Little Neshaminy Creek River Conservation Plan

Heritage Conservancy has completed work on the Little Neshaminy Creek – River Conservation Plan (LNRCP) for the 22 mile segment of the Neshaminy Creek Watershed extending from Montgomery Township, Montgomery County, to Warwick Township, Bucks County. The LNRCP study area includes all or a portion of 9 municipalities across two counties and is approximately 43 square miles in size. The conservancy worked closely with an advisory committee comprised of representatives from the study area municipalities, Bucks and Montgomery County agencies, water and sewer authorities, and local watershed organizations to complete the plan.

View the Executive Summary [1.7MB PDF], the Plan [2.6MB PDF], Maps [3.3MB PDF], and Appendices [1.6MB PDF]

The conservancy will highlight the implementation actions and findings of this plan at a final public meeting on October 23, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. at the BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship located along the Little Neshaminy Creek at 2040 Street Road, Warrington PA 18976. The meeting will begin outside, along the stream.

Copies of the plan will be distributed to the public at the meeting and posted on the conservancy’s website (see links above). For additional information about the plan please contact Susan Myerov, Community Planner, at 215-345-7020, ext. 101.

The final plan will then be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to be listed on the state Rivers Conservation Registry. Once listed on the registry, implementation actions included in the plan become eligible for DCNR Grant funding. Copies of the plan will also be submitted to the partnering municipalities for a resolution of support. Resolutions from municipalities in the plan area are one of the criteria for listing on the Rivers Registry.

About Little Neshaminy Creek Watershed

The headwaters of the Little Neshaminy Creek Watershed are the most highly developed lands in the upper sub-basin of the Neshaminy Creek watershed. Many state and local efforts have been brought to focus on improving and protecting this resource.

The Little Neshaminy and Park Creeks have been the focus of extensive federal, state and local efforts to protect and improve watershed resources. A river conservation plan for this watershed will focus efforts to coordinate these efforts to develop a comprehensive plan to identify significant resources, develop conservation and land management measures with specific implementation actions and assist local communities with making decisions regarding long-term watershed protection. The three main goals of the LNRCP are to improve watershed-related activities, to educate the public about watershed issues and to encourage resource protection and stewardship.

About the Conservation Plan

The study, which is funded through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), included the Park Creek Watershed. The Little Neshaminy Watershed is the last remaining section of the Neshaminy Creek Watershed that is not already included in a river conservation or watershed management plan.

The Little Neshaminy Creek RCP encompass 43 square miles and include 16 linear miles of the Little Neshaminy and six miles of the Park Creek main stems. The planning area includes all or portions of nine municipalities in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, including:

  • Horsham Township
  • Lower Gwynedd Township
  • Montgomery Township
  • Upper Dublin
  • Ivyland Borough
  • Northampton Township
  • Warminster Township
  • Warrington Township
  • Warwick Township

The RCP identifies and maps key natural and man-made resources, land uses, soils, environmental features and cultural, archeological and historic sites. The RCP includes management options for the municipalities within the study area with regard to land use practices, water quality, stormwater management, cultural and recreational resources, governmental and public issues. The final document is intended to provide a comprehensive inter-municipal approach to improving, conserving and making better use of the resources in the region.

Purpose of a River Conservation Plan

The purpose of a river conservation plan is to provide a comprehensive inter-municipal approach to improving, conserving and making better use of the river’s resources and surrounding land in this particular watershed area.

How is a River Conservation Plan Developed?

A river conservation plan involves a four-step process to determine goals and actions to protect and enhance cultural, recreational and natural resources of a watershed or sub-watershed. The process steps are:

  • Determine Initial Interest
  • Collect and Analyze Resource Data
  • Prepare Draft Plan
  • Prepare Final Plan
  • Public Participation

Each of the municipalities will be participating in the planning process through their participation on the LNRCP steering committee. The conservancy and its partners will endeavor to encourage the formation of municipal Environmental Advisory Councils where they are not currently active and to include them in the planning process and more importantly, to implement the recommendations. The park and recreation board, planning commission or other appointed community individual(s) will also be encouraged to participate at the same level. Information from the Delaware Riverkeeper’s recently completed watershed assessment will be used to identify stream reaches in need of restoration and attention. (Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Little Neshaminy Watershed Assessment and Restoration, February 2003.)

Project Steering Committee

In addition to representatives from each of the nine municipalities, our project steering committee includes county and state agencies and a wide variety of watershed organizations and stakeholder groups noted below. The conservancy wishes to acknowledge and thank all who participated in the project.

  • Bucks County Planning Commission
  • Montgomery County Planning Commission
  • Bucks County Conservation District
  • Montgomery County Conservation District
  • PA DCNR
  • PA DEP
  • PEC (Pennsylvania Environmental Council)
  • Aqua Pennsylvania
  • Park Creek Watershed Association
  • Neshaminy Watershed Association
  • Hatboro-Horsham School District
  • Horsham Water & Sewer Authority
  • Warrington Water and Sewer
  • Willow Grove Naval Air Station

 

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