STREAMLINES: News and events from BWA
Buck Hill Conservation Foundation owns a conservation easement which encompasses the beloved Buck Hill Falls. (BHCF photo)
Buck Hill protects forests for the future
At Buck Hill Falls, conserving and protecting forested land is built into the community’s history.

In 1901, its founders acquired an expanse of Pocono woodland to become a place that they, their families and future generations could enjoy. Residents today are beneficiaries and stewards of that legacy, now comprising 4,600 acres. Buck Hill Creek, Griscom Creek, Spruce Run, the Middle Branch, and the Leavitt Branch — all headwaters creeks of the Brodhead — drain this land.

Included in that precious space is one of the last stands of old-growth forest in the Poconos.

The Buck Hill Conservation Foundation’s foresight shows how preserved woods protect clean water, working together to combat climate change. Click here to learn more about Buck Hill’s efforts.
  • Climate Home News offers an article to “connect the dots” between forest preservation, carbon markets, and clean water. It spotlights the Delaware River Watershed Initiative and other forest protection projects in the basin. Click here to read “More than carbon: securing clean water by protecting forests.”
  • On Tuesday, March 2, the Delaware River Basin Commission will host a forum on climate change and the Delaware River Basin. The forum is part of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s Science and Environmental Summit, happening virtually March 1-3. The climate forum will feature NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Dr. Ben Hamlington and NBC10 Philadelphia meteorologist Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz, as well as presentations from climate experts from across the Delaware River Basin. Click here for information.
  • Wondering how the U.S. climate fared in 2020? Click here to find out.
Want to be a water warrior?
Would you like to be a Streamwatcher? A Streamwatch volunteer training session for Brodhead watershed residents will be held via Zoom at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 27, 2021. Individualized on-stream training will be provided by experienced volunteers following the virtual training.

For 30 years, BWA Streamwatch volunteers have been checking local streams on a monthly basis. Now, with more than 70 volunteers in seven sub-watershed regions of the Brodhead watershed, new volunteers are always welcome to join the efforts to ensure clean streams. This program is also a good refresher course for veteran Streamwatchers.

Register on the event page, or contact the BWA office at 570-839-1120, email. Registrants will receive the Zoom information to join the March 27 webinar.

For more about the Streamwatch program, click here.
Still seeking 'Water in Winter'
Brodhead Watershed Association’s “Water in Winter” photo contest continues!

We’ve received many beautiful images depicting water in winter – frozen waterfalls, ice formations, and more. There are countless possibilities when the weather is right, so bundle up, get outside, and get creative!

All submitted photos will have a chance to be featured in BWA’s Get Outdoors Poconos campaign, across BWA’s social media and on BWA’s website with proper credit given to the photographer.

All ages and families are encouraged to participate. For information and submission guidelines, click here. Contest ends March 15.

Special thanks to these photographers who have contributed their work to the contest: Lisa Wayland, Kathy Borie, Patricia Santoro, Richard Townsend, Joe Cunsolo, Issam Alnaham, Jason Philibotte, Louise Edwards, Paul W. Albert, Peter Luck, Matthew Beck, Marietta Sciulara

You can see submitted photos at our homepage. (Pictured above: Marietta Sciulara's photo of Austin T. Blakeslee Preserve.)
Matt Dilger chops down knotweed along Mill Creek.
Half a mile of knotweed gone; preparing for more
Landowners along a half-mile stretch of Mill Creek in the heart of Mountainhome can get help controlling the knotweed which clogs their banks and the creek, starting this summer.

Brodhead Watershed Association sent letters to streamside landowners in early February, describing the work, which will start in late June/early July. Participation is voluntary. The treatment is free to the landowner, thanks to a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, managed by BWA.

