Numerous Roadside and Streamside Trash Clean Ups
Taylorstown Ballfield Stabilization
Buffalo Creek in Washington County has over the past several years significantly eroded the streambank encompassed by the Taylorstown Park. This park has three baseball fields, and is highly utilized by the community. Lack of woody riparian vegetation and aggressive mowing had left a 10-12 foot high vertical bank over approximately 400 linear feet, posing a significant safety concern for the township. Additionally, it is estimated this erosion location was contributing over 100 tons of silt to Buffalo Creek annually, significantly altering the water quality of this High Quality designated stream.
Over a two-week period early September 2017, approximately 60 triaxle loads of r-8 rock was placed and keyed into the streambank to offer long-term stabilization. Six rock vanes were also constructed to help divert the stream’s velocity away from the bank. Banks were sloped and regraded to a 3:1 slope after which trees, shrubs, and live stakes were planted. Blane Township assisted in transporting the large rock, and relocating the regraded bank material. Excavation Services were provided by Mullen Excavating, near Eight Four.
Project partners include Buffalo Creek Watershed Association, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Blaine Township, the Washington County Conservation District (WCCD), and Western PA Conservancy (WPC). All of these organizations have a common goal to improve the long-term water quality for Buffalo Creek and have contributed towards the completion of this successful project. Funding for this project was also provided by PA DEP’s Growing Greener Program
Dutch Fork Lake Habitat Improvement
Saturday morning, June 30, 2012 - 18 people representing the Pennsylvania Fish &Boat Commission, the Buffalo Creek Watershed Association, and GenOn Energy, along with several local resident volunteers arrived to assist in the final phase of a Cooperative Habitat Improvement Project between The Buffalo Creek Watershed Association (BCWA) and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PaF&BC) Division of Habitat Management.
Phil Thomas supervised the CHIP project for the PAF&BC, BCWA member Chet Krcil served as project coordinator, and member Bill Riggle and his bobcat cleared the lake bottom and moved the wood to the construction sites. A generous award from GenOn Energy funded purchase of the project construction materials – over 700 tons of stone and 8600 board feet of lumber. Five GenOn employees volunteered a day-of-service to help.
The CHIP project involved the placement of a total of (217) artificial habitat structures on the lake bed. The initial phase that occurred earlier in the year involved clearing of portions of the lake bed and placement of (180) 1 to 5 ton Rock Rubble Humps and (22) 5-point Rock Star Structures. Saturday brought the project to a close with installation of the remaining (15) Pennsylvania Spider Hump structures.
These three structure types are designed to provide an optimum environment for multiple fish species to accomplish their daily and seasonal spawning, nesting and nursery activity with greater efficiency. The structures create an opportunity for a more diverse fish community to develop and flourish, provide small fish with safe refuge from predators, and promote foraging opportunities for juvenile and adult fish that rely on invertebrates as a food source. The end result of this cooperative venture is maximization of recreational fishing for area anglers once the lake water returns.
The day was hot and the work was hard but the photos below show what a few dedicated volunteers can accomplish when coming together in a spirit of cooperation.
2011 - The BCWA in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Santiago Sportsmen’s Club completed a stream stabilization project on a tributary stream behind the Santiago Sportsmens Club on Lake Road.
Installation of a low-cost stone structure will protect water quality by reducing nutrients and chemicals contained in the soil material or runoff waters from entering the stream, reduce the sediment load, and improve fish habitat.