Get to know Tim Plisiewicz, Head Brewer at THBC

Tim Plisiewicz is the Head Brewer at Turkey Hill Brewing Company (THBC). He possesses a wide array of interests and knowledge ranging from brewing and bedrocks to fishing and foraging – making him just the kind of person you’d enjoy having a long chat with over a good beer!

Originally from Trevorton, Pennsylvania, Tim graduated from Bloomsburg in 2011 with a degree in Biology Natural History and a minor in Geology. A lover of learning, the natural sciences, and new experiences, he first entered the craft-brewing realm through a gifted homebrew kit.  However, it didn’t take him long to realize he had a passion and a talent for the process. 

Tim began his professional journey as an Assistant Brewer at THBC, where he had the opportunity to learn under the tutelage of the former Head Brewer, Donny Abraczinskas. Tim honed his skills and knowledge under Abraczinskas’ guidance, preparing himself to take over the helm as the Head Brewer upon Abraczinskas’ retirement.

Combining a Passion for Nature and Craft Beer

Tim’s brewing philosophy is deeply intertwined with his love for nature, often incorporating elements of the natural world into his brews. For instance, the “Red Beds Rye Saison” on tap at THBC pays homage to the red bed sedimentary rock formations found in Bloomsburg.

So, when the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy and THBC came together to create ‘A Night for Nature,’ Tim was quickly inspired to craft the new ‘Helles-bender’ beer for the event. Named after the Pennsylvania state amphibian, the eastern hellbender, this brew highlights the connection between clean water, healthy streams, and quality beer. Tim emphasized the importance of water quality in brewing, stating, “If your water is flawed, your beer is flawed.”

In addition to food, live music, and a commemorative pint glass, ticketholders for ‘A Night for Nature’ will receive a free beer at the event, which Tim describes as “A very drinkable helles style lager – low hop, slightly malty, fruity and floral.”

VIP ticketholders receive additional perks such as early entry and a behind-the-scenes brewery tour led by Tim himself. Whether you’re a homebrewer, beer enthusiast, or simply curious about the brewing process, a VIP ticket offers a unique opportunity to engage with Tim and learn more about the art and science of brewing.

How to get HOOKED on fishing this year!

By Sara Schlesinger, NPC Land Steward Specialist

If you’re looking to improve your fishing skills, or even try fishing for the first time, I highly recommend checking out the programs that Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission hosts for anglers. And the best part is, these programs are all FREE!

I have been fishing since I was little, and fly fishing for about 7 years, but had never really had much guidance. Looking to improve my skill set, last summer I signed up for the Women’s Intro to Fly Fishing online program. The online learning taught me the thought process behind different leader and tippet selections, how to read the water and much more. Signing up for this course also qualified me to participate in the Women’s Intro to Steelhead Fly Fishing trips in Erie, PA.

I attended the Women’s Steelhead Fly Fishing trip last fall, where I caught my first steelhead, and I was HOOKED! I recently had the opportunity to attend this event again, where I again expanded my knowledge, improved my casting, made new friends, and danced with some chromers (steelhead) – and suckers, which fight even harder than the steelhead.

Sara and her steelhead

Not only did I catch a bunch of fish, I also landed great connections and new friendships. This program is a phenomenal opportunity for networking with like-minded people. Women from neighboring states of West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and New York were in attendance as well. The first time that I attended this event, I went completely alone, not knowing another person – each time I go, I make more friendships and connections, expanding locations for fishing opportunities via offers from other female anglers who offer open invitations to hang out and fish in their home waters.

Don’t be afraid of trying something new because you are alone, or afraid of not being good at it! As a female angler looking to get into the sport, or advance your skills, it is easy to be intimidated by a male dominated activity. I implore you to push past any thoughts of self-doubt or intimidation, and I promise you will be thrilled with what is waiting on the other side! That is what sets this women’s fly fishing program apart from others, the inclusivity and encouragement from a variety of mentors.

New experiences lead to newfound friendships

The group consisted of people ranging from those who have never touched a fly rod, to women who have been doing it for years, but never for steelhead, volunteers who are local guides, Fly Fishers International Certified Casting Instructors, well-known fly tiers and authors of fly fishing books. Each and every person there supported and encouraged one another, so if you arrived alone, you left with new friends and a sense of belonging.

