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Creek Improvement Project Comes to Conklin Pool
Posted on Monday October 07, 2019
This project is being completed to meet state and federal Clean Water Act requirements requiring municipalities to reduce pollutants in the waterways over the next five years.

Creek Improvement Project Comes to Conklin Pool

Cheltenham Township, in partnership with the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF), have teamed up to remove 225 feet of the concrete channel from a portion of a Jenkintown Creek tributary that flows through the Charles D. Conklin, Jr. Pool and Recreation Center.

The project, which is slated to begin the week of October 7, 2019, will create a more natural, meandering stream channel and convert 7,500 square feet of turf grass to meadow. This work requires closing the playground at Conklin temporarily as of October 8, 2019 until  until November 8, 2019, weather permitting. Only native plants will be used, which will attract birds and butterflies. Bird houses and pollinator boxes will be installed in partnership with community members.

This project is being completed to meet state and federal Clean Water Act requirements requiring municipalities to reduce pollutants in the waterways over the next five years. This project is very important to meeting these requirements as it will capture pollutants from approximately 42 acres. Because Cheltenham Township is significantly developed, parks like the Conklin Recreation Center offer the greatest opportunity for Cheltenham to meet these requirements.

The concrete channel through which this creek currently flows only intensifies problems in our watersheds, such as pollution and flooding. The new meandering channel lined with river rocks, deep-rooted grasses and other native plants will help reduce the speed of stormwater runoff from parking lots, roads, lawns, rooftops and other surfaces which causes erosion to streambank, carries pollutants and otherwise causes damage to water quality, local wildlife and property. The plants and river rocks will help filter and infiltrate stormwater, naturally cleaning stormwater.

Creek Improvement Conklin Pool 10_19

The area that will be affected is on the far side of the stream across from the pool, where the volleyball court is currently located (shown in green on the above map). This is the only area that will be changed by the project.

Creek Improv. Conklin Pool MAP10_19Cheltenham Township is committed to clean water and protecting its creeks, as demonstrated by the establishment of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) in 2005 and the development and adoption of the Cheltenham Sustainability Plan in 2013.

Since 2014, TTF has worked through the Delaware River Watershed Initiative as part of the Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Collaborative to improve the Jenkintown Creek.

Working with a variety of partners, TTF has installed seven nature-based stormwater management features and planted hundreds of native trees along 1,500 feet of waterways and wetlands.

Partners include: Abington Friends School, Abington Monthly Meeting, Abington School District (McKinley Elementary School), Abington Township (Alverthorpe Park and Ethel Jordan Park), Manor College, the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great and Cheltenham Township.

This project is primarily funded through a MontCo 2040 grant from the Montgomery County Planning Commission and a Delaware River Restoration Fund grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the William Penn Foundation. Cheltenham Township and TTF are working together, along with the township’s engineering firm, Boucher & James, to manage and design this project.   

Cheltenham Township   ~   8230 Old York Road   ~   Elkins Park, PA 19027
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Phone: 215-887-1000   ~   Fax: 215-887-1561
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