On Wednesday the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund awarded $278,832 in grants for 8 projects designed to help control stormwater runoff, abandoned mine drainage, agricultural pollution and land preservation. The grants include:
-- Berks County Conservation District, Meyers Horse Farm, $8,332: This project will install best management practices on a horse farm operation in Barto, PA to aid in preventing manure, sediment and other non point source water pollution from entering the West Branch of the Perkiomen Creek. A roofed manure stacking pad will be constructed as well as a stabilized gravel lot. Stormwater controls will also be installed to manage runoff.
-- Berks Nature, Durkin Farm, $95,000: This farm is a 501 acre dairy farm located on Manor Creek, a tributary of the Maiden Creek. Berks Nature will install a manure storage facility and water transfer system. Additionally, the farm will receive stormwater controls throughout the barnyard as well as streambank fencing and improved riparian buffers.
-- Berks Nature, Zettlemoyer Farm, $50,000: This project will implement various agricultural BMP’s on a 445 acre heifer operation that is also located on Manor Creek. Two dry storage facilities will be installed along with a waste transfer system, stormwater controls and streambank fencing.
-- Borough of Pottstown, Montgomery County, Stormwater Filter Project, $40,000: The Borough will install a new backflow prevention device to mitigate chronic roadway flooding and a new water quality unit to remove pollutants before then can discharge into the Schuylkill River.
-- Schuylkill Headwaters Association, Big Creek Limestone Project, $40,000: The Schuylkill Headwaters Association will implement a dosing of high calcium limestone sand into the headwaters of Big Creek in an effort to reduce in stream acidity. The restoration of Big Creek’s water quality will result in an average of 6,407 gallons per minute of treated water entering the Headwaters of the Schuylkill River.
-- North Light Community, Philadelphia, Schoolyard Stormwater, $37,500: The North Light Community Center will complete a schoolyard renovation project at their educational facility in Philadelphia. Impervious playground surface will be removed and a stormwater management system will be installed that will include a rain garden and native plants. This project will serve as a learning lab for both the students and the community.
-- Berks Nature, St. Lawrence Property, $4,000: The St. Lawrence Borough land protection project will permanently protect via conservation easement a 245 acre high priority landscape of forested property on an unnamed tributary of Antietam Creek. This project will contribute to the preservation and conservation of water quality within the upper Schuylkill River.
-- Natural Lands Trust, Kulp Property, $4,000: The Natural Lands Trust will purchase a conservation easement on this 30+ acre property to project important natural resources including the headwaters of Pigeon Creek. This project will also provide public access to a trail system in the East Coventry Township Trail Network.
Supporting organizations for the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund include Exelon Corporation, Aqua Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Water Department and Mom’s Organic Market.
The grant fund is administered by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area. For more information, visit the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund webpage.(Photo: Mine drainage treatment system shown on Wednesday’s Schuylkill Action Network tour of restoration projects in the watershed.)