration projects. Speakers will include a representative from Rodale Institute, an organization doing leading research on soil sequestration, and researchers from several Pennsylvania universities working on forest, agriculture and deep geologic sequestration issues. Speakers will be named later.     \              

May 26 - 9:30AM SCWA meeting, Watershed Office

 February 25, 2004 - 9:30AM, Swatara Creek Watershed Association Office

Grant Application: PA Environmental Council nominated SCWA for Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network funding. Susan Parry, from RC&D was instrumental in the nomination process too. As I understand it, any project in the Rivers Conservation Plan could be eligible for funding, including the Swatara Greenway. The goal is to link Gateways through a network of boating, walking, biking, or driving routes that explore the Bay area and rivers of the Bay watershed. Connecting routes fosters appropriate public access to, and interpretation of, the natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources along the route. Trails and water trails emphasize low-impact use and offer opportunities for volunteers to help restore or conserve Bay resources. For more information, visit www.baygateways.net/about/types.htm A vote of affirmation for this application was approved on motion by John Worrilow and seconded by Bob Arnold.
EELS Update: A Lebanon Daily News article on our oral history project was shared. Interviews are complete. Tape recorders were returned to CVI, which means to review interviews, we will have to watch the videos. All abstracts must be incorporated into the body of the interview summaries. After that, copies for EELS team and board members will be distributed for comments. The file is too big to email or post to the web site. Volunteers to write a chapter or two are needed.
Sojourn: By March 1, registrations will be posted to the web site. Mark your calendar for May 1 & 2. Since the theme is EELS, we discussed the topic of recent sitings: American Eels are tolerant of poor water quality. As small elvers born at sea, eels migrate upstream along the banks. Therefore, fish ladders starting in the center of a stream do not traditionally transport eels. Recent sitings may be attributed to several factors: fisherman catching eels below the Conowingo dam and transporting them upstream for release, birds regurgitating, high flood waters that temporarily abate low-head dam barriers, or eels trapped in a water body like the Richland Quarry since the 1940’s. Tom will research the life span of American Eels and secure a speaker for Saturday night’s sojourn program or prepare a presentation. Jo Ellen will secure a speaker on the Union Canal.
Little Swatara:  Responded to an inquiry from NRCS concerning payment.
Bog Turtles There was some concern over designation. http://www.nap.usace.army.mil/cenap-op/regulatory/paspgp2pn0303.pdf Perhaps the PA Natural Diversity Index made the identified area extremely vague to protect the species located in Tulpehocken Watershed, which drains to the Delaware Bay, not the Chesapeake Bay. Bog turtles require bogs and elk-type footprints to support a colony. The shale soils in the northern Swatara are not typical bog turtle habitat.
Stephanie Harmon reported on two grant applications for WREN and CVI to assist with storm drain markers to comply with the MS4 program.
Denise reported that Simone, Jaffe, and Collins is preparing a public meeting on Sweet Arrow Lake for June. There will be a clubhouse renovation and comprehensive plan. Bear Creek Festival is May 16.
Rugh Henderson reported on the Kreider project with the Chesapeake Bay. South Londonderry Township is preparing an ordinance to define Natural Areas of ten or more acres of wetlands. They hope to share their experience with other municipalities.
Chuck Wertz reported on tree seedling sales at the Lebanon Conservation District, a strategic planning process, $3 million in farmland preservation, expansion progress at 2120 Cornwall Road, timbering at Coleman’s Park, and a possible 21 acre Conservancy Donation by Susan Keck in North Annville.
Dave McSurdy reported on a hike in Jeff’s Swamp on March 28. There will be park and ride from the Pine Grove exit off Route 81.
Members and guests then watched Dan Koury’s interview, which gave SCWA an update on acid mine drainage treatment in the Northern Swatara.

Next Meeting - March 31 at 9:30AM at 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon, Dave McSurdy will talk about hiking, his knowledge of Indian culture, and other topics concerning the Northern Swatara Watershed.

January 28, 2004, Jo Ellen Litz called the meeting of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association or order.

Membership ReportAnnual ‘Give the Gift of Water’ campaign netted 15-20 new lifetime members.

Eels Update:

bulletReport on interviews by Ann, Betty, Denise, Jean, Marta.
bulletCompleted: Among others, Chuck Allwein, Chris Cleaver, Francis Ditzler, Edwin Copenhaver, Tom Donmoyer, Tom Embich, John Feather, Phil Feather, George Grumbein, Evelyn Isele, Ruth Litz, Clyde Miller, Heidi Neiswender, Mike Pavelek, Rick Rogers, Ken Shirk, Frank Smoker, Raymond Swingholm, Edgar Teahl, John Wengert, Gary Witmeyer, Karl "Skip" Wolf, John Worrilow.
bulletKhiet Luong intern photographer, videographer studying for his Master’s Degree with Audubon
bulletSchedule and conduct SCWA board member interviews
bulletReturn all equipment to Watershed office by February.
bulletVolunteers needed for the writing and organizing phase.
bulletProofreaders: Barb Haber
DVD assistance: Northern Lebanon students Tim Auman, Jonathan Hehnly, and Jason McGovern; , Gordie Weise voice; Chris Cleaver FIG technical assistance

Little Swatara Quarterly report filed. There was no new construction or design activity to report, therefore the LCCD has no hours for reimbursement and there are no construction invoices. All of the work to be completed is done (project was completed by the end of the 3rd quarter of 2003) at the Dutch Country Egg Farms.

