Sep 9, 2014

Where's The Creek?

The young man seemed proud to be at the Old Fashioned Garden with his wife and child. I got the feeling that it was a rite of passage that he had enjoyed years earlier with his parents. He approached me with a quizzical look and asked Where's the creek? I assured him that it was still here, but hidden behind all that underbrush. When he asked me why they did that, I just shrugged my shoulders and walked away. I don't think he really wanted to hear a rant.

The Wildlands Conservancy had no resistance convincing the past two park directors to allow them to plant riparian buffers along the streams in the park system. Both directors were from out of town, trained in recreation at Penn State, and had no feeling or knowledge of the park's history and traditions. To add absurdity to the situation, the storm sewer systems in Allentown are piped directly into the streams, bypassing the buffers, making them useless to their stated purpose. To add further irony to the absurdity, the park department must now spray insecticide on the underbrush to control the invasive species. Worse than blocking access and view of the streams, the recent director endorsed the Conservancy demolishing two small historic dams, after being here only six weeks, and never actually having seen the dams himself.

Why do I dwell on water over the dam? The Wildlands Conservancy is now pitching the dam demolition and riparian buffer agenda to South Whitehall Township. If they get their way, the beautiful picnic vista overlooking Wehr's Dam will be replaced with a wall of weeds. I'm on a mission to make sure that beauty and history survive at Covered Bridge Park.

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