Women’s Intro to Steelhead Fly Fishing trip in Erie, PA

We, as Pennsylvanians, are blessed to have more miles of streams than any state, other than Alaska, along with superb programming and mentorship for anglers provided by PA Fish and Boat, many active chapters of Trout Unlimited and several other groups encouraging and educating anglers. Those who actively recreate are more invested in the conservation of our natural resources.

Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy will be partnering with PA Fish and Boat to host 2 upcoming fishing programs: Introduction to Fly Fishing on May 4th at Montour Preserve, and Family Fishing Day at Rose Valley Lake on June 29th. I love learning and teaching others about fishing, whether I’m working one of these events, or you want to reach out to me directly, I’m always happy to share what knowledge I have – and there’s always more to learn!

And don’t forget, NPC is a fishing tackle loaner location. Spinning rods and fly rods are available to check-out for free so you can enjoy fishing and improving your skills without the investment.

Happy fishing,

Sara Schlesinger
Land Steward Specialist
Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy

NPC Helping to Restore the Shoreline at F. J. Sayers Reservoir

Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County features the F. J. Sayers Reservoir, a man-made lake owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). While the USACE manages water levels, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of State Parks (DCNR) oversees public access for fishing and boating at the park.

Several areas of lakeshore have erosion issues. There are two main factors leading to the erosion, a steep shoreline and wave action from the motorized boats traveling the lake.

Because of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy’s (NPC) partnership with the stream habitat section of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), the lake habitat section reached out for help.

The PFBC lake crew studied F. J. Sayers Reservoir in cooperation with its partners and developed a plan to stabilize erosion in various areas and add some habitat structures for fish. They needed an additional partner, however, to help pull the funding together, manage the grants, and order some of the materials. An email and a phone call later and NPC was working to submit for grant funding.  NPC gave them the ability to be more efficient and go after funding that they previously weren’t able to go after.

Recently the Pennsylvania Lake Management Society (PALMS) awarded NPC a grant for one of the more popular areas at Sayers Reservoir/Bald Eagle State Park, Hunters Run Access.  The shoreline work will happen in late May or early June. The area first needed to be prepped for the shoreline event.  Offshore submerged habitat work was also designed for when the lake was naturally drawn down for its annual water elevation operation schedule.  The project prep and submerged offshore habitat work happened on a cold and blustery March day.

The PFBC lake crew worked to place reef balls on the lake bottom. These reef balls are made of concrete which are more or less a hollow gumdrop with holes in them. The holes on the sides allow fish to easily swim in and out for cover.

They were placed to improve the local habitat, providing better fishing for the shoreline anglers and boaters.  The reef balls can be used as a standalone structure or become more complex with felled trees. Despite the necessity to remove shoreline trees during the area’s reshaping, plans are in place to establish a new and improved riparian buffer once the project progresses further. Those felled trees, however, did not go to waste and were used to make additional excellent fish habitat! The trees, with their roots and limbs intact, will serve as a mini food web for macroinvertebrates, which intern is food for the small and young of the year fish located in the lake.  These areas then will become a perfect location for the larger sized fish that everyone enjoys catching since the area has both excellent habitat and food for them.

The next phase of the project will be in late May or early June. This project will focus on placing shoreline stone framed deflectors.  These will not only improve fish habitat and water quality but will also improve angler access.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Town Talks: A Key Component of Conservation

Thanks to the unwavering support of its members, the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) proudly serves a 12-county region across Northcentral PA. This extensive footprint allows NPC the opportunity to champion the environmental wellbeing of the region as a whole, one community conservation project at a time! However, operating within such a widespread area presents its own set of challenges; like being in all places at once or initiating projects in towns where NPC staff or board members do not personally reside.

Yet, NPC’s roots lie in the communal power of town talks, firmly believing that building trust and transparency are essential for any conservation project to be successful!

A prime example of this is the Coal Creek property located in Blossburg. There, staff have been actively participating in Borough Council meetings for over a year and a half. These meetings enable NPC to maintain communication not only with the local community but also with project partners like the Tioga County Concerned Citizens Committee, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and Kleinfelder engineering. These connections facilitate the sharing of information and ensure that the community’s needs are considered throughout the project.

Tioga River restoration plans outlined for Blossburg community

In 2022, NPC acquired the 216-acre Coal Creek property in Blossburg.

Last month, community members and landowners gathered to learn more about the plans for treating the Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) affecting the Tioga River. Organized by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR) with input from all partners, including NPC, the community meeting was a significant step in fostering dialogue and transparency.

