STREAMLINES: News and events from BWA
Get lost in natural history at Snow Hill
A new tract of Delaware State Forest offers a way to get lost in natural history for a little while. Brodhead Watershed Association’s Get Outdoors Poconos series offers a glimpse into the Snow Hill area for those who might want to try it for themselves.

The trail begins off Snow Hill Road in Price Township and includes a stretch of Stony Run and a small waterfall. Unmarked, meandering trails (and a lack of a map, since this tract is so new) make finding landmarks a happy adventure.

Trails vary from wide, grassy and flat to steep and rocky. Trails are not blazed. Respect private property owners whose land abuts the public areas.

• Directions: From Route 447 in Price Township, take Snow Hill Road for one-half mile. The parking area is on your right. GPS: 41.149239, -75.229259
• Go to brodheadwatershed.org/gopoconos for information on this as well as other hikes in the Get Outdoors Poconos series. The series is administered by Brodhead Watershed Association and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.
BWA welcomes Darryl Speicher to board
During BWA’s annual Members & Friends Celebration, held online Sept. 25, the BWA board of directors gained a new member. Darryl Speicher of Cresco, right, a teacher and a founder of Pocono Avian Research Center, began a three-year term. (See our upcoming quarterly newsletter for more about Darryl.)

We thank for their service those members who recently retired from the board: Gary Bloss, Rich Cramer, Fran Ferrari, John Layton, Doug Leies, Doug Swift and Kathy Uhler.
New data logger keeps an eye on Swiftwater Creek
Our Streamwatch program continues to progress. A new data logger was installed on Swiftwater Creek recently; see live results at monitormywatershed.org/browse/ (search for “Brodhead Watershed Association” to see BWA sites).

The data loggers record information – including electrical conductivity, temperature and water depth – over extended periods of time, helping us quantify the health of our watershed.

BWA now has two loggers installed; the other is on Forest Hill Run.

Many thanks to the logger team: Todd Burns, Michael Johnson, Matt Dilger, Steve Watto, Mike Stein, Adam Niewood and Michael Johnson.

Pictured:Todd Burns and Michael Johnson install a data logger on Swiftwater Creek.
The Paw Patrol has the trail at ForEvergreen Nature Preserve under control, thank you very much. These fuzzy family members like to wear “dog goggles,” which can protect canine eyes from debris (good for the dedicated dust-snuffler), from overly bright sun, and from looking unfashionable. While the building at Brodhead Creek Heritage Center remains closed due to the pandemic, the nature preserve is open! Goggles not required.
The spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that feeds on grapevines and trees, has arrived in the Poconos and must be eradicated to protect our forests. One way to kill a lot of them without using insecticides: Trap them! Our friends at the Penn State Extension of Monroe County offer a plan for making your own trap at home. Click here for details.

Pictured: Circle trap secured to a tree. (Emelie Swackhamer/Penn State photo)
Learn more about streams and buffers
The Stroud Water Research Center will hold a Stream and Buffer Ecology Webinar from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10. Participants can sign up for the morning or afternoon session or both. The event is free; registration required. For information and to register, click here. Sessions include:
  • Introduction to Stream Ecology and Links to Riparian Forests – David Wise, SWRC
  • Watershed Restoration with Aquatic Insects as our Guide – Dr. John Jackson, SWRC
  • Buffer Planting and Establishment 101: Best Practices for Success – Lamonte Garber, SWRC
  • Soil Health: Releasing Soil’s Biological Potential for Clean Water – Lisa Blazure, SWRC
  • Strategic Choices for Restoring Riparian Corridors – Matt Ehrhart, SWRC
  • New Research on Buffer Establishment Methods – David Wise, SWRC
To give congratulations and gratitude where they are due:

