Monday, August 7, 2017

Thorn Creek Habitat Improvement Project In Butler County

At Thorn Creek, a tributary to Connoquenessing Creek near Renfrew, Butler County some summertime finishing touches at the Thorn Creek Habitat Improvement Project took place in July.
This project involved the construction of instream structures, such as mud sills, root wads, and log cross vanes, to create pools and provide cover for fish.
A crew of four Buslers (Shaun, Isaac age 13, Ben age 11, and Cassie age 8) plus Dave Andrews, President of the Connoquenessing Watershed Alliance, worked to revegetate the site disturbed during the project by spreading seed and mulch.
In addition, a past project needed a little help with revegetation. Mud sills had been installed below a very steep bank, to provide fish habitat, and stabilize the toe (the bottom part of the slope which meets with flatter ground).
Unfortunately, little vegetation was growing on the steep slope and soil had been washing into the stream. Dave and the Busler crew installed an erosion control blanket to help stabilize the bank and promote seed germination.
Adding to the slippery slope challenge at Thorn Creek was its location between the stream and an active railroad track — providing a healthy increase in heart rate when a train roared by and the ground could be felt shaking!
The erosion control blanket, made of coconut coir, was stapled into the ground using hammers. Coconut coir, which comes from the fibrous fuzzy inner shell of the coconut, used to be thought of as a waste material.
It is now recognized as an eco-friendly substance often packaged and sold as a soil amendment to replace peat moss in gardens. Coir has a neutral pH, very few nutrients, improves soil drainage, and is very sustainable.
Thanks to BioMost, Inc. for purchasing the blanket and staples!
We hope the CWA’s latest project will give Thorn Creek some added soil and stream bank stability and lasting habitat improvement to a lovely area!
(Reprinted from the August Catalyst newsletter from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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