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Streamside Living


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This presentation was presented by the Abington Township Environmental Advisory Council in April 2011. …

This presentation was presented by the Abington Township Environmental Advisory Council in April 2011.

It discusses Abington's watersheds, non-point source pollution, riparain buffers, native plants, invasive plants, no-mow zones, stream erosion, bank stabilization and stream restoration techniques, stormwater, and rain gardens.

This was funded by a grant from the Water Resources Education Network a program of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund through a Section 319 federal Clean Water Act grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

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  • 1. Living Streamside A workshop presented by the Abington TownshipEnvironmental Advisory Council (EAC) April 09, 2011
  • 2. Welcome to Living Streamside Commissioner John Carlin (Ward 15) andthe members of the EAC welcome you!Thank you for doing your part to keep our water clean!
  • 3. Living StreamsideThis workshop has been funded by a grant fromWater Resources Education Network,a program of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania CitizenEducation Fund through a Section 319 federal Clean Water Actgrant from the Pennsylvania Department of EnvironmentalProtection, administered by the US Environmental ProtectionAgency.
  • 4. Living StreamsideA special thanks to:  The Roslyn Boys and Girls Club  Our speakers and partners • Delaware Riverkeeper Network • Heritage Conservancy • NAM Planning and Design, LLC • Philadelphia Water Department
  • 5. Abington EAC – Upcoming Events Earth “Day” Cleanups  Cleveland Avenue near Roychester Park • Saturday, April 16th 9:00am  Rubicam Park • Saturday April 23rd 11:00am  Keswick Avenue Underpass • Saturday April 30th 9:00am Crestmont Park
  • 6. Abington EAC – Upcoming Events Arbor Day Celebration at Ethel Jordan Park  April 30th 10:00am  Park cleanup and tree planting  Tree City USA award presentation Jackson Park, 2009
  • 7. Abington EAC – Upcoming Rain Barrel Art Contest  Submit a photo of your decorated rain barrel by April 30th Montgomery Award  Nominations for your Abington environmental hero due April 30th Rain barrel by Iris Innis
  • 8. Abington EAC Learn more about the EAC, upcoming events and ways you can help Abington “Go Green”   Roslyn Park, 2010
  • 9. Why Should I be Concerned?  Rivers and streams are a major source of drinking water.  Water is affected by what you do on the land  Residential neighborhoods can be major source of pollution  Individuals can make a difference  Unstable stream banks  Loss of property  Loss of habitat
  • 10. Water Resources 101
  • 11. What is a Watershed?AWatershedis an areaof landthat drainsto a singleoutlet.
  • 12. Abington Township Watersheds Pennypack Creek (Ogontz Campus) Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek (AHS) Wissahickon Creek (Briar Bush)
  • 13. Pennypack Creek Watershed56.5 Square MilesDrains into the Delaware RiverImage from Philadelphia
  • 14. Tookany/Tacony-FrankfordCreek Watershed38.7 Square Miles – Drains intothe Delaware RiverImage from Philadelphia WaterDepartment:
  • 15. Wissahickon Creek Watershed63.8 square miles – drains intothe Schuylkill RiverImage from Philadelphia WaterDepartment:
  • 16. Wissahickon Watershed
  • 17. Non-Point Source Pollution Basics
  • 18. “Old” Efforts Focused on Point Sources of Water PollutionPhotos used with permission from various member programs of the National NEMO Network and Network Hub.
  • 19. Polluted Runoff isthe #1 Water QualityProblem in the U.S.* * USEPA
  • 20. Development Impacts on the Water Cycle10% 50% 55% 15% © University of Connecticut. Adapted with permission from the University of Connecticut.
  • 21. The Effects of Urbanization Trout Brook?!! © University of Connecticut. Adapted with permission from the University of Connecticut.
  • 22. Improving Watershed Health – What Can You Do At Home??
  • 23. What is a Riparian Buffer? An area of vegetation that is maintained along the shore of a water body to protect stream channels and banks.
