In fall of 2022 implementation will begin on a project funded by a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant from the Delaware Watershed Conservation fund to the Lower Merion Conservancy. The Lower Merion Township Parks and Recreation staff as well as board members of the Friends of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail have been involved with the LMC in the planning for the past several years. The plan was produced by landscape designer Bob Gray and he is also in charge of overseeing the implementation.
In September and October about 0.75 acres of lawn will be converted into a meadow landscape. This will result in far more resources for insects and other animals, as well as providing year-round beauty and interest for trail users. In addition these plantings will filter harmful sediments from stormwater runoff, resulting in cleaner water going into the waterways. Follow this link for more details.
In October and November trees and other appropriate plants will be planted along the creek and in the knolls in between the creek and the gravel path. Restoration of this area, called a riparian buffer, will also enhance the value for wildlife and improve water quality. More details are being posted as work begins in these areas along the creek.
A final goal of the project is educating the public about the importance of maintaining quality watersheds. The FOCHT Stewardship website already has considerable information on watersheds in general and the Vine Creek watershed specifically. The Lower Merion Conservancy has a wealth of information on stormwater management, managing land for wildlife, and numerous related topics. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has extensive and easily accessed information about relevant topics. Educational signage is also planned for locations on the trail.
The accompanying illustration, by Bob Gray, shows the overall plan for the area. More specific information, including detailed drawings, timetables and plant lists, can be found by following the links above.