On August 31, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers during their Conversation Café meeting, we had the opportunity to share about our Bird Town programs and how we and our EACs work together with our local Watershed Organizations to positively impact on our local streams, rivers and overall watersheds. Thank you to all the Bird Towns Leaders who shared their events and stories.
Here are some ideas to consider for 2023:
- Invite your local Watershed Organizations to your Bird Town and EAC and Park and Rec meetings to learn what they’re working on and how you can work together.
- Partner with your local Watershed to plant trees and shrubs to create green corridors and reduce runoff and build up riparian buffer zones
- Educate about storm water management with rain barrel workshops and giveaways
- Install native plants gardens for water retention and also in water retention basins
- Work with another Bird Town and local Watershed to develop a larger scale project
- Contact your local Watershed for volunteers for an upcoming event
To contact your local Watershed Association(s), check out the Contact List we created just for you which is located on our Bird Town Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u98yNL8TzsKkB5xBM7CHvCVTr9y0tJgO/view?usp=sharing
Here are some of the highlights from the Presentation and material shared:
Abington EAC (AEAC) works with these 3 watersheds on green infrastructure, restoration and tree plantings, Stream Smart programs, Streamkeeper program, and the Wissahickon Collaborative.
AEAC created the “Rain Barrel The Town” program in 2010 which offers low-cost rain barrels to the public, supports rain barrel installation, and hosts several rain barrel workshops each year.
Rain Barrel Project
AEAC and ABT (Abington Bird Town) partner with community groups on sustainability, energy issues, planning and development, tree plantings, and on community events such as the Abington Township Pre-Night Out Block Party (with games and giveaways), service-learning programs, native plant garden tours, native plants sales, birds walks, and more.
The Bethlehem EAC works with and promotes the Monocacy Creek Watershed Association (MCWA) by having them report at our monthly EAC meetings and by sponsoring and publicizing the two Monocacy Creek cleanup events each year. Their added publicity about the clean ups, tree-planting events and riparian buffer workdays brings in additional volunteers.
At their Lancaster Native Plant and Wildlife Festival, Little Conestoga Watershed Alliance and Chinques Creek Watershed Alliance are sponsors. https://lancnativeplantfestival.com/
For a Restoration and Conservation Project at Helen Randle Park, they obtained an Audubon PA grant in 2020, where they added native vegetation to a fragmented green corridor section and addressed the need for green infrastructure for a 14-15% slope that channels stormwater downhill to the Neshaminy Creek to help reduce runoff.
The project helped provide integrated supplemental planting for the Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) mandate. It also enhanced bird and other wildlife habitats with the addition of native plants and a greenway connection
The Environmental Advisory Commission of Newtown Township has been active in leading and collaborating on many policies and programs to advance habitat restoration and improve water quality in our community. In doing so, we work with the watershed associations active in the two watersheds in which our community is located – the Darby Creek Valley Association and Chester Ridley Crum Creek Watersheds Association. Over the years, our EAC has maintained close relationships with both organizations and partnered on many initiatives. We see our partnership with these watershed organizations as integral to our habitat protection and restoration efforts as a Bird Town. We also strive to support our Township’s MS4 stormwater management program by providing input and spearheading restoration activities.
For example, we have participated with the Chester Ridley and Crum Creek Watershed Association on several projects including tree plantings (e.g., around the Newtown Edgmont Little League complex) and more recently a shrub and tree planting/habitat restoration in Gable Park.) In fact, three years ago the Newtown Edgmont EAC was recognized by CRC.) Also, a current CRC Board member is a former member of the EAC and current chair of the new Trails and Greenways Committee.
Gable Park Planting
Members of the EAC also stay in close touch with the Darby Creek Valley Association. We have participated in the Haverford HavARain Garden program, consulted with leaders of the HavA Rain Garden program when implementing our two recent rain gardens and participate in their annual gathering of the EACs in western Delaware County and their periodic EAC forum.
In Solebury Township, as part of their Wildlife Stewardship program, they invite the watersheds every spring to share their yearly goals, so they can help support via growing greener grants and be in alignment to our Bird Town and Tree City initiatives.
This year they supported a riparian buffer tree planting along the Primrose creek on the Solebury School campus and also supported a tree plantings in the Aquetong Park. supporting the Aquetong watershed.