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Call for Photo Submissions

Monroe County Conservation District’s Environmental Education Center invites submissions for its third annual amateur photo contest. Send in photos that showcase Monroe County’s finest natural resources and earn a spot in both the center’s art gallery and in the 2018 MCCD calendar. Submissions are due by Friday, Sept. 29. For official rules and to submit a photo, visit mcconservation.org/mccd-photo-contest. For more information, call 570-629-3061.

‘Our Land, Our Water’

Monroe County municipal leaders need accurate, complete information to make good choices for preserving land to keep drinking water safe. Providing that information is the purpose of a new partnership between Brodhead Watershed Association and Monroe County Planning Commission, with funding from the Open Space Institute. The goal is to create a leaders’ guide based on water science, with detailed maps of land that is most important to keeping water pure naturally.

The “Plan for Clean Water” project team also includes representatives from Pocono Heritage Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlands Conservancy, Monroe County Conservation District, North Pocono CARE and Aquashicola-Pohopoco Watershed Association, Brodhead Creek Regional Authority, and municipalities such as Smithfield and Stroud townships.

Many municipalities have funds to protect forested land and water, but need information to use those funds wisely — and to explain the “why” of their decisions to constituents. The reports, maps and data this project provides will help officials do just that. The research will pinpoint properties that would provide the most protection for water quality and quantity if they remain natural and undeveloped.

The summary report, “Our Land, Our Water,” will set out the findings of the technical studies in plain English. It will include a matrix of lands important for drinking-water protection, stream flow and quality, and groundwater recharge. Detailed maps will make clear the best land for protecting water.

The work will be completed by late 2018 and delivered to county and municipal elected officials — with tailored guidance for each. Jackson, Paradise, Smithfield and other municipalities have such funds available. Some have asked for exactly this kind of information. Now, they’ll have concrete guidance for protecting citizens’ drinking water. For information about the program, visit brodheadwatershed.org/PlanforCleanWater.html.

Bike Park in Progress

Middle Smithfield and Smithfield Townships are working on building a bike park at River’s Edge, which will be known as River’s Edge Family Bike Park. The park is located on River Road in Smithfield Township near Delaware Water Gap and is expected to open by the fall.

The townships would like to thank Steve Schmidt of Cleveland Brothers of Pittston for donating a Caterpillar bulldozer for two weeks to help get the project going. The normal cost of a bulldozer is $2,800 per week, so this donation is a huge saving for the townships.

The bike park will include several beginner-level hills and tracks. The park is focused on beginners and children so that the whole family can enjoy the park. The townships plan to expand the park in the future with additional features as funding becomes available.

River’s Edge Park was formed under the Eastern Monroe Regional Park Commission, which also formed Mt. Nebo Park on Mt. Nebo Road. Both parks are administered jointly by Middle Smithfield and Smithfield townships. For more information, call 570-223-8920 ext. 119, visit facebook.com/riversedgefamilybikepark, or email riversedgefamilybikepark@gmail.com.

Donor Pledges Matching Funds

An anonymous donor has pledged to match gifts up to $50,000 toward construction of the Brodhead Creek Heritage Center at ForEvergreen Nature Preserve, 1539 Cherry Lane Road, Stroud Township. A joint project of local non-profits Brodhead Watershed Association and Pocono Heritage Land Trust, construction on the center is expected to begin in late summer. The center will provide space at the preserve for offices, environmental education, public events, nature displays and a fly fishing exhibit. The 40-acre ForEvergreen Preserve is on the site of a former golf course and is owned by Stroud Township. The preserve is being restored to its natural state, with native plants and a demonstration rain garden. It is open to the public dawn to dusk and includes walking and running paths and access to the historic Brodhead Creek for catch-and-release fly fishing. This stretch of the creek is well-known among trout enthusiasts as the birthplace of fly fishing in America. The match ends Dec. 31. For information or to donate, visit brodheadcreekheritage.org or call 570-839-1120 or PHLT at 570-424-1514.