Sign Project with ALCOA Grant

Story and photos by Jo Ellen Litz

A cement County bridge on Old Route 22 between Jonestown and Union Township was centrally located and offered an element of safety with its pedestrian crossing for the Swatara Watershed Association, Boy Scout Troop 50, and DEP's Fred Heagy to post the first sign marking the Swatara Creek in a four-county Swatara Creek Watershed.

First they had to decide whether to place the sign on a poll before the bridge, or the bridge itself.  Because of snow plowing that could bend the aluminum sign, Mayor Kauffman suggested the bridge.  The group concurred.  David Stachow took an old piece of sand paper to scuff the back of the sign and dirt off the bridge.  Then he took a level, and drew a straight line.  Squeezing the tube and placing a continuous bead of glue on both sides and the top of the sign back, Ned Hugar followed Jim's (his dad) instructions carefully.  The bottom was to be left open to allow moisture to escape.  That first sign took about twenty minutes to install.

Alex Stachow, Tom Embich, and Jo Ellen Litz passed out other signs, purchased with a $1,000 grant from ALCOA, for everyone to inspect.  While the background was the same on all signs, each was customized with the name of a municipality or tributary.  A count of named tributaries in the Swatara Watershed totaled 47--from Adams Run to the Quittapahilla, Trout Run, and the Upper Little Swatara Creek.  Participants hope the signs help raise public awareness of and educate passers-by about the Swatara Watershed.

Individuals also have the opportunity to copy down the Watershed web site learn more about their water and conservation.