Abington Township has been close to being “built-out” for many years. The high percentage of impervious surface in the Township has reduced the opportunity for infiltration of stormwater before reaching the creek, and subsequently, significant erosion of the Sandy Run Creek’s streambank has occurred.
This project will restore 930 linear feet of Sandy Run’s streambank in Roslyn Park that are highly eroded and showing evidence of scour and undercutting of existing trees and vegetation. The first section comprises 450 linear feet of the creek’s southern bank that is located adjacent to Roslyn Park’s soccer fields; the second section is a 480 linear foot area of the north bank adjacent to the park’s baseball fields.
The plans to address the streambank erosion are to initially stabilize the bank using coconut (coir) fiber logs and mats that are designed to provide a base for vegetation to take root. Mature native plants and black willow trees will be planted along the streambank as the logs and mats are installed. Eventually the coir fiber logs and mats will decay, leaving the new plant growth in place. The restoration will provide both vertical and lateral stability of the streambanks, it will be designed to accommodate a range of flows in the creek, and will provide an enhanced riparian buffer that will act as a filter for surface runoff and improve the ecological habitat of the stream.
The Montgomery County Planning Commission’s Upper Wissahickon Special Area Management Plan and its Sandy Run Creek Watershed Conservation Plan recommend streambank restoration along the Sandy Run Creek to improve aquatic and riparian habitat, decrease maintenance costs, increase access and safety to the waterway, and to significantly decrease erosion rates. The prevention of streambank scour and erosion is also a stated purpose of Abington Township’s Stormwater Management Ordinance.
The Township’s Engineering Department will provide for oversight of the construction activities and the Township’s Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) will work to organize volunteer labor from concerned citizens to help remove invasive plants prior to the construction work and to help with the extensive planting of native vegetation after the coconut fiber logs and mats have been installed.
Watershed: Wissahickon Creek
Total cost: $249,000
Michael E. Powers, P.E.
1176 Old York Road
Abington, PA 19001