For more information on the program, click here.
HEADWATERS MATTER: BWA has received a small grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to study two small headwaters streams that are affecting Paradise Creek: Forest Hills Run and Yankee Run, both of which originate near Mount Pocono. Both streams measure high in electrical conductivity, and both show impacts to fish and other aquatic life. Funding will pay for laboratory analysis to determine the exact cause of the high levels of conductivity. Once the cause is known, we will determine what actions BWA might take to improve water quality in the streams.
GET READY, GARDENERS! BWA’s popular annual Native Plant Sale will open online in March. (We’ll let you know when it’s ready!) The pickup day for website orders will be Saturday, June 5, 2021. Stay tuned, and start planning your garden!
MINUTE-TAKER NEEDED: BWA needs a minute-taker for its board meetings, usually held at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month. During the pandemic, meetings are held via Zoom. When in-person meetings are feasible again, board meetings will be held at Brodhead Creek Heritage Center in Analomink. The minute-taker is paid $50 per meeting after minutes are submitted. If you’re interested in being BWA’s minute-taker, please email info@brodheadwatershed.org or call 570-839-1120.
Private water supply education, water testing in Monroe
Learn about testing and protecting your well or spring water supply, and when water treatment might make sense. A free webinar will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, by the Penn State Extension, through a Department of Health grant.

Registration is required and limited to approximately 33 households. Each household must own or rent a primary residence (no camps) in Monroe County that uses a private well, spring or cistern for a drinking water supply.

Registrants are required to attend the March 16 webinar to learn about the testing program. Afterward, homeowners will be mailed a water testing kit. Optional follow-up webinars will be offered to provide interpretation of results and to answer questions.

Each water supply will receive testing through a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection state-accredited water testing laboratory for coliform bacteria, E.coli bacteria, nitrate, manganese, arsenic, lead and copper.

To register or for further information, click here or call 1-877-345-0691. Registration is required by March 15.
For Spanish-speaking water drinkers

More than a million homes and farms in Pennsylvania get their drinking water from a private well or spring. The Understanding Your Drinking Water Supply webinar is designed for people who manage one of these private drinking water supplies.

This free event, to be hosted in Spanish, will be held 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Participants will learn: when water treatment might make sense; how to test and protect your well or spring; well and spring system inspection and maintenance. Water testing will not be offered with webinar participation.

The event is free, but registration is required. Click here to register and for information (select the English or Spanish options at upper right on the website).
Para bebedores de agua que hablan español

Más de un millón de hogares y granjas en Pensilvania obtienen el agua potable de un pozo o manantial privado. El seminario web Comprensión del suministro de agua potable está diseñado para personas que administran uno de estos suministros privados de agua potable.

Este evento gratuito, que se realizará en español, se llevará a cabo de 6 a 7 p.m. el Martes 16 de febrero.

Los participantes aprenderán: cuándo el tratamiento del agua puede tener sentido; cómo probar y proteger su pozo o manantial; inspección y mantenimiento del sistema de pozos y resortes. No se ofrecerán pruebas de agua con la participación en el seminario web.

El evento es gratis, pero se requiere registro. Haga clic aquí para registrarse y obtener información (seleccione las opciones en inglés o español en la parte superior derecha en la pagina web).
BWA leader joins Conservation District board
BWA now has a member serving on the Monroe County Conservation District board. BWA’s immediate past president, Craig Todd, pictured, swore an oath of office during the Jan. 21 MCCD board meeting, achieving a long-cherished goal.

For more about this and other happenings at the Conservation District, see “Report on MCCD” by Paula Heeschen here.
GET RID OF THOSE JITTERS! New Jersey Audubon and the River Network will host a webinar at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17.

