Upcoming Changes: Pond & Wetlands
In the next few years, there will be some permanent changes to the park’s pond and wetlands. This is an outline of the information we have about those changes.
The pond is man-made, created in 1936 after the park was established. But this pond is not a healthy ecosystem. And there are worsening erosion problems, on the stretch of land between the pond and Broomall’s Run, which threaten the pond’s existence.
County Parks & Recreation and the County Conservation District are assessing the erosion around the pond and stream, and ways to make the pond and stream both healthy and sustainable. This includes the possibility of converting the pond (all or in part) to wetlands.
There are .16 acres of wetlands at the base of the dam which are anticipated to be destroyed by the 3rd Street Dam project. This is part of the 1.1 acres of park that will be destroyed or impacted by the construction. Per state regulation, .16 acres of wetlands will need to be created or remediated elsewhere. One possible remediation location is around the pond in Glen Providence Park, in the area around the island.
The dam designer Schnabel Engineering is assessing this possibility, and will sketch a proposed approach. Schnabel will meet with Media Borough and the County to get approval, then submit their plan to the PA Department of Environmental Protection and the US Army Corps of Engineers for final approval.
Delaware County Open Space Plan:
Glen Providence Park is one of six parks in the Delaware County Open Space, Recreation, and Greenway Plan. County Planning will be evaluating the future use of the park, and there will be public hearings about the Open Space Plan early this winter. This could be an opportunity to discuss the future of the pond.
Tying it together:
On October 13, the Friends of Glen Providence Park met at the park with County Parks, the Conservation District, County Planning and Schnabel Engineering. This was a brainstorming session to see how the wetland swapping could dovetail with erosion control projects, and also with the County’s Open Space Plan, to holistically address the park’s ecosystem and sustainability. This included the possible redesigning of the pond and stream area.
We were impressed with the thoughtfulness of all parties, which included a wetland specialist, a watershed specialist, a native plant specialist and an environmental planner. We also had a fortuitous encounter with a Penncrest High School science teacher who has been testing the water in the park for 15 years, and he had some observations about the pond’s water flow and biodiversity.
It is our understanding that the next step is for Schnabel to propose a wetland mitigation plan to the Borough.
What is the timing?
Work may begin on the 3rd Street Dam as early as spring 2013, and the pond mitigation work would ideally begin before then.
What about the pond?
We understand the intention is to preserve the pond in some form, and that there would be a public meeting before any drastic changes to the pond were undertaken. Something needs to be done to make the pond and adjacent stream healthy and sustainable, and we hope that thoughtful planning and community input can lead to an optimal solution.
We will keep you posted on developments with the wetland mitigation, the pond, and the County Open Space Plan!