Cheltenham Township recently hosted two well-attended educational meetings as part of its process for reviewing a Riparian Corridor Ordinance. TTF’s Executive Director, Julie Slavet, expressed TTF’s strong support in favor of this measure.
From TTF’s statement:
“The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership strongly supports adoption of the Riparian Corridor Conservation District Ordinance by Cheltenham Township…The Township is to be commended for the extensive public education, input and participation process it has undertaken in the consideration of this measure.
Over one third of the Tookany/Tacony Creek lacks a riparian buffer. Riparian buffers are the areas of vegetation that grow along stream banks. These buffers serve as natural filters of stormwater and help stabilize stream banks and prevent erosion. Left in its natural vegetated state, preferably planted with native plants and trees, an area of between 25 and 100 feet has been proven to improve stream water quality and can, in certain cases, provide flood control and prevention.
Trees and plants in a riparian buffer:
- Filter and remove sediment and pollutants before they reach the stream
- Increase infiltration of rainwater before it reaches the stream
- Diminish flood peaks and high-water days
- Provide for a cooler stream, allowing aquatic life to flourish
- Reduce scouring and erosion of streambanks.
TTF has planted riparian buffers at both Glenside Elementary and Cedarbrook Middle Schools. These buffers serve to improve the health of the creek and act as outdoor classrooms for both students and community residents. The Glenside buffer includes a permanent educational sign, which we plan to replicate at Cedarbrook.
Adoption of this ordinance is critical to helping to improve the creek and its watershed. The Tookany Creek is an asset for the people of Cheltenham, one that should be protected and cherished. The creek is among one of many assets that attracts people to this community. This ordinance does not require residents to take any action to create a riparian buffer, but they are encouraged to do so. This is how TTF can be helpful. We would be delighted to work with the Township, EAC, and others to develop a program to support residential riparian buffer planting and maintenance for Cheltenham Township.”
You can find information on this ordinance here on the Cheltenham Township website.