2019 GBG Program Projects
2019A2-Buhl Park Corporation's Engineering & Environmental Services for Buhl Park Wetland Restoration Project
Buhl Park is a 271-acre community park situated in the City of Hermitage, Mercer County, and is bordered to the west by the City of Sharon and to the north by the Borough of Sharpsville. Part of the Shenango River Watershed, the park features many natural areas, including plenty of open green space, woods, Lake Julia, and three cells of wetlands. The wetlands were not properly functioning so Buhl Park needed engineering and environmental services to prepare for the restoration that would allow water to pool and filter out pollution and contaminated run-off from the water before entering the lake. In completing this required groundwork, Buhl Park was able to move forward with the physical wetland restoration, construction of walkways, observation pads, and educational signage.
2019A3—Allegheny Valley Trails Association’s Allegheny River Trail Infrastructure Improvement – Rockland Tunnel Area Project
The Allegheny Valley Trails Association (AVTA) had identified the Ritchey Run Bridge and the Rockland Tunnel as needing immediate attention to rehabilitate and preserve the infrastructure to sustain these key connections of the Allegheny River Trail as well as the larger Erie to Pittsburgh Trail network. Located in Venango County, the century old Rockland Tunnel suffers from deteriorating forces caused mainly by the freezing of water dripping through the spring-arched tunnel liner. AVTA needed engineering and design services to prepare for the fabrication and installation of doors to reduce the air flow through the tunnel, keeping temperatures inside above freezing. This project enabled the construction of the tunnel doors to move forward as well as provided a much-needed ADA compliant parking pad near the western portal to be more inclusive of all trail users.
2019A4—Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council’s West Branch of Tionesta Creek Trail Improvement Project
A portion of the 1,000-foot stretch of the West Branch Tionesta Creek Trail, also known locally as the North Country Connector Trail, was damaged over winter when a gate was inadvertently left open. Those who gained unauthorized access to the area created deep ruts, resulting in a poor road surface and damaging water drainage control. This section of the trail serves as a heavily used connector between Chapman State Park and the North Country National Scenic Trail in Warren County. Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council developed a plan to restore and improve the roadbed and sought partnership to implement the sediment control and trail stabilization. Repair involved improved ditching along the roadbed, installing a substantial rock substrate geotextile fabric base, and applying limestone surface finish. This project also accomplished the stabilization of a six-foot-deep gully that contributed erosion and sediment to the West Branch of Tionesta Creek just upstream from Chapman Lake.
2019A5—Venango Conservation District’s Improved Animal Heavy Use Area and Stormwater Management Project
Venango County Conservation District provided assistance to a small horse operation in Allegheny Township where the need to contain manure and nutrient laden runoff was identified. The area of affected drainage connects from the landowner’s property and area surrounding Goldby Run which flows from Venango County into Warren County Pine Creek Watershed. Pine Creek then flows back into Venango County where it enters the Oil Creek Watershed. This project implemented eight agricultural best management practices designed to reduce and limit nutrient runoff and also provided help on starting a rotational grazing system.
2019A6—City of Meadville’s Kenneth A. Beers Bicentennial Park Boat Launch Restoration Project
The Kenneth A. Beers Bicentennial Park is located on the banks of French Creek just west of downtown Meadville at the southwest corner of the Mead Avenue and French Street Intersection in Crawford County. The existing boat launch giving access to French Creek there had not been sited properly when it was originally constructed, facing somewhat upstream, so reconstruction was needed. This project fulfilled several Phase II components of a larger site concept plan that the City of Meadville had developed for the park. The new launch was installed oriented slightly downstream with a tooled surface, making it both safer and more accessible while stabilization of the adjacent creek banks was also accomplished.
2019A10—Erie County Department of Planning’s Municipal Stormwater Assistance Project
The Erie County Municipal Stormwater Assistance Program is a pre-existing program that supports twelve Erie County municipalities in fulfilling requirements of MS4 permits. Memorandum of Understandings have been executed with these communities and cover mapping and GIS services; education, outreach, and public involvement; and project funding assistance to implement Pollutant Reduction Plan requirements. This project supported the continuation of this program focusing on the GIS and mapping services offered to refine and analyze data collected to make environmentally sustainable decisions, improving the quality of the impaired streams throughout Erie County.
2019A11—Venango Conservation District’s Sugar Creek Streambank Stabilization Project
Venango County Conservation District, along with Trout Unlimited, restored 150 feet of streambank in Sugar Creek Borough along Sugar Creek, a wild trout fisheries and stocked trout stream that is open to public access for fishing. The location of the streambank for this project was situated along an old water levy that was starting to collapse into the stream. A plan was designed to construct a streambank stabilization device along the banks that included a modified mudsill to further armor the streambank, while angling the sill logs upstream to allow the main flow of Sugar Creek be centered back to the middle of the channel. This plan to stabilize the streambank was successfully accomplished while simultaneously offering habitat for aquatic organisms, such as trout.
