What is the #1 Source of Watershed Pollution?
The #1 source of water pollution is stormwater runoff! Rainwater carries chemicals, trash, and other materials over land and into storm drains, dumping them directly into our creeks, stream, and rivers. This runoff hurts everything from plants and wildlife…to the banks of our streams…to the water we drink.
The goal of our restoration projects is to restore the health of our streams by controlling runoff across our watershed. Our stream protection and restoration projects include buffers, which are areas of land next to streams planted with native trees, shrubs, and grasses. Buffers filter and slow runoff, provide wildlife habitat, and cool the stream. We also install Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), which uses plants and soil so that rain soaks into the ground and is cleaned where it falls. We have planted four rain gardens, which are shallow gardens that store runoff from parking lots and roofs.
All of our projects serve as outdoor classrooms for people of all ages. You can stop by these sites and learn about stormwater management, native plants, creek health, and local wildlife. Our projects have been recognized by the Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
We are so grateful to our partners who have welcomed us onto their properties and worked with us to install these water quality improvement features: Abington Friends School, Abington School District, Abington Township, Cheltenham homeowners, Cheltenham Township, Manor College, School District of Cheltenham Township, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and Sisters of Saint Basil the Great.
In Philadelphia, we have installed rain gardens in Vernon Park in Germantown and at the Olney Recreation Center. In Montgomery County, we have installed creekside buffers of over 50,000 square feet along creeks at a number of schools and parks.
In Cheltenham, you can visit buffers along Rock Creek at Cedarbrook Middle School and Rock Lane Park, and along Tookany Creek at Glenside Elementary School. We have also worked with five Cheltenham homeowners to plant buffers along the creeks in their backyards!
In Abington, we have created buffers at the headwaters of East Baeder Creek behind Abington Junior High School and along Jenkintown Creek at the Sisters of Saint Basil, Abington Friends School, and Ethel Jordan Park. We have also installed rain gardens to protect the Jenkintown Creek at Manor College and Abington Friends.
Below is an interactive map of our stormwater infrastructure projects – click on the dots for more information!