Three Local Schuylkill River Projects Win Grants

Several areas along the Schuylkill River experienced major flooding from Hurricane Ida including River Road in North Coventry (at top)

POTTSTOWN PA – Three Schuylkill River local water quality improvement projects, two in western Montgomery County and one in northern Chester County, will receive portions of $337,500 in grant money to be presented Sept. 17 (2021; Friday) by the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area during a ceremony scheduled in Philadelphia, the Pottstown-based organization announced.

Perkiomen Valley Trout Unlimited has won $54,000 for a project in Camelot Park, Upper Hanover Township; the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, $35,500 for a project in Stony Creek Park in Lansdale Borough; and East Pikeland Township, $30,000 for work in its Hidden River Park and Preserve. The remaining $218,000 will be shared among projects in Berks (2), Schuylkill, and Philadelphia counties.

The organization, in a media release, observed that “the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ida showed the need for restoration projects along local waterways. Towns, homes and businesses near rivers, creeks and streams experienced extreme flooding last week.” Several of the grant-winning projects involve restoring or adding natural absorbent surfaces that can help contain or reduce flooding.

Since it was established in 2006, the Greenways’ Schuylkill River Restoration Fund has supported 121 environmental projects with an investment of $4.6 million. Its mission “is to restore natural spaces … to improve the ecosystem,” Greenways’ Education Director Sarah Crothers said.

The Sept. 17 “showcase” of those projects is sponsored by Schuylkill River Greenways, Schuylkill Action Network, Exelon Generation, Delaware River Basin Commission, Philadelphia Water Department, Aqua Pennsylvania, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Local projects described

Schuylkill River Greenways offered these descriptions of the Montgomery and Chester County projects:

At Camelot Park, the Perkiomen Valley Trout Unlimited “project is designed to restore the Upper Perkiomen Creek stream banks, stream channel, and riparian area to improve water quality and the surrounding ecosystem. This work will reduce sediment and other contaminants within a significant section of stream which flows into the Green Lane Reservoir and downstream drinking water intakes.”

At Stony Creek Park, the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy and Lansdale Borough “have partnered to create a 3,000-square-foot rain garden. The garden will feature a subterranean stormwater storage system and Pennsylvania native plants. This garden will be in Lansdale’s Stony Creek Park and will be constructed largely by community volunteers.”

At Hidden River Park, East Pikeland Township “will address a riparian corridor revitalization project on open space that will be developed into a park and preserve. The goal is to improve and expand the riparian buffer, thereby improving the stormwater system and restoring native habitat. The total project area is 14 acres.”

Photo by Kevin Keifrider, supplied by the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area