Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape 2019 Mini-Grant Program Fact Sheet

Unami Creek Trail Feasibility Study

Unami Creek Trail Feasibility Study

SHCL Grant: $10,800
Match: $12,600
Project Total: $23,400

Appalachian Mountain Club will undertake a Unami Creek Trail Feasibility study in Milford Township to identify a trail alignment opportunity to extend the existing Unami Creek Trail to the Barrel Run Trail to the East, and South-West along Unami Creek to the Montgomery County Border. These extensions will close a gap in the circuit of trails in the Schuylkill Highlands as well as fulfill a desire from residents for more walking and bicycling trails.

Colebrookdale Railbike Expeditions through the Secret Valley

SHCL Grant: $20,000
Match: $30,000
Project Total: $50,000

Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust will create a railbike tour, being the first in Pennsylvania to do so. These railbikes, a peddle-powered vehicle that rides four steel wheels along the tracks of the railroad, offer a unique and highly accessible way to experience the outdoors and history of the region. Colebrookdale will purchase ten railbikes, modified for use on the railroad, one with wheelchair access.

Birdsboro Borough Schuylkill River Trailhead Project

SHCL Grant: $19,300
Match: $24,350
Project Total: $43,650

The Borough of Birdsboro will improve trail access and interaction at the Thun Trail access. The project entails upgrading an existing gravel parking area to a paved surface, providing a connection to Rt. 724, installing a kiosk and additional signage to direct users to the trailhead parking area, historical structures in the borough and to the Thun Trail, and installing benches, a bike rack, a fence, and a rain garden to improve stormwater quality as it enters Hay Creek.

Crouse Property Master Site Plan

SHCL Grant: $20,000
Match: $20,283
Project Total: $40,283

East Pikeland Township has recently acquired the 115-acre Crouse property and will complete a site analysis, prepare maps, conduct public visioning sessions, and prepare a Master Park Plan. The goals for this area are to protect the landscape through native meadows, hedgerows, wooded swales, and riparian areas, as well as allowing active and passive recreation, especially connecting to the Schuylkill River Trail.

Historic Hamburg Visitors Guide

SHCL Grant: $2,350
Match: $2,357.40
Project Total: $4,707.40

Our Town Foundation will print 10,000 copies of their updated Historic Hamburg Visitor’s Guides. The guide is a 30-page booklet providing extensive information on the Borough of Hamburg, its heritage resources, and other tourist attractions within a 15-mile radius. Highlighted categories include regional area history and heritage sites, accommodations, shopping, dining, attractions, outdoor recreation, and visitation activities.

East Coventry Wayfinding and Signage Project

SHCL Grant: $20,000
Match: $32,000
Project Total: $52,000

East Coventry Township will implement a wayfinding signage plan for the township, emphasizing the history, culture, and nature resources throughout the township and additional signage and focus on Ellis Park, following through on an aspect in their Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan.

Golden Eagle Trail Restoration Project

SHCL Grant: $9,130
Match: $9,130
Project Total: $18,260

Hawk Mountain Sanctuarys Golden Eagle is a rugged trail that links the boulder field with the escarpment along the Kittatinny Ridge, however, the climb is steep, and this area has eroded significantly. This grant will restore this trail and the access road. The base of the trail connects to a former logging road, which also requires restoration to provide safe access for local first responders in the event of emergencies.

Quakertown Bicycle Public Work Stands

SHCL Grant: $1,850
Match: $1,850.15
Project Total: $3,700.15

In Fall 2019, the PA Highlands Trail Network was completed in Quakertown, which is anticipated to bring an influx of cyclists to the Quakertown area. In anticipation of this, Quakertown Alive! has placed bicycle racks and will be installing bicycle repair and maintenance stands at 4th and Mill Streets near our amphitheater park and at E. Broad and Front streets near our new public market and train station.

Iron & Steel Heritage Driving Tour Brochure

SHCL Grant: $1,500
Match: $1,500
Project Total: $3,000

In 2009, the Iron and Steel Heritage Partnership developed a branding and marketing strategy to promote the natural, cultural, historic, and recreational tourist destinations in the region through an Iron and Steel Heritage & Recreation tourism brochure featuring suggested Iron and Steel Driving Tours. The brochure identifies key iron and steel heritage sites and destinations for food and lodging. Friends of Hopewell have received this grant to update and reprint this brochure.