NPC was asked to moderate the presentations and facilitate the meetings, a testament to NPC’s ongoing outreach. Nearly 80 individuals, including landowners and organization members directly impacted by the project, had the opportunity to learn about the plans.

The meeting provided an overview of the three streams with AMD issues affecting the Tioga River, followed by a “tour” of the proposed treatment system. Attendees gained insights into how each stream – Morris Run, Fallbrook, and Coal Creek – would be contained and pumped to the Active Treatment Plant (ATP), along with details on funding, operations, maintenance, and paperwork requirements for impacted landowners.

Prior to the meeting, NPC addressed rumors circulating within the community, ensuring transparency and trust from the outset. During the question and answer session, concerns ranging from public safety to property usage were addressed.

A notable community need emerged regarding public safety, with the volunteer fire company advocating for the inclusion of hydrants in the system. Their input will ensure quicker response times during emergencies, minimizing potential risks to nearby homes and businesses.

After the formal presentations wrapped up, staff from the various organizations were on hand to answer questions. There was also a complete set of plans available for the engineers to show people and explain, and a series of maps were on display to help people follow the path of the water from the discharge to the ATP and back to local streams.

Thanks to the NPC membership for their steadfast support in the Coal Creek acquisition and the broader Tioga River restoration efforts. Their membership not only contributes to restoring the Tioga River but also empowers local communities to voice their concerns and inquiries.

The design will be finalized in the next several months. Once the design is wrapped up, the engineers will prepare the bid packets. The hope is that construction will begin in 2025 and wrap-up in 2026. Stay tuned for more updates on how NPC members are helping to restore the Tioga River!

NPC Awarded Grant to Improve Local Water Quality

We are thrilled to share that NPC has been awarded a $450,000 Growing Greener Plus grant from the state! This funding will fuel NPC’s ongoing efforts, as part of the Northcentral Stream Partnership, to enhance our region’s local water quality.

Growing Greener is the largest single investment of state funds in Pennsylvania’s history to address critical environmental concerns. “The Growing Greener Plus grant program empowers communities to pursue environmental progress and innovation,” said Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley. “This support fuels vital Pennsylvania initiatives that protect our land and restore local watersheds. As a result, our Commonwealth can look forward to a greener future.”

With this grant funding, NPC will continue work to stabilize eroded streambanks, restore floodplains impacted by agriculture, and implement essential best management practices. These include exclusionary fencing, riparian buffers, and reinforced stream crossings, all aimed at safeguarding our precious water resources and supporting our local ecosystems.

Want to dive deeper into the impactful work of NPC and the Northcentral Stream Partnership? Explore further here!

Curious to learn more about the Growing Greener funding? Click here!

Why Wetlands Matter

Raise your hand if you’re a fan of fens?!  How about a sucker for swamps?!  Or go bonkers for bogs?! Marvel at marshes?!  Fens, swamps, bogs, and marshes are all types of wetlands you can find here in PA…and they really are worth going wild about! 

Wetlands are places where the soil holds water either permanently or seasonally. Wetland water may be visible, or it may be below the surface of the ground.

Wetlands support a wide variety of animals and insects, including migratory and resident birds, turtles, fish, snakes, frogs – making them crucial hotspots for biodiversity.  In fact, 40% of all species live or breed in wetlands!

Wetlands are not only a great place to view wildlife, but they can also offer many opportunities for recreation like boating, fishing, hunting, and canoeing.

Wildlife habitat. Clean Water.  Climate Control.  Economic Benefits.  Recreational Opportunities.  Basically, wetlands are like ecological and societal powerhouses. 

Dragonflies can be found patrolling above the water and broods of ducks raise their young at the PPL Wetlands.

NPC members have played an active role in helping to conserve these delicate ecosystems across the region.  Here’s a look at some of those conserved land:

Pennsyl & Homer Webster
These two sisters properties located just north of Wellsboro cover a large area of wetland, locally known at the “The Muck.”  The area was once used to raise lettuce and celery, but today hosts as a breeding ground for a variety of birds, including Marsh Wrens, American Bitterns, Common Snipe, Virginia Rail and Sora Rail.  It’s been designated as one of Pennsylvania’s Important Bird Areas and offers a boardwalk and wildlife viewing blind for the public to enjoy.

