JULY 2021
STREAMLINES: News and events from BWA
Explore 'treasure' of Cherry Valley
Sometimes, good ideas keep growing. Brodhead Watershed Association will host an exploration of one of Stroud Township’s good ideas – the Josie Porter Farm – on Saturday, July 17.

Ed Cramer, the Stroud Township supervisor who helped make the farm come to fruition and calls it a "community treasure," will help lead the hike.

In 2004, Stroud Township had purchased the 48 acres along a stretch of Cherry Creek, with funding from the township and Monroe County’s Open Space bond. Half of the land is open to the public for hiking, and that’s what BWA participants will explore on July 17.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, July 17, 2021
WHERE: Josie Porter Farm is in Cherry Valley, Stroud Township.
REGISTER: Registration is required and limited. Call 570-629-2727 or email jimhill@ptd.net.
FOR INFORMATION about this and other events in the free Get Outdoors Poconos series, go to www.brodheadwatershed.org/gopoconos. These events spotlight how forested land keeps drinking water safe and abundant. The series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
BWA recently participated in Monroe County Conservation District's Bug Fest, with BWA Executive Director Alex Jackson and Development Associate Michelle Riley running the macroinvertebrate booth.

Snails, crayfish, clams and worms, larvae of beetles, dragonfly and stonefly, mayfly and caddisfly: collectively, these critters are called aquatic “macroinvertebrates” — the 50-cent word for creatures that don’t have a backbone and are large enough to see with the naked eye.

BWA will hold its annual Ramble on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021.

Spend an afternoon exploring the beautiful lands of Skytop Lodge – usually not open to the public – with Brodhead Watershed Association.

Naturalists, wildlife experts and other outdoor enthusiasts will lead the hikes and offer insight. Participants will be able to choose two of these excursions:

  • Skytop Lake Loop (easy)
  • Tour of Skytop's wildflower garden (easy)
  • Indian Ladder Falls (moderate)
  • From Skytop's stable up to the ridge (strenuous)
  • Leavitt Falls (strenuous)

The event begins at noon, with the first hike at 1 p.m. and the second at 2:30 p.m.

After the hikes, we'll celebrate together at the traditional after-Ramble social hour, 4 to 5 p.m. Refreshments provided.

Registration will be limited (maintaining COVID safety procedures) and pre-paid online only. Save the date and watch for an announcement when Ramble tickets are available – SOON!
Pocono Heritage Land Trust will officially open Rail Gap Nature Preserve on Aug. 7. Join PHLT for a ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, at the much-anticipated new nature preserve, 3555 Shafers Schoolhouse Road, Stroudsburg. Enjoy light refreshments, a brief history of the land and a guided walk around the trails. Registration is not needed.
The American chestnut (Castanea dentata) is a native tree that was reduced to a state of functional extinction in the early 1900s due to the importation of the Chinese chestnut (carrying the blight fungus from Asia). This fungus, spread readily by the wind, destroys the base of the tree, releasing oxalic acid into bark tissue, and prevents nutrient transport.

The flower in this photograph was observed in McMichael Creek headwaters, on State Game Lands 38. Cornell University offers a glimmer of hope for this beleaguered species. The USDA is expected to approve a variety of C. dentata with total blight resistance.
Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) was historically common, before intense mowing and herbicide use reduced its presence. A. syriaca is one of the heaviest nectar-producing non-woody plants in Pennsylvania.

Nocturnal moths, hummingbirds, native bees, butterflies, beetles, and wasps rely heavily on this single species of flowering plant for survival. The imperiled monarch butterfly caterpillars use A. syriaca as its primary host species. Eggs are laid in the spring; the white, black and yellow caterpillars consume the leaves, imparting a chemical defense against avian predators (i.e., cardiac glycosides). Adult butterflies emerge in time to drink the nectar.
Alert! Mile-a-minute weed spotted in watershed
Mile-a-minute vine can literally cover a hillside in a season. It can slowly suffocate every tree, shrub, and blade of grass in its path. It can — and does — engulf buildings.

According to Penn State Extension, “each vine can grow 20 to 30 feet long, forming a dense, tangled blanket of intertwined vines.” At its peak, it can grow six inches a day.

This killer has been spotted where Paradise Creek and the Brodhead meet, at the junction of Routes 191 and 447.

Alex Jackson, executive director of BWA, was recently featured in the Pocono Record:

The Poconos are blessed with top-quality streams, but that doesn’t mean the new executive director of the Brodhead Watershed Association has a short to-do list. Maintaining that quality is important.

“We’re really fortunate to have these freshwater streams, and the best way to protect them is to simply keep a forested landscape, because it works as a natural filter,” said Alex Jackson, who joined the BWA in May.

BWA welcomes a new member this month: Nancy Pace of East Stroudsburg

Perennial Club is a time-saving way to keep your membership current through automatic, online donations. For information, click here.

We also welcome a new Environmental Partner: Ray Price Cars. And we thank PPL Foundation for renewing its annual partnership. For information on the Environmental Partnership Program, click here.
Alex Jackson
BWA executive director
Working together
Rhododendron (Rhododenron maximum) bloom throughout the watershed in July, while the basswood (Tilia americana) flowers fade away. I hope our members had an opportunity to check out the basswood bloom this year. Rhododendron and its companion woody plants, like basswood and birch trees, filter warm stormwater, feed the macroinvertebrates, and provide crucial riparian habitat for our locally reproducing trout.

BWA's team of dedicated Streamwatchers and our new mayfly loggers continue to collect baseline data on the health of our creeks. Now, BWA is laboratory testing water samples, with the help of a DEP grant, to get a full picture of potential threats.

Later this month, we will host the rain barrel workshop at the heritage center, and our Japanese knotweed workshop was a huge success! Join us for the Ramble next month, and our monthly event with Carol Hillestad will be at Josie Porter Farm in Cherry Valley.

See you there!