Last year the Dodsworth Run Preserve, a 9.4-acre property in Upper Gwynedd, was obtained through a generous donation from Merck & Co., Inc. This preserve is open to the public and has undergone many improvements. Additionally, a 3-acre parcel adjoining Piszek Preserve was acquired from Mr. and Mrs. Alan Gnessin. Funding for this project was provided by PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, WVWA and a generous donation from the Gnessins. This expansion provides added protection for the Sandy Run.
The Conservation Resources team completed a habitat management plan for the Crossways Preserve that will serve as a template for all other WVWA Preserves. Also at Crossways Preserve, staff & volunteers completed a second year of data collection on bird populations at the banding station.
In August, 13 municipalities in the Wissahickon Watershed adopted an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) ordinance to officially move forward with the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership. This group has committed to working together on a plan to improve drinking water, mitigate damaging flooding, reduce streambank erosion, protect fish and wildlife and restore valuable recreation areas throughout the Wissahickon Creek corridor.
Since its acquisition in 1987, the mill has undergone extensive construction, renovation and improvements. All of these efforts allowed the mill to run smoothly last year with the help of dedicated volunteers performing standard maintenance. Improvements were made to the surrounding property by removing invasive plants and trees and replacing them with native species.
Last year brought record attendance at many of WVWA’s annual events, most notably at the Maple Sugaring Festival, Creek Clean Up, Walk the Wissahickon, and Green Ribbon Trail Race. In addition, staff and volunteers reached thousands more community members through local community events, trail walks, birding programs and education programs.
Through the generous support of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) funding from several local businesses, WVWA staff and volunteers continued to provide academic enrichment programs to local students. Programs about Watersheds & Wetlands, Water Quality, Groundwater and the Evans-Mumbower Mill engaged students outdoors as well as inside the classroom.