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Visitors from the 78th annual Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference gathered Sunday, April 30, at Quittie Creek Nature Park to review the end products of a 2015-16 restoration project.

Presenters gather at the Quittie Creek Nature Park showcase. Light drizzle did not get in the way of the demonstration.

The restoration project by the Quittapahilla Watershed Association (QWA) sought to address issues including extensive bank erosion, frequent debris jams, and an overwide channel.

At the showcase, guests walked along part of the stream where the restoration was performed and had an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the project.

A graphic at an April 30 spotlight shows before and after photos of the creek.

The project covered 3,440 feet of stream, including 2,990 of Quittapahilla Creek, 220 feet of an unnamed tributary and two streams of length 100 and 130 feet.

Costs of the project totaled $1,082,325, with $141,262 spent on design and permitting, $438,601 on phase one of construction, and $502,462 on phase two of construction.

Prior to the restoration project, Bachman’s Mill’s remnants “created a migration barrier to fish under low flow conditions,” explained a QWA handout.

The funding was provided by $991,813 in Growing Greener grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and an $80,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The Growing Greener grants were largely awarded as the creek makes its way into the Chesapeake Bay, and cleaner water upstream contributes to cleaner water downstream.

The former site of Bachman’s Mill, where the old dam spillway was removed and boulder cascades were reconstructed to reduce erosion.

The QWA’s goal is to improve the water quality and habitat of Quittapahilla Creek. They have undertaken similar restoration projects, including ones at Snitz and Beck creeks.

QWA president Michael Schroeder noted that future work at Quittie Creek is still planned for the area near Spruce Street.

With design/permitting to be completed this year and construction planned for 2024, design elements will include stabilizing eroding banks, narrowing the banks, installing habitat structures, and planting native trees and shrubs to “provide long-term stabilization.”

Quittie Creek, near the start of the restoration project.

The QWA is also planning additional restoration efforts for Snitz Creek, some of which are planned for the summer and fall of 2024. They are also planning similar projects for Bachman Run and Killinger Creek.

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Emily Bixler

Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.

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