Cavanaugh Access
Many people know the Cavanaugh Access Area because it provides quick access to the Pine Creek Trail.  However, this 132-acre parcel of land also helps conserve important wetlands along Marsh Creek.  The wetlands are extensive, fed by Canada Run, and close to wooded areas. This allows wildlife to use the wetlands and Creek by moving from the forest to the stream and wetlands and back.  Marsh Creek is a major tributary to Pine Creek. Marsh Creek meanders and bends through this property for nearly one mile. This Creek and its associated wetlands are a huge sponge that provide water year round that helps keep Pine Creek’s water cooler in the summer.

Clinton County Solid Waste Authority (CCSWA)
Wetland mitigation is the restoration, creation or enhancement of wetlands for the purpose of compensating for unavoidable impacts to wetlands at another location.  During the 1990’s, the CCSWA worked closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to construct a mitigation wetland to replace an area that was impacted during their expansion.  Today, NPC holds a 49-acre easement on the land, protecting the wetlands’ water, soil, fish and wildlife conservation values.

PPL Wetlands
This property was the first conservation easement of any type in Montour County back in 2008.  The entire conserved property consists of nearly 109 acres and includes a 5-acre mitigation wetland constructed by PPL, 59 acres of wooded wetland, cropland, and creek frontage.  Today, dragonflies can be found patrolling above the water and broods of ducks raise their young here.

Fossil Farm
The 150-acre easement holds a variety of unique environmental values, including a beaver pond and several other large wetland areas.  Catlin Hollow Creek flows through the property before entering Crooked Creek before winding its way to the Chesapeake Bay.  This property helps to conserve the water quality of not only this region, but plays a vital role on a much larger scale as well!  

Learn more about NPC’s other conserved properties with wetlands here:  John F LogueLogue/McMahonMaureyViani, Knob Mountain.

NPC’s ‘Anderson Hill’ property adds 102 Acres to SGL 134

Conservation happens at varying speeds. Some projects take years, if not decades to navigate and complete and other projects happen in weeks. Members of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) invest in both slow and fast conservation. Providing the support to build trust over time and work through questions and contemplations as well as supplying the resources to act when an opportunity presents itself.

Back in March 2023 there was a need for fast conservation. NPC was contacted about two parcels adjacent to State Game Lands 134 being sold by auction about 3 weeks later. The parcels layed side by side. One sharing its western boundary with existing State Game Lands and they both shared their northern boundary with existing State Game Lands.

NPC staff and board members and PGC staff tour the Anderson Hill property in March, deciding to bid on it at auction.

A seasonal stream on the property flowed into a tributary of Plunketts Creek, just upstream from where NPC facilitated work in 2020 and 2021 with an Army Reserve Unit to remove the earthen berm. Conserving this forested land would help to improve the water quality of Plunketts Creek, building on work NPC completed in the past. Adding this property to SGL 134 also expands the wildlife corridor, enables better forest management practices, and creates improved access to these public lands.

NPC was the high bidder on the parcels at the April auction, that would come to be known as the ‘Anderson Hill’ property. To help facilitate public use of Anderson Hill during NPC’s ownership, it was enrolled in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Hunter Access Program.

Fast forward 10 months later, NPC is thrilled to announce that the Pennsylvania Game Commission took over ownership of Anderson Hill, officially incorporating it into SGL 134. All made possible, thanks to the  support of NPC’s members!

The Anderson Hill property was officially incorporated into SGL 134 at the close of 2023.

NPC Members Help Conserve 29-Acres in Tioga County

Introducing the Brucklacher Conservation Easement

Just a few miles outside of the northern tier town of Wellsboro, PA, sits the 138-acre homestead of Barry and Jane Brucklacher. Originally a dairy farm, the sprawling hayfields are still productive today, harvested by a local farmer to support a mushroom grower in Kennett Square, PA. A woodland of aspen, beech, maple, and oak trees provide food and shelter for white-tailed deer, bears, bobcats, and a variety of other native wildlife. A network of trails meander through the woodland by two ponds and a winding stream on its way to Elk Creek. On the outskirts of the property, a portion of the popular Mid State Trail cuts through, providing hikers with picturesque views of the Tioga County countryside. A trio of donkeys – Jesse James, Tyrone, and Adabel – graze in the pasture. The original barn stores equipment, with the top floor converted to serve as a maternity roost for little brown bats, whose population has experienced a severe decline in the past decade.

Having bought the property in 1972, the Brucklachers enjoy simple strolls around the grounds together and continue to be grateful for the opportunity to own such a special place. With thoughts of the future, they decided to seek out options to conserve the wildlife habitat, biodiversity, farmland, and natural resources on their property for generations to come.

Jane and Barry Brucklacher donate a 29-acre conservation easement to NPC.

