By Reneé Carey
Canoe Access Development Fund Awards Grant for Avis Canoe Launch Improvements
This past November Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy applied for a grant to install a geocell at the Avis Canoe Launch and make some improvements to the parking area.
The path from the parking area down to Pine Creek is a compacted dirt path that gets slick when wet, making the walk down to the creek and getting in and out of the creek a little tricky. One way to address the mud at the Creek’s edge is with a geocell. The Bureau of Forestry and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission have used these at other canoe access points across the state. The geocell is made of a heavy duty material, and when stretched out, it looks like a honeycomb. Stone is used to fill in the “hole” in the honeycomb. The geocell helps hold the stones in place and keeps the stones from squishing down into mud. This will make the access/landing area at the Avis Canoe Launch more pleasant to use, and a little safer.
Stone will also be used to improve the pathway from the parking area down to the stream. Right now, there’s a gate at the top of the path. The gate will be replaced with a bollard (a single, solid, post). It will be easier for people to carry their equipment past the bollard than around the gate.
Local fire companies use the site to fill tanker trucks. By replacing the gate with a bollard we’re also making it easier for them to get the necessary hoses and equipment down to the water, saving them time during emergencies.
The parking area improvements will include more stone to help with mud and some signage. The vegetation will also be cut back and a split-rail fence installed to help visitors understand where the public access is and is not.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy manages the Canoe Access Development Fund. We’re grateful for the opportunity to apply and work with one of our partners in conservation!
Ownership of the Avis Canoe Launch was recently transferred to the Bureau of Foresty, ensuring that the Launch will remain open to the public for generations to come! A ribbon cutting ceremony is being planned for this summer, following the completion of the site improvements.
Plunketts Creek Streambank Stabilization Funded
The Pennsylvania Chapter of Trout Unlimited recently awarded Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy a Coldwater Heritage Program grant to help cover the costs of stabilizing a stretch of Plunketts Creek in Plunketts Creek Township, Lycoming County.
Currently, eroding streambanks are adding sediment to Plunketts Creek and covering the substrate on the bottom. Plunketts Creek is a HQ-CWF (High Quality-Cold Water Fishery) that is also designated as a naturally reproducing trout stream. All of that means, the water quality of the stream is really good and native fish and other aquatic species can live there.
This project will stabilize the streambanks and immediately end the erosion at this site and stop sending sediment downstream. There is some concern that if not addressed these eroding streambanks could cause the stream to degrade and eventually be considered impaired. By immediately stabilizing the streambanks, we’ll eliminate the source of the sediment and over time, the sediment on the stream bottom will flush out of the system.
Plunketts Creek is a relatively small watershed. Most of the headwaters of the watershed is forested with a large section of the stream on State Game Lands. During the 2011 and 2016 flooding the stream experienced at least 500 year floods each time. This caused significant erosion in this stream stretch and the erosion is continuing today.
This project will use a series of log framed deflectors to stabilize the eroding stream bank of Plunketts Creek. Random boulders will also be used in the project to create additional aquatic habitat. Partners on this project include the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association, and several private landowners.
Thank you, again, to the Pennsylvania Chapter of Trout Unlimited for this project funding!