Streamkeeper News
Bring Us Along:
Virtual Nature Tours!

This past spring, we received an Alliance for Watershed Education grant to safely provide education during the pandemic. We created a series of virtual nature tours (in Spanish, too) across our watershed so that you and your family can head out and safely explore for yourselves.

The tours combine pictures, text, videos, and audio through Arc GIS StoryMaps. Two tours take place in Tacony Creek Park, and three feature restoration sites, including Ethel Jordan Park along the Jenkintown Creek. You'll learn about these parks and restoration sites, and about species of plants and animals you can see there.

Enjoy the first four tours! Keep an eye out for the release of the final tour at Abington Friends School and Meetinghouse. Please let us know what you think about your tour experience.

Tacony Creek Park North: English & Spanish

Tacony Creek Park South: English & Spanish

Ethel Jordan Park: English & Spanish

Vernon Park: English & Spanish
Update: Fall Plantings
This fall will be a busy time for plantings and maintenance!

During the weekend of October 3-4, we will host a planting event at the Charles D. Conklin Jr. Pool and Recreation Area. We will plant native trees, shrubs and perennials along the new banks of this unnamed tributary to the Jenkintown Creek.

We expect volunteers to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines by staying 6 feet apart or further. We expect volunteers to stay home if they're feeling ill or have been in close proximity to a person who is sick, or became sick, in the past 2 weeks. If you are an older adult, or have a chronic medical illness that makes you more susceptible to Covid-19, please stay home.


Watch for Second Saturday Creekside Care Days this fall, too!
Streamkeeper Spotlight: Mary Felley
When did you start as a TTF Streamkeeper?

I started monitoring in October 2014, so I'm about to wrap up a sixth year of monitoring. Time flies when you're middle-aged!

Where is your site?

I monitor TTF300, on the campus of Abington Junior High School, my alma mater. It's a fun site, because although the stream is a tiny headwater that you can leap across, there is a fenced-off deer-exclusion buffer zone on both sides of the creek where a lot of great native trees have been planted. The plantings are doing well with limited TLC, mainly periodic clearing of invasive climbers.

Why do you volunteer with TTF?
I previously lived in northeast Pennsylvania, where clear, cold streams with healthy fauna are all over the place. Moving back to southeast PA and seeing how little natural stream habitat remains, I wanted to do a little bit toward protecting and restoring what we can. 

Tell us about yourself!
During the 1990s I worked in Hong Kong as an environmental consultant, but mostly as a desk jockey. In the early 2000s, I ran a small land trust in northeastern PA and volunteered with the local watershed association. Getting outdoors helps keep me sane; I always treasure the opportunity to get out in the field! 
Valuable Training: Habitat Surveys
In August, Water Programs Manager Lindsay Blanton of Wissahickon Trails shared a presentation on how to perform habitat surveys. You can view the video here.

Habitat surveys are critical to local stream monitoring. Habitat surveys require that volunteers numerically score a series of parameters as they visually assess a reach of their stream.

Each volunteer works with a partner to reach a consensus on each individual parameter. The numerical scores for each parameter are then added up to provide a total score for the habitat of the stream that can fall within the range of poor to optimal. These scores can then be compared over a series of years to assess changes in the stream habitat over time. These assessments are preformed each year in August or September, when trees are fully leafed out.
Stream Smart Update
This Spring was the second cycle of Stream Smart, a collaborative effort across the entire Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Cluster of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative that tackles stormwater runoff from residential properties that make up most of the areaโ€™s land use.

Stream Smart is funded by a Delaware River Restoration Fund Grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and provides financial and technical assistance to residents to install green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) on their properties. 

Two projects were installed this spring. The first was a 750-square-foot bioswale at Abington Friends School. This bioswale manages 16 acres of stormwater that is flowing to the headwaters of the Jenkintown Creek from nearby residential properties. Residents whose stormwater flows to this area were mailed a letter about the program and the bioswale project.

The second project is along the unnamed tributary to the Jenkintown Creek that originates at the Conklin pool. This project is located downstream of the Conklin Pool, and featured a planting of native understory trees and shrubs. The 4,000-square-foot buffer consists of smooth alder, serviceberry, redbud, silky dogwood, black gum, hop hornbeam and arrowwood. These trees help to filter water, maintain streambank stability, and provide habitat for native species.

Want to be StreamSmart too? Contact Ryan@ttfwatershed.org.
City Nature Challenge: Fall Edition
Join us for the Philadelphia City Nature Challenge Fall BioBlitz!

What is a bio blitz? A BioBlitz is a gathering (at a distance) in which local residents document as many species as possible including animals, insects, plants, and more.

The BioBlitz runs from Friday, September 25 through Monday, September 28.

Like the spring City Nature Challenge, it includes Philadelphia and surrounding counties of Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester.

Observations can be submitted to iNaturalist online or in the app.

๏ปฟWant to learn how to use iNaturalist? Check out this webinar!
Streamkeepers Needed: Bring Your Family!
An in-depth look at our Streamkeepers:
Thank You, Grid!
Grid Magazine recently shared this awesome video about our Streamkeeper program.
Streamkeeper Seth Goldenberg was interviewed, as well as his Streamkeeping kids! Great job, Goldenbergs! You can also hear from Julie and Ryan.

The story focuses on the value of Streamkeeping as a family opportunity...and suggests that we should all think about becoming Streamkeepers and adopting a creek near us!
Interested in becoming a Streamkeeper? Learn more!
Monitoring Sites
We are excited to highlight a few of our Streamkeeper sites.

With 25 sites, we thought it would be interesting to go back and share information about some of our older sites.

Thank you, Streamkeepers, who continue to monitor your sites!
TTF 1900: This site is on an unnamed tributary of the Jenkintown Creek that meets the creek near Township Line Road. This tributary enters the Jenkintown Creek just downstream of several Stream Smart projects, as well as projects at Ethel Jordan Park and McKinley Elementary School.

This section of creek has a small base flow, and shows indications of being flashy during storm events with extensive bank erosion. Additionally, this section of creek takes direct sheet flow from the road.
TTF 2000: This site is located on the Tookany Creek near the confluence with Mill Creek. This site is just upstream of several other sites along the Tookany Creek.

This site is characterized by shallow depths, as well as a rocky bottom and eroded creek banks.
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