  • 24. Where Found Permanent or Intermittent Streams Lakes and Ponds Wetlands Seeps In your backyard !
  • 25. Types of Buffers Forested Wetland Meadow
  • 26. Forested Buffer is most effective Healthy forest community  shade from canopy trees  nutrient uptake, especially from younger trees  nutrient processing from soil microbes  erosion control from root systems
  • 27. ….even a thin forested buffer adds value  shade for the stream  aesthetics  some WQ improvements
  • 28. Buffer Benefits Help Stabilize Streambanks Buffer Against Pollution Impacts Help reduce flood related damage to property by slowing runoff Can provide seasonal blooms and autumn color
  • 29. Lawns Don’t Make Good Buffers  Shallow roots do little to prevent erosion  Short grasses have minor effect on run-off velocity  Geese love grass  No habitat value  Can deliver lawn chemicals directly to stream
  • 30. Can you find the typical lawn grass root system?…. Native Plant Guide for Streams and Stormwater Facilities in Northeastern Illinois by the USDA NRCS Chicago Metro Urban & Community Assistance Office
  • 31. Lawns don’t infiltrate water well Infiltration Rates 20 Infiltration (inches/hour) 15 10 5 0 Forest Old Logging Lawn Pavement Road
  • 32. Lawn and Garden Care - Fertilizing Use fertilizers sparingly – follow directions Don’t fertilize before a rainstorm Consider using organic fertilizers (releases nutrients more slowly) Use commercially available compost or make your own (reduces need for fertilizer)
  • 33. Lawn and Garden Care - Fertilizing Let your grass clippings lay! Wash your spreader equipment on a pervious surface Never apply fertilizer to frozen ground or dormant lawns. Maintain buffer strip of unmowed native vegetation bordering waterways Grow an organic garden!
  • 34. Buffer Issues and Misuses
  • 35. Issues with Vegetated Buffers Landowner misuses Unkempt appearance Crime / Illegal use Critters
  • 36. Landowner abuses Dumping yard waste  many think natural materials don’t hurt stream  nutrients, lawn chemicals and solids Mowing to edge of stream  grass has shallow root system that doesn’t hold soil  grass doesn’t maintain sheet flow
  • 37. Public concerns about vectors associated with buffers Potential Vector Health Risk rats & mice various geese fecal coliform deer Lyme disease mosquitoes West Nile Virus other wildlife rabies
  • 38. Realities Rats and mice are attracted to trash not riparian vegetation Riparian vegetation discourages geese using area to enter and leave water  less grass = less grazing Increased deer population will increase risk of Lyme disease  Check for ticks when you come in  Consider establishing a mowed path
  • 39. More realities Mosquitoes need standing water to breed  healthy stream ecosystem increases predation by dragonflies, bats and songbirds Nuisance wildlife and rabies concerns  municipality has a responsive nuisance wildlife procedure to protect public health and allay concerns
  • 40. Why to Go Wild with the Natives Low maintenance The birds and the bees (and more!!) Heritage
  • 41. Natives are pretty!!PA has a wide variety of natives Redbud photo by Road Fun
  • 42. Native Trees and Shrubs for Streamside Buffers  Wettest Areas  Sycamore  River birch  Drier  Alder species  Sweet pepperbush  Silky dogwood  Chokeberry  Willow Species  Viburnum species  Elderberry  Sweet gum  American hornbeam  Tulip tree  Periodically Flooded  Red and Black  Red maple Chokeberry`  Swamp white oak  Redbud  Black gum  Flowering dogwood  Green ash  Sweetbay magnolia  Winterberry  Virginia sweetspire Photo by Road Fun
  • 43. No Mow Establishment How wide?  Goal 50’ but 15’ will help Establishment  Remove turf and invasives  Seed with native mix  Set clear mowing boundaries Maintenance  Monitor and control Little Crum Creek invasive plants Photo courtesy of Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association  “Mow” once in February  Cut no shorter than 6”
  • 44. Celandine Garlic mustard
  • 45. Multiflora rose / Honeysuckle Japanese hops
  • 46. /Oriental bittersweet Mile-a-minute weed / Tree of heaven
  • 47. Japanese Knotweed Control early!!Photos from:
  • 48. Common Garden Escapees to Avoid Herbaceous  English ivy  Pachysandra  Periwinkle  Wisteria  Bamboo Shrub  Burning bush  Privet Trees  Norway maple  Princess tree  Callery pear  Autumn or Russian Olive
