Dam Removal & Stream Restoration

Ever since learning in June 2011 that the replacement of the Third Street Bridge/Dam would destroy over an acre of Glen Providence Park, we have been looking for ways to minimize that damage.  In October 2011, Friends of Glen Providence Park presented a petition with 836 signatures to Media Borough Council, calling on them to “Minimize the project’s damage to Glen Providence Park, especially plant and animal life” and “Create a pedestrian/bicycle greenway on the Third Street Bridge, open only to emergency motor vehicles”.

After we presented that petition, new information emerged.  In a November 2011 meeting between PennDOT and members of Borough Council, PennDOT clarified that its 80% funding would cover even more options than previously realized, including dam removal and stream restoration.  This was contrary to information previously presented at Public Meetings.

Friends of Glen Providence Park then researched, and worked to educate the community about, dam removal and stream restoration.  We believe it would drastically reduce the damage by the Third Street Project to Glen Providence Park,  and would be the most beautiful and sustainable option for the park, Broomall’s Lake Country Club, and the community.

In Spring 2012, the community showed its support of dam removal and stream restoration in response to outreach by the Third Street Project Citizens Advisory Committee, both at a public meeting attended by over 125 people, and in a survey. As detailed in the CAC Report, the results of the 651 returned surveys clearly showed that dam removal and stream restoration was favored by each category surveyed: by all four districts of Media Borough residents, by Media business owners, by Glen Providence Park users, and by Broomall’s Lake Swim Club members.

Despite this consistent community support for minimizing environmental impact to Glen Providence Park,  members of the 2012-2013 Borough Council felt that the May 2011 Stipulation Agreement,  which had been signed by the 2010-2011 Borough Council, bound them to replace the dam and a roadway.  On May 17, 2012, Borough Council voted 5-2 to replace the dam.

While we are working to find ways to minimize the destruction of this new dam to Glen Providence Park, we still believe dam removal and stream restoration is the most responsible option for ours and future generations.

 

What follows is the text of our position on Dam Removal and Stream Restoration as posted before the May 17, 2012 vote by Media Borough Council:

 

After a thorough study of all the issues and considerations, Friends of Glen Providence Park has decided to call for the removal of the Third Street Dam.

Compared to dam replacement, dam removal is most:

  • beneficial for Glen Providence Park;
  • environmentally responsible;
  • cost-effective; and
  • popular.

Dam Removal is Sensible

Removing the dam will restore Broomall’s Run to its natural state as a stream, allowing for greater connectivity for wildlife and healthy sediment flow. It will preserve and return the greatest number of trees to a naturally forested area and it will avoid the destruction of valuable wetlands at the base of the dam. Dam removal is far less expensive than dam replacement and benefits a public resource — the park — with public funds. Finally, the recent survey of public opinion in Media demonstrates that dam removal has strong community support.

Unless sediment testing or other engineering discoveries reveal significant unanticipated complications, Friends of Glen Providence Park urges Media Borough and all concerned parties to swiftly resolve the public safety hazard of the Third Street Dam by permanently removing it.

Greenway to Connect Upper Providence and Media

We also reiterate our request for a pedestrian and bicycle-only bridge (with possible access for emergency vehicles) to connect the upper and lower portions of the Park and Upper Providence and Media. A greenway across Broomall’s Run would protect the park from noise and air pollution, enhance the recreational quality of the park, support alternative modes of transportation, and maintain Media’s largest open green space as a place of quiet beauty.

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