On the first Tuesday in May, Abington School District students, teachers, and administrators plus community residents and watershed stewards celebrated special recognition received for the newly blooming riparian buffer planted at this critical headwater of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek. Accolades include National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Certified Wildlife Habitat® certification, National Audubon Society Bird Habitat Recognition, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) Community Greening Award.
We’d like to thank all who joined us in celebration, especially: Abington Jr. High Principal, Dr. Mark Pellico; Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Leigh Altadonna; Supervisor of Facilities, Stephen Saile, and the Jr. High’s Green Thumbs Club. We’d also like to give a huge thank you to our award presenters -Grant LaRouche of NWF, Emma Melvin of PHS, and Steven Saffier of Aududon at Home.
Rainwater carries chemicals, trash, and other materials over land and into storm drains and creeks, adversely impacting waterways, plants, and wildlife. Riparian buffers help absorb and filter rainwater before it reaches these creeks.
This buffer is improving the health of the creek and providing a permanent outdoor classroom. It has already provided opportunities for students, as well as neighbors to learn how the creek impacts the health of this 30 square mile watershed and the Delaware River, one of the sources of drinking water for Philadelphia.
Planted in two phases in the fall of 2012 and 2013 with over 200 volunteers from across the watershed, this buffer along the headwaters of East Baeder Creek and along the playing fields at Abington Junior High School, is home to over 500 native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. This project was led by the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc. in collaboration with school clubs, the Abington Environmental Advisory Council, and Briar Bush Nature Center.
This project was funded through a Treevitalize Watershed grant made possible by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) through funding from the Department of Environmental Protection and Aqua Pennsylvania and an anonymous donor.
In addition to beautifying our watershed, buffers play a key role in improving water quality in streams and rivers, providing these benefits:
- Increased on-site stormwater infiltration
- Decreased non-point source pollution
- Prevention of excessive downstream flows
- Decreased water temperature through shading
- Improved habitat for wildlife
- Increased opportunity for watershed education