by Brad Barkdoll, WeConservePA Advocacy Manager

Photo by Madalyn Neff, Wissahickon Trails. Pictured (or attended): Wissahickon Trails staff and affiliates, Brad Barkdoll from WeConservePA, Representative Hanbidge, Representative Daley, and staff from Representative Bradford’s office.

Wissahickon Trails and WeConservePA’s Brad Barkdoll co-hosted a site visit to tour an award winning headwaters restoration project along the Wissahickon Creek. In addition to WeConservePA and staff and affiliates from Wissahickon Trails, the site visit included Montgomery County-based Representative Mary Jo Daley, Representative Liz Hanbidge, and staff from Representative Matthew Bradford’s office.

The $1.4 million Wissahickon Headwaters Stream and Riparian Restoration Project in Upper Gwynedd Township was completed in fall 2020 and is the culmination of 5 years of planning and collaboration among Wissahickon Trails, Merck, Upper Gwynedd Township, PA DEP, PECO, William Penn Foundation, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The project restored and stabilized the stream channel and reconnected it with its floodplain along 1,775 linear feet of the Wissahickon Creek in the PECO Right-of-Way power line corridor. The project converted this property along a highly eroded stretch of the Wissahickon Creek into an actual floodplain, which slows down the force of the water and allows it to percolate into the ground, instead of flowing downstream.

Gail Farmer, Wissahickon Trails’ Executive Director, has stated of the project: “Working closely with local stakeholders such as Merck, Upper Gwynedd, and PECO—and being backed by additional state, federal, and private dollars—is an essential aspect of this project. This type of public/private partnership is necessary when addressing complex environmental challenges like stormwater. In the Wissahickon, we have local public and private partners who are committed to being a part of the solution.”

More information on this award-winning restoration work can be found here (informational pdf provided by Wissahickon Trails).

Photo by Madalyn Neff, Wissahickon Trails. Pictured: the restored headwaters of the Wissahickon Creek.