Thursday, October 29, 2020

Independence Conservancy Walk In Penn's Woods Featured Mine Reclamation, Invasive Species Stop-And-Talk Points

On a beautiful autumn October 4 afternoon, over a dozen participants joined in a “Walk In Penn's Woods - At A Social Distance" at the
Rocky Bend Nature Preserve in the Raccoon Creek Watershed in Beaver County.

Sponsored by the Independence Conservancy, the walk featured several stop-and-talk points about abandoned mines and restoring mine lands, erosion, invasive species, local fish, local history and more.

Shaun Busler from [nonprofit] BioMost, Inc. was on hand to share his expertise on abandoned mines and acid mine drainage treatment.

He also led hikers to examine Raccoon Creek's stream bank, focusing on the section that was repaired in a joint effort by the Independence Conservancy, BioMost and [nonprofit] Stream Restoration, Inc.

Shaun also showed participants a stream bank section which will soon be repaired for comparison.

Another topic of discussion was invasive species, with examples shown of Japanese knotweed, Japanese barberry and multicolor rosebush.

Marisa Logan, Aquatic Biologist.Project Manager of Civil Environmental Consultants, spoke about her studies involving electrofishing in Raccoon Creek.  She shared information about sift biodiversity in the stream, including test results indicating the presence of several sensitive fish species, a positive sign for healthy waters.

Ed Becker of St. Joe's Boat Club shared a historic account of what the stream used to look like in years past from previous mining activity.

Interestingly, the area was once used as a WWII fuel storage facility, with giant fuel tanks buried on the nearby farm. The 'tank farm' was one of two in the country designs to protect the fuel from aerial flights by using fuel blending barns.

Rebecca Masco, a Conservancy board member, relayed stories about the local history of the hidden fuel tanks.

Participants enjoyed an afternoon exploring the scenic Raccoon Creek Greenway with its rocky cliffs, wooded hillsides and quiet shorelines.

A maturing wetland created together by BioMost and the Conservancy was one of many highlights.

Since 2017, the first Sunday October has been set aside for Pennsylvanians to join hosted walks to learn more about Penn's Woods and gain easy access to expert forest/wildlife professionals.

These Walks In Penn's Woods raise awareness about the importance of forests in our lives and the effort that goes into caring for them.

(Reprinted from the October Catalyst newsletter from Butler County-based Slippery Rock Watershed CoalitionClick Here to sign up for your own copy.)

Related Articles:

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-- Creating A Collaborative Water Resource Network In Southwestern PA; Water Stakeholders GIS Map

-- Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership Announces Watershed Milestones Award Winners

-- POWR Hosts Webinars: Nov. 12 Linking River Histories To Conservation Efforts, Nov. 23 DEP Integrated Water Quality Report, Mapping Application

-- Penn State Extension Water Cooler Talk: Chesapeake Bay Lawsuits, Engagement More Nov. 18 

[Posted: October 29, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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