Initially, they enrolled 103 acres of their property in the Tioga County Agricultural Farmland Preservation Program. However, they still had hopes to conserve even more of the property. Fortunately, a like-minded neighbor shared her experience with the Brucklachers of conserving her family farm with the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC).

A Conservation Easement Agreement with NPC is a voluntary, legally binding agreement between a landowner and NPC regarding the use of a property. Most often, these agreements allow for forest management, agricultural use, and some residential use; but easements can also be signed to conserve specific values – such as ecological, recreational, scenic, or historic. The landowner keeps ownership of the land while also ensuring that the land’s conservation values are sustainable.  

The Brucklachers connected with NPC Land Steward, Sara Schlesinger, to discuss their values and conservation goals. After their initial meeting and walking the land together, it didn’t take Sara long to realize that the Brucklacher’s remaining 29 acres aligned with NPC’s mission to conserve and enhance the lands and waters of Northcentral PA.

“It was clear that the land was well-loved and stewarded. The forested land along the tributary that flows into Elk Creek prevents the streambank from eroding and washing away, helping to keep excess nutrients from flowing into the creek and elsewhere downstream. Conserving the water resources, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity, on the property supports the overall environmental well-being of the community.”

Sara Schlesinger, NPC Land Steward
Conserving this stream on the Brucklacher conservation easement supports the overall environmental well-being of the community.

After a year of more meetings, paperwork, surveys, walk throughs on the land, and all the other in-betweens, NPC wrapped up 2023 with the establishment of the ‘Brucklacher’ conservation easement!  Thank you to the Brucklachers for their generosity and commitment, and a special thanks to the NPC membership for their continued support.

The Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) is a land trust devoted to conserving and enhancing the lands and waters of Northcentral Pennsylvania to support the environmental well-being and recreational needs of local communities. They operate in 12 counties and take on a variety of conservation projects, including working with private landowners to establish conservation easements. Thanks to the generosity of its members and donors, NPC has conserved over 5,400 acres across 52 properties through its conservation easement program. You can help support NPC’s initiatives and make a difference by donating today.

NPC Partners with Local Sportsman to Conserve 64 Acres in Columbia County

A true sportsman understands and champions conservation.  In fact, hunters have been some of the conservation movement’s biggest advocates since the beginning.  After all, it was President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid hunter himself, who went on to create the United States Forest Service and conserved approximately 230 million acres of public land.  Roosevelt recognized that in utilizing the country’s natural resources, we also had a responsibility to ensure that those same resources were sustainable for generations to come.  He wrote, “We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.” 

This past year, the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) had the opportunity to work with a like-minded sportsman committed to doing his part through the conservation of his 64-acre property in Columbia County.  The landowner grew up hunting in the Berwick area, and through friendly connections had the opportunity to hunt this particular plot of land on Knob Mountain Road in Briar Creek Township over the years.  Sitting at the base of Knob Mountain, this stretch of land acts as a highway for white-tailed deer, turkey, bear, and other wildlife.  As the landowner explains it, the neighboring farmland is the “refrigerator”, the mountain to the north is the “bedroom,” and the property serves as the “hallway,” connecting the habitat for the wildlife to roam.  So when the property came up for sale in 2004, he jumped at the opportunity to call this piece of woodland his own.

The woodland on the Knob Mountain easement serves as the “hallway,” connecting the habitat for the wildlife to roam. 

He quickly set to work stewarding the land and enhancing the wildlife habitat.  He worked with a forester to develop and implement a forest management plan, collaborated with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to create wetlands, installed nesting boxes, conducted timber stand improvement activities, built brush piles for wildlife, and planted trees.  And while he connected himself more and more to the land, he created opportunities for others to connect as well.  Just as those had done for him in past, he invited friends and family to traverse and hunt the land with him.  It became a place of respite for a military friend on leave.  A learning ground for the grandson of a dear friend.  A cultivator for friendships and bonds forged like none other than during hunting season.

Wetlands on the Knob Mountain conservation easement provide food, water, and shelter for a variety of species.

Places with the ability to connect people with the land and with each other are special like that.  Knowing that he wanted to conserve the wildlife habitat for generations to enjoy beyond his lifetime, he thought back to a conversation he had with NPC Executive Director, Renee’ Carey, nearly 15 years ago.  At that time, the landowner was a member of the Fishing Creek Sportsmen’s Association.  The Association worked with NPC to establish conservation easements to ensure public access to Fishing Creek.  With that positive experience in mind, the landowner reached out to NPC to explore donating his land into a conservation easement with NPC as well.

