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Serpentine Preserve

Serpentine Preserve Riparian Buffer Planting
October 14 & 15 9 AM- 12 PM

Willistown Township Thanks CRC & The Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
Willistown Parks & Recreation is grateful to the Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association (CRC) for their partnership in acquiring funding to design and plant a riparian buffer in Serpentine Preserve. Many thanks go to CRC for applying for the grants and to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for providing TreeVitalize and Rivers Conservation Program funding to CRC for this project!

What is a Riparian Buffer Planting?
Riparian buffer plantings are conducted in lands adjacent to water bodies to improve water quality. They filter sediment and pollutants before they enter the stream, stabilize the stream banks from erosion, slow flood waters and rainwater runoff, keep the water cool for and provide energy and nutrients to stream communities, and create valuable wildlife habitat.

What's Important about Serpentine Preserve's Streams?
CRC is managing the installation of a buffer planting along an unnamed intermittent tributary to the Serpentine Run. Both streams are located in our Serpentine Preserve and are headwater streams of the upper Ridley Creek watershed. Headwaters are the source waters of a river. Their health is crucial to the health of the entire freshwater ecosystem.


Stroud Water Research Center* describes headwater tributaries like these as “the lifeblood of our streams and rivers”, and states that “protecting and restoring the watersheds in which they arise will provide benefits vital to the health and well-being of Pennsylvania’s water resources and its citizens.” Indeed, among other things like recreation and natural beauty, these local streams provide our community and others with drinking water essential to our survival.

According to CRC, the Upper Ridley Creek Watershed supplies 2.7 million gallons per day of drinking water for over 40,000 residents in Upper Providence, Middletown, and Nether Providence Townships, as well as Media Borough, and another 815,000 gallons are withdrawn daily from private and public wells in the watershed. Ridley Creek is a tributary of the Delaware River. According to the Delaware River Basin Commission, the Delaware River, the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi, provides drinking water to about 15 million people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The work we do in the headwaters areas of Willistown Township has wide-reaching impact. Together, CRC, and Willistown Township, and you can make a difference—please join us!

* Stroud is a preeminent and renowned water research center located in Avondale. Find out more about Stroud here, and view their research publication, Protecting Headwaters: The Scientific Basis for Safeguarding Stream and River Ecosystems here

Planting Day Details
Friday, October 14 is preparation day. The group will cut cages to go around the trees for deer protection and cut weed mat so the grasses don’t grow up around the trees inviting voles to nest and chew on the trunks. Site preparation will include tree placement. A minimum of 10 volunteers is needed.

Saturday, October 15 is planting day. The group will be digging holes, laying down weed mat, planting 35 trees and 75 shrubs, caging them, and watering them. A minimum of 25 volunteers is needed.

The event is rain or shine with the exception of heavy rain/thunderstorms. If there are extreme weather predictions for Saturday, the storm date will be Sunday, October 16. Call CRC at 610-359-1440 for a recorded message if weather is a question.

Volunteers will be instructed on all aspects of the preparation and the planting along with gloves, water, and snacks. Volunteers can be as young as seven years old when accompanied by a parent. Please contact Lori Schnick of CRC to volunteer at or 302-883-6767. If you are unable to attend all morning, please let Lori know what time frame you can help. Thank you!

Project Plans
CRC collaborated with Willistown Parks & Recreation and a landscape architect to come up with the riparian planting area, design, and plant list.
View the Site Context/Plan Cover
View the Existing Site Plan
View the Planting Plan
View the Planting Detail Plan