‘Experience the Upper Conestoga’ at a Free, Family-Friendly Event During Lancaster Water Week

A free, family-friendly event presented by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) on June 12 at Historic Poole Forge, will celebrate the Upper Conestoga River in Lancaster County and a restoration plan to clean and protect it.

“Experience the Upper Conestoga: Connecting with Our River,” from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Historic Poole Forge, 1940 Main St., in Narvon, is among Lancaster Water Week activities between June 7 and 15.

At 6:30 p.m. on June 12, a presentation in the main pavilion on the restoration plan to restore the health of the Upper Conestoga River will be given by Brian Gish, CBF Pennsylvania Senior Watershed Planner.

“For a lot of people, the Upper Conestoga River is there, but not something they engage or interact with,” Gish said. “This event will give the Upper Conestoga real presence in their lives.”

The family-friendly event on June 12 will include free demonstrations by Upper Conestoga River Conservation Partners of fly fishing, water safety, water ecology presentations, stream restoration information, soil health simulations, pollinator garden exploration, and raptor rehabilitation. Free food, beverages, and giveaways will also be available.

Because of pollution, the Upper Conestoga River does not meet water quality standards. 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 plan is built on equal parts scientific analysis and community input. Once approved, the Upper Conestoga plan will make restoration projects in the watershed eligible for millions of dollars in public and private grants.

Gish coordinated a restoration plan for the Pequea Creek Watershed that became eligible for federal funding. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) also secured $2.18 million for the Pequea plan.

“At the end of the day, this is the community’s 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.”

Now in its 8th year, Lancaster Water Week features 60 events to celebrate the 1,400 miles of rivers and streams in Lancaster County.

CBF and the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership will be participating in other Lancaster Water Week events:

  • First Friday at Penn Square, downtown Lancaster, June 7, 4-8:30 p.m.;
  • Summer Music Series at Longs Park, June 9, 4-9:30 p.m.; and
  • Concert in the Park at Greenfield Park, June 13, 5:30-9:30 p.m.

“Partners in Lancaster County have been doing some impactful work for the resiliency of local rivers and streams, and CBF is proud to be part of this important effort,” said Julia Krall, CBF Executive Director in Pennsylvania. “CBF appreciates Lancaster Water Week as a time for exploring, learning, volunteering, and taking action.”

Historic Poole Forge has partnered on numerous environmental projects to improve the beauty of the facilities and downstream. To learn more about current and future projects at Poole Forge, contact Executive Director Dr. Dawn Rise Ekdahl at [email protected], or call 484 797-5302.

To learn more about Lancaster Water Week and for a schedule of events, visit www.lancasterconservancy.org/water-week.

B.J. Small 90x110

B.J. Small

Pennsylvania Communications & Media Relations Manager, CBF

[email protected]

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