Fast forward to December of 2023, the ‘Knob Mountain’ conservation easement is officially a part of the landowner and NPC’s legacies! 

The Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) is a land trust devoted to conserving and enhancing the lands and waters of Northcentral Pennsylvania to support the environmental well-being and recreational needs of local communities. They operate in 12 counties and take on a variety of conservation projects, including working with private landowners to establish conservation easements. Thanks to the generosity of its members and donors, NPC has conserved over 5,400 acres across 52 properties through its conservation easement program. You can help support NPC’s initiatives and make a difference by donating today.

Steady Progress in 2023 Helps Improve Local Water Quality

That catchy phrase, “team work makes the dream work,” always comes to mind when reflecting at the end of another construction season.  The “team” in this case, is the Northcentral Stream Partnership, a partnership consisting of state agencies, county conservation districts, willing landowners, and NPC.  The “dream” – healthy water resources for our communities.

Like most dreams, progress takes time.  Fortunately, the Northcentral Stream Partnership came together in 2009, and year after year, has been steadily bringing the region’s waterways back to health while maintaining a working agricultural landscape.

The team works to secure an in-stream log structure with rebar.

The Partnership didn’t waste any time getting the 2023 stream season underway in March at project sites in Northumberland and Montour Counties. Here, landowners were seeing their streambanks wash away with each high water. Eroding streambanks cause sediment to wash into the streams. This sediment smothers aquatic life, leads to habitat loss, clouds the water, and creates higher levels of nutrients.  To combat the issue, The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission developed designs for the sites using in-stream stabilization structures (i.e. log vanes and mudsills). The Northumberland County Conservation District and Montour County Conservation District worked with the landowners and coordinated the materials needed for the project. NPC organized the project and administered the funding provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Grant program.  (And yes, despite insulated waders to help keep everyone warm, the water in March is still quite chilly!)

Before: Steep, undercut banks lead to further erosion.
After: In-stream log structures stabilize the streambank.

Applying this same model, the Partnership’s work continued in Columbia County on Hemlock Creek and the East Branch of Briar Creek. The Partnership has been able to work with several landowners in other stretches of Hemlock Creek over the last several years.

The East Branch of Briar Creek was another stream the Partnership re-visited in 2023. This year’s project included both streambank stabilization and planting trees for a riparian buffer.  Columbia County Conservation District coordinated getting the materials to the site and worked with the landowner throughout the process.

Before: An eroding streambank in Columbia County.
After: Gently sloped banks let the stream access its floodplain.

The Tioga County Conservation District organized a project on Canoe Camp Creek. This year’s project built on work done over the years by the Tioga County Conservation District and a past partnership project. While the work happened in May, the group gave a tour of projects in the watershed in mid-November to legislators.

Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association hosted another project at their property in Northumberland County. They’ve collaborated with the Partnership numerous times over the years helping to find landowners to work with as well as allowing projects on their own property.

Normally projects take place on private properties where most people can’t follow progress and see the stream improve. This year, however, we had a project in a Township park. The Union County Conservation District helped coordinate with East Buffalo Township at their new Turtle Creek Park.  The project occurred right along a walking path in the park where the public will be able to watch the stream improve. A live stake planting done in the weeks following the stream project has really started to take off already!

Schwaben Creek in Northumberland County was another stream where the Partnership built off the success of past year’s projects. During last year’s project on Schwaben Creek the neighbors stopped in and asked if their properties might be candidates for future work. Well, indeed they were, and became the 2023 project site on Schwaben Creek!

In October, the Partnership wrapped up the construction season on Susquehecka Creek.  The Snyder County Conservation District took the lead on the project, securing the permits, organizing supplies, and walking the landowner through the process.

In the off-season, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be visiting sites and creating designs for 2024 and 2025.  Once the designs for the 2024 projects are complete, the PFBC will have an estimate on how many days projects will take. That information will allow a schedule for the 2024 season to be drafted.

That’s right; we are already talking about 2025! The designs are needed to generate supply lists and supply lists are needed to create budgets. Getting the designs and supply lists now, allows partners to think through funding and apply for grants and other funding opportunities.

The Partnership has funding to get started with the 2024 construction season. NPC submitted an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection earlier this year for funding to continue the Partnership’s work.  Grant announcements should be made in January…just as we’re mentally preparing to step our boots back in those frigid March waters!