‘Experience the Upper Conestoga’ and Its Restoration Plan at Free Field Day May 13

A free field day in Lancaster County on Saturday, May 13, is an opportunity to learn about the Upper Conestoga River and a restoration plan to clean and protect it.

“Experience the Upper Conestoga: Connecting with our river,” will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Historic Poole Forge at 1940 Main St., in Narvon. Along with details about a restoration plan being written to improve waters within the 61 square-mile watershed there will be activities for the whole family.

Demonstrations at the event will include stream restoration projects (Stroud Water Research Center), pollinator gardens (Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay), stream ecology (Susquehanna River Basin Commission), fly casting (Donegal Trout Unlimited), kayaking (Conestoga River Club), tree giveaways (Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership), and raptor rehabilitation (Raven Ridge Rescue).

“For a lot of people, the Upper Conestoga River is there, but not something they engage or interact with,” said Brian Gish, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Watershed Coordinator. “This event is to give the river more of a real presence in their lives.”

The Upper Conestoga River does not meet water quality standards and Gish said the goal of the restoration plan is incremental progress toward cleaner waters that people can enjoy. “The plan focuses on aquatic life, as it really struggles there,” Gish said. “The goal is to make the waterways and farms work in harmony.”

The watershed restoration plan is being coordinated by Gish and partners. Gish coordinated a restoration plan for the Pequea Creek Watershed that last year became eligible for federal funding. 

Gish said that community understanding and input to the restoration plan are key to a healthier river and the reason for the field day on May 13. “For us at CBF we could say a million things should be done. But at the end of the day, this is their river, and the choices are theirs to make,” Gish said. “We need to find solutions that work for them and ways that serve their broader needs, not just those of the river. No plan is going to work unless the community feels a sense of ownership.”

Parking is available on-site. Limited shuttle service will be available within the watershed on a first-come, first-served basis. Shuttle service must be scheduled prior to the day of the event and can be done by calling 717-200-4529.

B.J. Small 90x110

B.J. Small

Pennsylvania Communications & Media Relations Manager, CBF

[email protected]

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