On September 17 the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund awarded $275,000 for 9 projects designed to help control stormwater runoff, abandoned mine drainage, agricultural pollution and land preservation. The grants include:
— Berks County Conservancy Jason Rice Farm Project $47,250: Two dry manure storage facilities will be installed at this farm along with a waste transfer system, barnyard controls, rain gutters and a lined outlet. These improvements will significantly reduce the amount of nutrients and pollutants that are entering the Maiden Creek and Schuylkill River watershed.
— Berks County Conservancy Biehl and Kurtz Farms $81,663: Both of these farms are located in the Moselem Creek and Maiden Creek watershed. Two in ground manure storage units will be installed at the Kurtz farm and one storage pit will be installed at the Biehl farm. Additionally, the Biehl farm project will also include a waste transfer system, rain gutters and a lined outlet.
— The Dobson School Native Meadow and Woodland Walk $37,710: This grant will enable The Dobson School to construct the site perimeter of their property with a woodland walk as well as a managed native meadow at the entrance of the school. In addition to serving as stormwater controls, students will be able to engage in the project as it serves as an outdoor classroom. Site locations will be regraded and will receive planting of native grasses, bushes and trees.
— Montgomery County Conservation District Perkiomen Township Basin $30,000: This project will retrofit an existing stormwater basin in Collegeville, Perkiomen Township. The project will implement stormwater Best Management Practices totaling 12,000 sq/ft and utilizing more than 3,000 native plants. Additionally, hundreds of residents will be educated directly through volunteer workdays and a resident workshop.
— Schuylkill Headwaters Association Porter Floodplain $40,000: The Porter Floodplain project will remove coal refuse from a previous dewatering settling basin in West Brunswick Township, and will restore the project area to its natural floodplain. Currently, during high water events, the coal silt on this property gets washed into the Schuylkill River through breached basin walls.
— West Philadelphia Coalition Greening Lea Project $26,000: The Greening Lea stormwater project will transform the barren schoolyard at West Philadelphia Public Elementary School into an active and sustainable school and community space. Funding for this project is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and will be used to install permeable pavers for the tree bosque.
— Berks County Conservancy Miller Woodland $4,000: The Conservancy will receive the conservation easement of the Miller Woodland property which is located along the Kittatinny Ridge in Berks County. This 78.55 acre parcel is entirely wooded and includes source water and the headwaters of the Mollhead Creek and Tulpenhocken Creek.
— Berks County Conservancy Gehris Property $4,000: The Berks County Conservancy in partnership with the Pine Creek Valley Watershed Association will complete the fee simple purchase of the Gehris property in the Oley Hills of Berks County. This 51.18 acre parcel will go under conservation easement.
— Natural Lands Trust Yoder $4,000: Natural Lands Trust will accomplish the purchase of a 35 acre riparian easement of the Yoder tract located in Warwick Township, Chester County. This property is located on the headwaters of French Creek which is a designated Exceptional Value Stream and is connected to an additional 114 acre agricultural easement property receiving permanent protection.
The grant fund is administered by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area. This year, funds were provided by Exelon Generation’s Limerick Generating Station, the Philadelphia Water Department, The Coca Cola Company, Aqua PA and MOM’s Organic Market.For more information, visit the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund webpage.