  • Our very own Annette Atkinson, a BWA board member, was recently given the Buzz Bensinger Award for her community service by Rotary Club of the Stroudsburgs. Congrats, Annette!
  • Another BWA board member, Don Baylor, has an art installation at Brodhead Creek Heritage Center. Don works in a variety of media – oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel. Paintings and prints will be on sale with a percentage going to BCHC. If you’d like access to the gallery, please arrange a visit by contacting the artist at 570-269-6655. This exhibit will be on display until Nov. 1. Thank you, Don!
  • Gratitude goes to BWA Activities Committee leader Ruth Ann Rocchio, who led the efforts for the Native Plant Sale, which was held online this year. BWA sold 649 native plants, which will beautify local gardens in an ecologically responsible manner for years to come. A great success!
  • BWA’s recent online Silent Auction was also a hit, raising $6,718 after a battle of 352 total bids. Special thanks to donors who offered to open their homes for “be my guest” experiences, anglers who offered their time and expertise, and the many local businesses who donated items. Thanks also to the generous event sponsorship of Vigon International, Sanofi, Mike & Patty Stein and Mark Dodel & Patricia Rylko and Edie Stevens.

Alda Villafana, who recently moved from Henryville to coastal Maine, sent BWA a lovely note to express her appreciation:

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a Streamwatcher. It makes me sad to have to leave so soon.
The BWA program has taught me and my children so much about our beautiful area.
I've been on many guided hikes with Carol Hillestad. Learned how to fly-fish and identify trees, invasive species and test the beautiful streams for pollutants. My children grew up swimming and playing in Brodhead Creek. I purchased enough plants last year through the plant sale to begin my own monarch butterfly way station (pictured). And I was able to raise monarchs last year and this summer as well.
I can’t thank the BWA enough for all that it does for our families, friends and fishing. It was wonderful to have many free, safe, clean and beautiful places to explore, exercise and connect with nature.
 Sincerest thanks,

Thank you, Alda! We’ll miss you, too.
BWA thanks John & Laura Layton and Joseph & Sara Bedrick for joining the Watershed Stewards, an increase over their previous support of the Environmental Partnership program. If you would like information about the program, click here.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides new incentives for donors to contribute to their favorite charities this year.

There is now a $300 above-the-line ($600 for couples!) charitable income tax deduction. If you make a donation in 2020, and don’t itemize on your 2020 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 2020. 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
Dear friends and partners,

I am honored to have been entrusted with the role of executive director of Brodhead Watershed Association. Stepping into a new job can be overwhelming, but stepping into the role of executive director during a pandemic was downright intimidating. This new world we are trying to navigate can leave people feeling alone and isolated, but not once have I felt alone.

This organization is full of strong role models, passionate advocates, and hardworking volunteers and staff. It has become evident to me that BWA has a reputation within the watershed protection community as an organization of movers and shakers. It is also well known and respected within the watershed. Having worked in communication as an outreach professional, I know this is no small feat.

Like our valuable wetlands, I, too, am trying to soak up as much as I can in the short time I have been here. This has included learning about and observing the many programs and projects you have completed over the past 31 years. With the incredible resources that exist in this watershed and the changes that continue to threaten them, there is much left to do. I look forward to helping us achieve the ambitious goals you have laid out to ensure protections exist for years to come.

To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, “Power is the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about change.” As a group “dedicated to protecting and improving water resources and the environment in the Brodhead and Cherry creek watersheds,” we have the power to enact change within our watershed and beyond.

Dr. King continued to say, “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” I have been an environmental educator for the past 20 years, and the most important lesson I have taken away from this career is the knowledge that if we want to protect our environment, we must connect people to that environment. May we always cherish our own personal love and connection with what we strive to protect, and may we remember to share that love and passion with others.

There can be no us-vs.-them – just an “us” working together. Please reach out to share with me (and others) what you love about the Brodhead Creek watershed and why you work to protect it. I look forward to working with each of you as we empower one another to take action to protect and improve the water and land resources of the Brodhead and Cherry creek watershed.