  • 49. Stream Bank and Channel ErosionWhy do we care? Property loss Sediment is a pollutant Decreased habitat Crum Creek, Chester County, PA
  • 50. Fixed It ? Valley Creek, Chester County, PAPine Run, Montgomery County,PA
  • 51. All photos Sandy Run in Abington, PA
  • 52. Bank Stabilization Solution versus Band-Aid BEWARE: Streams are a dynamic, interconnected system Consult a professional Permits may be needed from: US Army Corps of Engineers, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Montgomery County Conservation District, local municipality
  • 53. Soil Bioengineering Photos from NRCS© 2004 Salix Applied Earthcare
  • 54. Bank Grading Valley Creek, PA Stony Creek, PA
  • 55. Instream Structures Perkiomen Creek, PA Nevada Creek, MTPhoto by Beth Porter,
  • 56. Instream StructuresSprogels Run, PA Darby Creek, PAManatawny Creek, PA Darby Creek, PA Darby Creek, PA
  • 57. No Permit Required Buffer planting No-mow Tree removal Live stakes Erosion control blankets
  • 58. Permit Required Bank grading Gravel removal Tree revetment Placement of rock or other material along the channel bank Instream structures Bridge construction
  • 59. Stormwater 101 Photo courtesy of thirteen of clubs
  • 60. Stormwater Runoff from roads, houses, parking lots, lawns, etc. Impervious surfaces increase volume and rate of runoff Carries pathogens, nutrients, sediment, and other pollutants to our water
  • 61. Stormwater can cause floodingPhoto: Schuylkill River by
  • 62. Stormwater can cause erosionRoychester Park, Abington, PA
  • 63. How to Manage Stormwater Slow down and infiltrate Keep it clean  Pick up pet waste  Maintain your vehicle  Clean up spills  Use pesticides and fertilizers correctly
  • 64. Stormwater Management Slow down and infiltrate – make an asset Direct into gently sloped vegetated areas Protect existing vegetation Vegetate open areas Porous pavement Infiltration trenches Green (vegetated) roofs Native “yard” in Wayne, PA
  • 65. Stormwater Management Rain BarrelsSouthampton Township, PA Abington Township, PA
  • 66. Stormwater Management Rain GardensPhotos from Roslyn Park in AbingtonTownship, PA
  • 67. Backyard Buffer Program Abington Township Environmental Advisory Council April 9, 2011 69
  • 68. Backyard Buffer Program Website 70
  • 69. What is a Backyard Buffer? 71Source: “Conservation Buffers” USDA General Technical Report SRS 109
  • 70. 72Source: Philly H2O The History of Philadelphias Watersheds and Sewers
  • 71. 73
  • 72. Backyard Buffer Program Tip Sheets 74
  • 73. Saint Christopher School Lawns to Meadow (No-Mow Zone Tip Sheet #1) 75
  • 74. Green Lawn Basics (Tip Sheet #2) General lawn care practicesPromote less maintenance & cleaner environment. Native Plants of Pennsylvania (Tip Sheet #3) Native Plant Sources 76
  • 75. Tree & Shrub Planting Basics (Tip Sheet #4) Invasive Species Removal (English Ivy) Picture source: “How to Plant a Tree”. Joseph Truini. This Old House Magazine. 77
  • 76. Composting (Tip Sheet #5) Rain Barrel(Tip Sheet #6) 78
  • 77. Rain Gardens A planted shallow depression designed to catch & filter rainfall runoff. Ponding Berm with Depth 6-12” Level Base Illustration: adapted from Oregon Environmental CouncilPhoto: "Rain Gardens A How-to Manual for Homeowners“University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 79
  • 78. Roslyn Park Rain Garden & Infiltration Trench Design Sandy Run 80
  • 79. Roslyn Park Rain Garden & Infiltration Trench Design Outlet Pipe to Sandy Run New (~2008) Parking LotPreviously Existing Catchment Basin 81
  • 80. 82
  • 81. 83
  • 82. Installation September 2008 84
  • 83. 85
  • 84. 86
  • 85. 87
  • 86. 1.5 inch precipitation January 25, 2010 88
  • 87. January 27, 2010 (48 hours post event) 89
  • 88. Backyard Buffer Program Website 90
  • 89. So Now What?!?? Keep a buffer between your yard and the stream (the wider and denser the better) Embrace the natives Visually monitor your stream (regularly and following storms) Walk your property during a storm Manage stormwater Practice good habitats
  • 90. And Then What?? Enjoyyour creek and know that you are helping keep Philadelphia’s water clean
  • 91. QUESTIONS?Turn in your survey as you leave. THANK YOU!