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 Recreation & Conservation Projects

​The Division of Parks & Recreation planned and/or implemented a number of capital outdoor recreation and natural resourcePlanting.PNG
conservation projects in 2017. These projects helped actionize Livable Landscapes—An Open Space Plan for Northampton County, the purpose of which is to guide the conservation, restoration and enhancement of the County's open space resources, and create linkages between the County's vast natural resources; outdoor recreational facilities; greenways and blueways; farmland; and historic, cultural and scenic resources. The plan seeks to encourage partnerships to achieve common open space goals.            

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 Project Highlights

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The American chestnut was effectively decimated throughout its range 100 years ago by an accidentally imported fungal disease known as chestnut blight. Nearly 4 billion chestnut trees died in the course of 40 years.   The chestnut blight has been called the greatest ecological disaster to strike the world’s forests in all of history.

In 2018, the Parks and Recreation Division collaborated with The American Chestnut Foundation and its partnership with the State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry on the American Chestnut Research & Restoration Project (ESF American Chestnut Project).   Parks & Rec received a donation of 16 American chestnut seedlings, which were planted as part of a "mother tree nursery" project at two sites at Louise Moore Park.

 

 

 

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 Recreation Projects

Title

 Purpose

Accomplishments/Status

Wy-Hit-Tuk Park Rehabilitation Project  Plan, design, engineer & permit improvements for recreational facilities, amenities, infrastructure & natural resources at Wy-Hit-Tuk Park.Consulting firm contracted, project steering committee established & project planning begun this year. Planning will continue in 2019.
​Gall Farm Park Master Site Development Project​Plan for the development of the 160-acre Gall Farm into a regional County Park & trailhead for the adjacent Plainfield Township Recreation Trail.​Consulting firm contracted, project steering committee established, first public meeting held and park planning begun this year. Planning will continue in 2019.
​Minsi Lake Greenway Project​Develop a greenway & conservation plan for connecting, protecting & improving County properties in the Minsi Lake Greenway, i.e., Bear Swamp Park, Minsi Lake Park, Minsi Lake Wilderness Area.​PA DCNR awarded $75,000 grant for the project in November, which the County will match. Project planning will begin in 2019.
Wildlands Conservancy Community Outreach Partnership ​Expand & enhance environmental education, community outreach & outdoor recreation activities throughout Northampton County. Provided 33 community programs in County and municipal parks for 434 participants in 2018; partnership will continue in 2019.
​Parks Signage & Kiosk Project​Develop destination signage & kiosk standards & branding for Northampton County Parks & Rec Division & complete designs for destination signs & kiosks for 10 County parks & the Nor-Bath Trail.​Graphic design firm contracted & site assessments & design concepts completed this year. Finalize standards & fabricate signs for 11 sites in 2019.
Minsi Lake Trail Rehabilitation Project

Plan, design, engineer & permit improvements to the Lake Trail & its stream & wetland crossings on the north side of Minsi Lake.

Mapping completed, consulting engineering firm contracted & field assessments begun this year. Will complete planning in 2019.

​Minsi Lake Park Rehabilitation Project Replace, renovate & rebuild old park amenities & infrastructure; improve fish habitat & fishing success; & make the lake an accessible recreation area for everyone, regardless of physical abilities.

​Northampton County Council approved $500,000 for the project in March & PA DCNR awarded a $200,000 matching grant for the project in November this year. Project will begin in 2019.

Completed Assets Inventory & developed A Site Inventory, Overall Concept Plan & Concept Sketches; continue planning in 2018 for 5-year capital project.

Accessibility Site Survey Reports & Recommendations Project

Developed for Northampton County by Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living to identify specific areas & provide recommendations for improving overall access to County parks for persons with all types of disabilities. Reports & recommendations developed for eight County parks in 2017; implementation strategy will be developed in 2018.
Nor-Bath Trail Rehabilitation Project

Plan construction of final 1.5 miles of Nor-Bath Trail from Jacksonville Road in East Allen Township to Mill Street in Bath Borough.

Resurface about 5-miles of original trail from Clear Springs Drive to Jacksonville Road; including trailhead & bridge work, ADA access, landscaping, signage, etc.

Mill Street Trailhead engineering & design work begun this year & will continue in 2019.

PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources announced grant award in 2017; project engineering & design work planned for 2018.

Nor-Bath Trail West End Extension Project Complete construction of Nor-Bath Trail from Clear Springs Drive to Canal Park in Northampton Borough & connect to D&L Trail at Canal Park (about one-mile of new trail). Trail construction completed in 2017, with official ribbon cutting ceremony at the trailhead at Canal Park in June.
Nor-Bath Trail East End Extension Project Acquire easements from Keystone Cement Company to complete development of Nor-Bath Trail from Jacksonville Road to Mill Street in Bath Borough (about 1.5 miles of new trail). Easements were acquired from Keystone Cement Company in 2017; trail engineering & design work planned for 2018.

 Conservation Projects

Title  Purpose  Status
American Chestnut Tree Restoration Project at Louise Moore Park ​Partner with the American Chestnut Foundation to plant wild seedlings now & blight-resistant trees among them in 5-7 years. Seedlings will grow & eventually be pollinated by the blight-resistant trees & produce blight-resistant chestnuts/offspring.​Planted & protected 8 seedlings each at 2 sites (16 seedlings total) at Louise Moore Park this year. Will monitor & maintain seedlings in 2019 & beyond, before planting blight-resistant trees among them in 5-7 years.
Catasauqua Creek Riparian Buffer Restoration Project at Wayne Grube Park ​Plant container-stock trees along roughly 1900' of south side of creek for water quality & habitat improvement. PA DCNR Riparian Buffer Forest Grant awarded in 2017 to implement project in 2018.
Fry’s Run Flood Damage Tree Repair Project & Riparian Buffer Enhancement Project at Fry’s Run Park​Replace dead trees from & add more trees to original 2015 planting along 400' of north side of creek for water quality & habitat improvement. ​PA DCNR Riparian Buffer Forest Grant awarded in 2016 for 2017 planting project; planted 20 container-stock trees in October 2017.
 ​Louise Moore Park Tree Replacement Project​Replace 45 mature spruce trees along east end of park lost to Superstorm Sandy in 2012; replaced with 7' tall ball & burlap Colorado blue, Norway & Serbian spruce trees (15 of each) in May 2017.​Project accomplished in 2017. All 15 Colorado blue spruce trees succumbed to needlecast fungus after planting; vendor will replace them gratis with Serbian spruce trees in spring 2018.
Louise Moore Park Wildflower Meadow Project ​Convert about 1/3rd acre of turf grass into a model demonstration wildflower meadow for pollinator habitat & improved water quality & soil health, public education & park visitor enjoyment. ​Project Scope of Work developed, site preparation begun & funding encumbered in 2017; continue site preparation in 2018 & seed meadow in fall.
​Minsi Lake Habitat Improvement Project ​Improve fish & turtle habitat by building 851 stone & timber fish habitat structures across 56 acres of lakebed & 10 turtle basking platforms to float on surface of Minsi Lake. ​PA Fish & Boat Commission developed 5-Year Habitat Management Plan & some project funding secured in 2017; project construction planned for winter 2018-19.
​Monocacy Creek Restoration Project at Archibald Johnston Conservation Area ​Complete design & permitting to remove structures along one-mile section of creek to restore streambanks, riparian corridor & floodplain. PA Dept. of Environmental Protection grant application approved in 2017 for project design & permitting work in 2018.
​Monocacy Meadow Park Environmentally Sensitive Parking Lot Reconstruction Project Partner with County Conservation District to rebuild compacted dirt & gravel parking lot with environmentally sensitive materials to infiltrate stormwater & better protect adjacent Monocacy Creek. Awarded $17,000 Dirt & Gravel Road Maintenance Grant for project from Conservation District & constructed the project with Parks & Rec staff this year. 
​Wildlife Habitat Improvement Projects at Gracedale Open Space Lands & in the Minsi Lake Greenway ​Partner with PA Game Commission & its Voluntary Public Access & Habitat Incentive Program to improve wildlife habitat with federal funds on County lands open to public hunting. Developed plans to improve wildlife habitat on 75 acres at 5 sites this year (1 at Gracedale Open Space Lands & 4 in the Minsi Lake Greenway). Will begin implementing plans with PGC in 2019 ($111,780 value).

 

 

 

 

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