ACUB meeting at FIG -Tom Embich attended and reports that FIG is pursuing a buffer area around their perimeter.

Grant Applications completed: Committee volunteers. Bob Arnold; Tom Embich, transportation; Ann Lasky; & Stephanie Harmon. Others welcome. Please contact Jo Ellen.

bulletWater Works cleanup

Tom Ford, PA Fish & Boat Commission writes: a gateway program has established the date for project nominations (Feb 20). Don't forget that riparian restoration projects are eligible in addition to water trail related work. Susan Parry, RC&D, is preparing a submission that encompasses both the Swatara Greenway and Swatara Water Trail.

On a vote by Ann Lasky, seconded by Dave McSurdy, SCWA voted to volunteer as a cooperative Watershed to host a public education day by partnering with a local business to recommend less toxic pest control and do public service announcements. The program is titled Your Home to Our Streams. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, RC&D, and Conservation Districts will administer the program.

DaveMcSurdy questioned when construction in Swatara State Park will begin.

Gerry Johnston will move back to northern Virginia to be closer to family. He has accepted a job that he could not refuse. He has gained some valuable insight and experience from the meetings and hopes to join up with a local watershed group to get involved down there. His first day on the job will be January 30th.

CET Engineering Services is working with Lower Paxton Township Authority on a project to replace and upgrade a sewer interceptor along Beaver Creek from a tributary across Blue Ridge Avenue in Linglestown to a new wastewater treatment plant located at the junction of South Hanover, Lower Paxton and Swatara Township. A main goal of this project is to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows. The proposed layout of the sewer permanently affects approximately 1 acre of wetlands. The Corps of Engineers has suggested that LPTA provide streambank restoration, wetland enhancement or such along Beaver Creek as compensation for these impacts. I am writing to inquire about any projects that the watershed association may have in mind or underway for Beaver Creek, and also about the possibility to collaborate on such a project. Anita Stabile, Environmental Scientist, CET Engineering Services, 1240 N. Mountain Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112, 541-0622, 541-8004 (fax) Tom will follow up.

Zock inquiry on Rain Gardens – plantings on slopes that capture or slow down rainwater using rocks, mulch…and serve as a protective safety buffer.

Kate Dowling works with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, P.O. Box 1981, Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 775-0951, Fax: (804) 775-0954. They're putting a website together that lists all the volunteer water-monitoring programs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. To include the Swatara Creek Program, I could get most of the information off your website. But I have a couple more questions; do you have a written quality assurance plan, and is it approved by an accredited (state, federal) organization? Do you follow standard written procedures when monitoring? Tom Embich responded to this inquiry.

Mary Pettice is representing a group of Annville residents (and, hopes, the Township--) in seeking grants to acquire the 11 acres currently being considered for re-zoning and residential building. The developer told her that if she can meet his cost ($300 K+), he will sell the township the property for recreational use. She has been in contact with people at DCNR and DCED; later this week, she will have more information from them concerning the grant process. (Currently, the developer has dropped his request for an R-2 zoning change and is requesting R-1, which will be restricted to single family homes on lot sizes that are smaller PA than Annville's current R-1 lot size description. There was a public meeting on Jan. 19.)

Dry Hydrant Program finalized for the Capital RC&D. Received a funding contract through the US Forest Service to help improve fire prevention ratings (ISO) within select communities within our region. This will be done several ways, the easiest of which is to install dry hydrants in areas in each county that may lack the benefit of community water systems. We will also be doing outreach/education about this type of hydrant, as well as an overall inventory of existing sites so that we come up with the best place to put the hydrants. We have funding for approximately 5-6 units per county- the difficulty will be prioritizing within the counties. We will be working with the County Conservation Districts and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Bureau of Forestry) to determine the best way to do that.

The Brookings Institution’s important new study of Pennsylvania, Back to Prosperity: A Competitive Agenda for Renewing Pennsylvania, can be found on the web at:

Denise reported that the Sweet Arrow Lake Site Master Plan is creating Schuylkill County’s first County Park. She will also speak at a small dam removal conference in Collegeville.
Betty will attend the Lower Susquehanna Water Resources workshop on February 6.
Bob reported that the sale of the Hershey Dam to PA American Water Company is complete, and the fish ladder is being installed.
Stephanie is working on a Growing Greener Grant for the Agricultural Center parking lot to create a pervious pavement that will allow ground water recharge instead of creating volumes of water run-off.

SCWA voted to ask David L. Sheridan, P.E. to prepare a grant application for the 3/5/04 deadline. There is no cost for the grant preparation. One week before the February 25 meeting, members are to receive a copy for review. On February 25, we will request a final vote and seek letters of support. We would like to look at alternate ways of conserving and reusing water, costs to implement the methods for business and industry, or new housing construction, as well as long-term cost savings and other advantages to the business or industry. Tom Embich was appointed to work with Dave to consult with Mary Golab, our DEP watershed coordinator.

February 19TH at 7:00 P.M. , at the Allwein YMCA Center, 334 East Main Street, Annville--next meeting of the Quittapahilla Watershed Association.
February 25 at 9:30AM at 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon, Next SCWA meeting. Denise Donmoyer will present her interview with Dan Koury on Acid Mine Drainage.
March 31 at 9:30AM at 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon, at the SCWA meeting, Dave McSurdy will talk about hiking, his knowledge of Indian culture, and other topics concerning the Northern Swatara Watershed.

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