In April 2019, about 3 years after the dam came down, photos record how the “cutting in” of the stream has progress to the level of 2-3 feet deep in some sections. Oxbow turns, mini rapids, the appearance of old tree trunks (probably 175 years old!), vegetation like water cress and clean, clear, cold water characterize the revitalized stream bed. Photos by Don Schoenleber.
The park development has slowed due to the invasion of Emerald Ash Borer and Lantern Fly insects which have destroyed up to 1,000 trees. The Township has set up a program to remove these trees and replace them with a variety of sapling, native trees which will not succumb to the insects. The photos and maps below show the tree area in January 2019 “before” the removal. Below the before photos you will find photos of each specific area after the dead tree harvest. Photos by Don Schoenleber.
Nature, in the form of the insect Emerald Ash Borer, has decimated 900 trees in the park. The summer of 2019 saw the trees removed for safety reasons and native trees planted to renew the forest. Our photographer took photos before and after the removal to document the dramatic difference. The sun shines in!! Please look at the reference maps to understand the camera’s placement which records before and after.
Work to stabilize the bed and banks of the newly-established stream at Aquetong Spring Park is now complete. Contractor Land-Tech Enterprises was able to keep the project running close to schedule this spring, despite the unique challenges of the pandemic and Stay-at-Home Order during the work.
The restoration project, overseen by engineers at C. Robert Wynn Associates and Princeton Hydro, involved bracing sections of the stream to prevent erosion and reduce sediment in the water and along the stream bed, as the once-dammed waters from Aquetong Spring return to a natural stream path. Plantings along the banks will help stabilize the riparian buffer.
Step pools have been built along four stream locations, using large logs assembled in stacks and wrapped with geotextiles. Additional grading along the stream helps to expand the floodway. The project focused on four major areas: two along the tributary from Fox Run and two larger areas along the main stream.
Native trees and shrubs will be added to provide shade and help maintain the water temperature at a level suitable for local brook trout. The project includes building underwater structures from logs and root balls to enhance the natural fish habitat. Altogether these measures will provide overhead cover and resting areas for the trout while helping to stabilize the bank.
The stream restoration project has secured all necessary approvals from the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project is funded by a $250,000 grant from the Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, with an equal match from the Township. Additional grants for the project are provided by the Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.