“First Meeting Jitters: Prepping for Meetings with Decision Makers” will address how to bring community leaders, constituents, and business owners together with decision makers and elected officials. Preparing these folks ahead of time is key to making sure a meeting stays on topic and everyone has an opportunity to share their experience. Registration required; click here.
TNC/Victor Motts photo

373 acres of Canadensis land newly protected
The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania has announced the transfer of 373 acres of land in Canadensis to Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Forestry. That land, along with two previous transfers — of 376 and 319 acres — totals 1,068 acres that TNC and the Bureau of Forestry have collaboratively protected since 2017 to expand state forest lands in the Poconos – lands that will protect water quality, and moderate climate change in the Brodhead watershed. Click here for more information.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET OUTSIDE AND HELP: Pocono Heritage Land Trust is looking for volunteers with outdoor maintenance on the following days. To RSVP and for a complete schedule, click here.
  • 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 13, at Pomeroy Nature Preserve, Stroudsburg: Remove invasive species and large invasive shrubs from meadows. This will involve chain-sawing large autumn olives, so bring ear protection if desired.
  • 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, March 14, at Jonas Mountain Nature Preserve: Invasive removal targeting mainly autumn olive and Japanese barberry.
  • 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March 23, at Pomeroy Nature Preserve: Continue with effort to remove woody species from the property.
FREE SNOWSHOE RENTALS AT JACOBSBURG: Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, 400 Belfast Road, Nazareth, loans visitors snowshoes and hiking poles from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, for use on Jacobsburg’s trails.

Snowshoes are available for folks of any age or shoe size, including small children. Snowshoes will not be made available during times of insufficient snow cover; at least 6 inches of snow is required. To borrow equipment, you must provide a driver’s license or other form of state-issued identification.

For information, call 610-746-2801 or email jacobsburgsp@pa.gov
Ed & Karren DeSeve, longtime BWA members, and Trip Ruvane, owner of Barley Creek Brewing Company, have joined the Environmental Partner Program as Stream Stewards. (Barley Creek is already part of the program as a business sponsor.) Thank you!

We also welcome a new member this month: Leonard Checchio of Bryn Mawr
The extended Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act continues to provide incentives for donors to contribute to their favorite charities in 2021.

There is a $300 above-the-line ($600 for couples!) charitable income tax deduction. If you make a donation in 2021, and don’t itemize on your 2021 taxes, then you can give $300 to charity and get a full $300 tax break in addition to the standard deduction. That means your donation is 100% deductible!

You can still benefit even if you do itemize. The CARES Act allows for cash contributions to qualified charities to be deducted up to 100% of your adjusted gross income for 2021. There are also benefits for making a tax-free transfer from an IRA to a charity. Please check with your financial advisor regarding these policies.

This is a difficult time for everyone, and we truly appreciate your continued support!
Kelly Gallo
executive director
Making winter work for you, your watershed

Dear friends,

This Valentine’s Day, love your watershed.

In February, our minds go to groundhogs, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, and winter. Well, Punxsutawney Phil has prophesied six more weeks of winter. Instead of letting this get us down, we can embrace all that winter has to provide us (and our watershed).

Six more weeks mean playing in the snow, skating on the ice, hiking to frozen waterfalls with our snowshoes, visiting our local ski resorts, cross-country skiing, tubing or sledding, and so many other fun ways to get out in the Poconos during winter. This is a great time of year to look for tracks, scat, feathers, and other “stories in the snow” left by animals active in winter. Kids getting bored of building a snowman army in the front yard? Hand them a spray bottle of water with food coloring and show them how to paint snow. 

There are so many ways to play in winter.

As the winter drags on, it can be easy to start to daydream of warmer and greener days to come. Let us remember what this winter weather means to our watershed. As snow melts, it will slowly recharge our groundwater supplies. This groundwater will seep into our streams and, after being filtered by the soil, will recharge our streams with clean, pure water – home to many insects and animals that cannot tolerate pollution.

There are ways you can love your watershed throughout the winter and protect our high-quality streams:

  • Shovel snow onto vegetated areas so it can absorb better than on pavement, where it is more likely to melt and get into streams.
  • Just one teaspoon of road salt can permanently pollute 5 gallons of water. Use it wisely and sparingly. Shovel throughout the storm to prevent the need for road salt.
  • Remember to clean up after your pets. As temperatures warm, the pathogens from pet feces will flow to the storm drains with the snowmelt that wasn’t absorbed into the ground.