Vine Creek Watershed Awareness 2024

Change of location! Due to the rainy weather we are moving our tables and displays to the pavilion in the Bala Cynwyd Playground. Get your umbrella and warm clothes and come on out to see Vine Creek in action! 

Join the Friends of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail, the Lower Merion Conservancy, and other community partners in a fun and educational event on May 5 at the Barmouth Trailhead on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. Numerous family-friendly activities aim to help participants enjoy Vine Creek and the adjacent green space along the Cynwyd Trail as they learn more about how to keep the habitat healthy. Most activities will be happening from 3-5 pm although some will be available throughout the day. The event will happen rain or shine--cancelled only if weather is dangerous. Check our facebook page for any last-minute informatioon.

Walk down to the creek

Representatives from the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards Program will be down at the creek to help you enjoy the creek even more by seeing it up close and learning about its pools, riffles and meanders. You can also learn how stewards and scientists sample the creek to determine its health. 

Visit the stream touch tank

We are constructing a touch tank (modeled on ones used by the Stroud Water Research Center) that will allow participants to touch and view up close the kinds of creatures found in Vine Creek. Our creek is home to fish, frogs, turtles and other large animals, but they require small animals like insects and worms in order to survive. These are what you will see in the tank! Come by to learn about these amazing members of the stream food chain, with the help of Dr. Jonathan Fingerut from Saint Joseph's University, and his Environmental Science students Nicholas Sanders, Taylor Cromer and Miranda Oseguera.

Tour the new watershed plantings

Among the most recent improvements along the trail is extensive planting done in collaboration with the Lower Merion Conservancy; take a guided tour of these plantings. You can read more about the riparian plantings as well as the meadow plantings on other FOCHT web pages as well as on the Lower Merion Conservancy site

Get a free native plant

Native plants are more likely to be beneficial to animals that live in and near streams. They are important sources of food for both larval and flying forms of many insects. Michele Detwiler from Wild About Native Plants will be on hand to talk about the Pollinator Pathway and help you choose your plant.

Learn about controlling mosquitoes without sprays

Sprays used to control adult mosquitoes also kill bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. We are handing out information and FREE materials to help you control mosquitoes in ways that don't harm other animals. Read more here. 

Reducing stormwater pressure on the creek

Stormwater experts from the Lower Merion Conservancy will be here to provide information about what you can do on your property to reduce stormwater damage to Vine Creek and other local waterways. Learn about downspout planters, rain gardens, and other strategies you can use.  You can check out their website for much more. 

Enjoy a free soft pretzel

While they last!

Learn about causes and consequences of plastic in streams

Dr. Steven Goldsmith from the Villanova University Department of Geography and the Environment and his team will present some of their research on plastics in streams. They have sampled dozens of streams in the area (including Vine Creek) and have interesting insights to share.

Experience the watershed in the rain

Short guided tour starts from Barmouth at 3:30 pm. You can also do a self-guided tour with QR-coded links using your smart phone. Walk the tour from upstream (near the Cynwyd Station) down to where Vine Creek goes under the trail, past the Barmouth Trailhead and near the beginning of the unimproved Connelly Woods trail. If you don't want to physically do the walk you'll be able to access the same information from a copy of the watershed map, pictured to the left, which will be at the Barmouth trailhead. Click on the image to see all the videos and explanations that are also out on the trail.