The  Environment - Worth Protecting

Help to make Penn Valley a leader in environmental awareness by maintaining the beautiful, natural character of our area.

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Storm Water Management

All of Penn Valley lies within the Lower Schuylkill River Watershed area.  300 years of human use have left their mark on the land, it's streams and rivers.  We are all stakeholders, working together for improved water quality and the health of the ecosystem.  Over 15 million people get their drinking water from the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers.

Screen shot of Penn Valley.  Note that we are in the Lower Schuykill River Watershed.

10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution

  1. Minimize the use of herbicides and pesticides.  Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and gutters.  Did you know that it is our responsibility to clean off storm drains (of leaves) in front of our homes?  If your grates are covered, please clear them to help prevent street flooding.
  2. Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams.  Dispose of hazardous waste appropriately.
  3. Vegetate bare spots in your yard to minimize runoff and recharge it to the groundwater.  Minimize turf.  Landscape with native plants.  Keep trees and shrubs as these absorb more rain water than turf grasses.  See a list of native, hardy trees for our area here.
  4. Compost your yard waste.
  5. Use least toxic pesticides, follow labels, and learn how to prevent pest problems. Consider that spraying pesticides also kills beneficial insects like essential pollinators, butterflies and bees. Maintaining a healthy ecosystem helps to keep mosquitos in check.  Did you know that protecting our streams from run-off pollution like pesticides and fertilizers helps maintain healthy dragonfly populations, which in turn eat mosquitoes?
  6. Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden to capture runoff, and minimize pavement.
  7. Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
  8. Check your car for leaks and recycle your motor oil.
  9. Pick up after your pet.
  10. Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.

For more information: A Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management

 

critter awareness

Penn Valley is home to many woodland creatures.  Foxes for example are valuable members of our natural world, essential predators of rodents and other small mammals.  They add to the biodiversity of our area and help to keep the ecosystem in balance.  Spotting one--even during the day--is usually no cause for alarm.  It is probably just looking for food.  They are normally quite scared of humans and will move on when spotted.  

Deer

White-tailed deer on the other hand are over populated in our area.  In 2013, the average number of deer per square mile in Lower Merion Township was 44, down from 58 per square mile in 2009.  The recommended safe level for this area is less than 10 per square mile.  There is a yearly deer cull in the fall in Lower Merion to help minimize their impact on traffic safety, landscaping and native flora of the forest understory, and the spread of disease.  To learn more about the deer management plan for the township click here.  To see a map of the areas where deer were culled in 2015, click here.  Areas approved for deer culling must be greater than 5 acres and be determined to be safe based on site lines and other factors.

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local Ecology

More to follow!  

lmts "Go for the green" awards

The annual “Go for the Green” awards recognize Lower Merion Township’s finest residents, businesses, organizations and schools located in the Township for their work to improve and protect our environment.  Our own Friends of West Mill Creek Park received an award in May 2016 for their work to install a native wildlife garden.
 

Glanraffon Creek Detention Basin

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This basin is situated in Penn Valley on Centennial Road (behind the Township Transfer Station).  While it looks unfortunate, it is an enhanced passive treatment system to remove iron from this local creek.  On November 16, 2016, Penn Valley Civic officers met with Public Works director, Don Cannon, on site to better understand the nature of the system.  A long closed landfill across the street is the cause of the iron leaching and does not pose a public health hazard.  Iron passes under the road into the remediation system and sinks to the bottom of the first compartment.  The red color occurs when iron is exposed to the air.  By the time the water reaches the 3rd compartment, it is mostly free of iron and flows into a wetland at the far end.  The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection tests the water two times yearly.  In March of 2016, The American Council of Engineering Companies awarded both the Township and Pennoni Associates for their work on this unique remediation system.  The system was accepted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as a sustainable alternative to an active treatment plant which would have required long-term expenditures for energy and operation.  Interestingly, Penn Valley Civic members discovered the leaching iron during a public cleanup event in 2004.  Public Works plans to install educational signage just outside the fence.