Quakertown Swamp Preserve Habitat Enhancement and Educational Outreach

SHCL Grant: $14,600
Match: $14,662
Project Total: $29,262

Due to a surge in residential development, widespread uses of herbicides, and the rapid spread of invasive plants, riparian buffers, and Monarch and bird-friendly shrub land habitats have been severely impacted. This project’s goal is to educate the Preserve’s trail users on these special habitats and demonstrate how they can help mitigate these issues through habitat enhancement and outreach. To achieve this, Heritage Conservancy will be planting a riparian buffer along Bog Run, creating bird-friendly shrubland and a monarch waystation, and working with local schools for field trips.

Berks Nature Greater Reading Trail Signage

SHCL Grant: $15,800
Match: $15,953
Project Total: $31,753

Five trail systems within the Greater Reading Trail system will be enhanced by improved signage which leads to better access and safety. This will include Neversink Mountain, Gravity Trail, Earl Poole Sanctuary, Angelica Creek Trail, and Blue Marsh Lake Trails. Berks Nature will be installing a minimum of 238 confidence markers and/or directional arrows, and 9 trail blades and/or trailhead signs added to the Greater Reading Trail system.

Blue Marsh Lake Union Canal Dam Trail Extension Project

SHCL Grant: $25,000
Match: $29,750.34
Project Total: $54,750.34

The Blue Marsh Lake and Recreation Area, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is home to a trail system recognized as one of the prominent ride areas that comprise the Greater Reading Area Ride Center. Berks Area Mountain Biking Association and the U.S. Army Corps are redesigning and rebuilding a portion of the Union Canal Dam Trail for improved safety and sustainability. The project will deliver a five-foot-wide, ½ mile crushed-stone trail that will extend and connect the trail to the Blue Marsh Visitors Center.

North Coventry’s Riverside Park Boat Dock Renovations

SHCL Grant: $5,000
Match: $35,000
Project Total: $40,000

The old boat dock at Riverside Park in North Coventry Township has been the only, easily accessible facility for canoeists and kayakers on the south side of the river for miles. It was removed last spring as a result of the deteriorated condition. The Township will install a new landing and gangplank for river access.

Perkiomen Creek Water Trail Recreation Program

SHCL Grant: $15,000
Match: $15,000
Project Total: $30,000

The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy will implement three plans to establish a formal water trail on the Perkiomen Creek. First, it will print a paddler’s guide to the Perkiomen Creek to provide trip planning recommendations, safety guidelines, water level data, and detailed access area information. Next, a web-based paddling resource will essentially provide the same information as the paddler’s guide with the added benefit of links to current water level conditions and safety information. Finally, a water trail conservation maintenance plan to outline the creation of a volunteer-based program with the mission of providing stewardship to the water trail.

Olivet Blue Mountain Camp Appalachian Trail Access Trail Remediation

SHCL Grant: $8,000
Match: $8,000
Project Total: $16,000

Over the past several years, the Appalachian Trail access at Olivet, which is approximately 3,600 feet in length, has sustained significant water run-off/erosion damage, leaving the trail virtually impassable. Olivet Blue Mountain Camp will repair and regrade the trail, lay 80 tons of stone, and install 34 water bars to redirect water flow and prevent future damage. While the camp itself is private, the public is granted access to the Appalachian Trail via this trail.

Love Farm Agricultural Restoration Project on Beaver Run

SHCL Grant: $10,800
Match: $10,850
Project Total: $21,650

This project, headed by Berks Nature, is a part of the larger Love Farm Natural Resource-Based Conservation Project, which is to exclude farm animals from a headwater tributary to the Beaver Run, Hay Creek. This will enhance the naturally reproducing brook trout population in Beaver Run main stem and improve the overall habitat values of the Beaver Run, Hay Creek watershed. This grant will install an animal stream crossing and culvert, and 2,710 feet of animal exclusion fencing to protect a 100ft riparian buffer.

Schuylkill Canal Lock 60 Dredging Feasibility Study

SHCL Grant: $10,000
Match: $25,000
Project Total: $35,000

Currently, the accumulation of material in the forebay between the Black Rock Dam on the Schuylkill River and Lock 60 of the Schuylkill Canal is encroaching on and threatening the continued operation of Lock 60. The Schuylkill Canal Association’s study will be the first step towards removing the sediment and organic matter, and looking at the material to be dredged, how to prevent further accumulation, and management of the dredging process.

Royersford Borough Main Street Interpretive and Wayfinding Signs

SHCL Grant: $16,000
Match: $16,150
Project Total: $32,150

The Royersford Borough plans to revamp the signage around Royersford. The project includes six historic interpretive and wayfinding signs along Main Street, an updated wayfinding signboard to include newly funded phases of trail for the trailhead sign at 1st and Main Street, and a project sign/plaque. The signs are designed to educate, direct, and strengthen the connections for visitors and residents between Main Street and the Schuylkill River.