By Alex Cooper, TTF Community Watershed Specialist
Stream protection and green stormwater projects require ongoing care — planting buffers and rain gardens is just the first step! Earth Day 2015 gave us an opportunity to lead a two-day cleanup at one of the largest creek buffers in our upstream watershed. Located along a Tookany Creek tributary in Parkview Park, this buffer was planted over a 5 year period by the Cheltenham Environmental Advisory Council along with TTF support.
Riparian buffers are the areas of land next to the creek that help keep our streams clean and cool. We plant these buffers with plants native to Pennsylvania. These buffers also attract wildlife and beautify our creekside communities.
On April 24 (Friday), over twenty enthusiastic volunteers from the Philadelphia Insurance Companies picked up trash, removed invasive plants, and repaired deer fencing. Over a dozen full bags of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and plastic bags were removed, along with larger items including a truck tailgate, furniture, a lamp post, and a home aquarium. Too often, creeks become popular dumping spots!
TTF staff also canvassed the Parkview neighborhood, distributing information about the clean-up and how neighbors can protect their creek including these important tips:
- Don’t throw lawn clippings or trash or pet waste into the creek! Not only is this harmful to water quality — it is illegal.
- Don’t feed the deer! Deer harm the young native plants.
On Saturday, neighbors joined together to pull weeds and cut back the invasive vines climbing up the newly planted trees and shrubs. New fence posts were installed to secure deer fencing, and more trash was pulled from the buffer.
Over just these two days, 40 volunteers installed 35 new fence posts, gathered over 25 bags of trash, and restored the area along 1200 feet of the creek. A stretch of creek the length of 3 football fields is now cleaner for the creek life and neighbors of Parkview Park!
To Philadelphia Insurance Companies and neighbors: Thank You!
More photos here.