Students Help Restore Wetlands in Cheltenham

October 21, 2020 Caitlin Burns

Two Arcadia University female students planting a tree

Katherine Haines ’21, Nikolai Kachuyevski ’21, and Hannah McGinnis ’21 volunteered with Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) to help restore the creekbank at Cheltenham Township’s Charles D. Conklin Jr. Pool and Recreation Area on Oct. 3. 

TTF is restoring the creekbank—which flows into the Delaware River—as it is a main source of drinking water for the Greater Philadelphia area and is frequently polluted. Haines, Kachuyevski, and McGinnis helped to remove concrete piping, reroute the stream, and line the streambeds with plants, rocks, and soil used to encourage wetland area development.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the students chose specific time intervals so that only 12 people would be working at a time. 

“It was good to get out of our virtual routine that we’re in for classes,” said McGinnis. “I liked getting outside and doing something for the community I live in.”

The students planted small flowering perennials, flats of small ground cover plants and grasses, and six larger trees along the streambank. 

“I hope TTF has more events in the area like this,” said Haines. “As seniors, we’ve been struggling with spending our last fall semester online, and it was nice to do something that makes the world better—something that we all need right now.”

TTF and Cheltenham Township are heading the restoration project for the Conklin Pool and Recreation area along the banks of Jenkintown Creek. For more information on TTF, go to ttfwatershed.org.

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