2019A12—Venango Conservation District’s East Branch of Sugar Creek Streambank Stabilization and Fish Habitat Enhancement Project
Venango County Conservation District, along with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, rehabilitated 330 feet of streambank in Oakland Township along the East Branch of Sugar Creek, a wild and stocked trout stream that is open and frequently utilized by the public. A plan was designed to regrade the streambank; install log frame deflectors, multi-log deflectors, and modified mud sill; and restabilize streambank vegetation to maintain water quality and remediate streambank erosion. The sill logs on the mudsill were angled up stream to act as a deflector, and the log-frame deflectors promoted the main flow of the stream to be centered back to the middle of the stream. This plan to install habitat devices was successfully accomplished, simultaneously promoting bank stabilization and habitat enhancement.
2019B2—Clear Lake Authority’s East Branch Trail – County Forest South Project Phase I Project
Clear Lake Authority transformed an old railroad corridor located in Crawford County, into a sustainable, environmentally friendly trail, reducing non-point source pollution while offering wetlands enjoyment connections for trail users. The trail corridor from Rosenburg Road to Mystic Park is 1.37 miles and the County Forest is on both sides of the trail for most of the distance. The first mile of this section was addressed in Phase I of this project and included improving the built environment’s drainage into a more natural drainage system that incorporates best management practices to prevent snowmelt and stormwater from eroding the corridor into the wetlands. Once the drainage was improved, the banks along the wetland were stabilized, and trail surface improvements were established. Although the trail is part of the larger Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, it has been developed as an asset to the community of Hydetown, not just a continuation of the larger trail system.
2019B3—Redbank Valley Trails Association’s Lawsonham Arch Preservation Project
Built in 1872, Lawsonham Arch is located at mile 5.78 in Lawsonham, where the Sligo Spur meets the Redbank Valley Trail in Clarion County. Wildcat Run flows underneath and has shifted over the years, eroding the bank at the end of the east wingwall, causing the slope from the Run up to the main trail to slide and threatening its integrity. Redbank Valley Trails Association recognized that if the arch at Wildcat Run were to collapse, it would likely threaten and block Lawsonham Road, as well as put a huge gap in the 51-miles trail that connects to Armstrong Trail and the Erie to Pittsburgh corridor. This project removed the gravel bar and moved the stream channel back to its original location so that storm water now flows under the arch as originally constructed. Additional erosion protection was also added along the bank and by the wing wall to prevent collapse of the main trail, and a safety fence was installed over the arch on both sides of the trail.
2019C1—Clear Lake Authority’s East Branch Trail – County Forest South Project Phase II Expansion Project
Clear Lake Authority transformed an old railroad corridor located in Crawford County, into a sustainable, environmentally friendly trail, reducing non-point source pollution while offering wetlands enjoyment connections for trail users. The trail corridor from Rosenburg Road to Mystic Park is 1.37 miles and the County Forest is on both sides of the trail for most of the distance. The first mile of this section was further addressed in Phase II of this project and included rectifying remaining drainage issues that were not improved during Phase I, supporting native vegetation growth, and improving the trails treadway. Although the trail is part of the larger Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, it has been developed as an asset to the community of Hydetown, not just a continuation of the larger trail system.
2019D1—Clear Lake Authority’s East Branch Trail – Hydetown to Mystic Park Road and Signage Project
Clear Lake Authority developed 0.9 mile of trail from Main Street in Hydetown to Mystic Park Road in Steuben Township, Crawford County, connecting the community of Hydetown to nearly 1.5 miles of trail that was recently completed. Signage was fabricated and installed from Main Street in Hydetown along completed portions of the East Branch Trail that identifies Clear Lake Authority as the owner, and other needed signage for safety such as stop signs, and notices of no unauthorized motorized vehicle use.
2019E2—Scrubgrass Creek Watershed Association’s Maintenance of Sterrett Passive Treatment System Project
Over the last 50 years, Scrubgrass Creek, a tributary to the Allegheny River in Venango County, has been polluted by acid mine drainage (AMD) flowing from abandoned coal mines. In efforts to restore good water quality and a trout fishery to this vital tributary, the Scrubgrass Creek Watershed Association has established two passive treatment systems, consisting of drainable limestone beds that treat the AMD through acidity neutralization and metal removal. Metal solids are removed from the limestone through weekly flushing events that involve complete draining of each bed via a solar-powered, computer-controlled, gravity-driven process. The remaining solids must be removed every few years. This project allowed for the two limestone beds to be cleaned, ensuring the continued operation of the system. Stockpiled limestone on site was then added to the beds and the access road was also improved using the excess iron oxide fouled limestone.