Historical Weather. On closer inspection, The corporation was active in the 70’s then became dormant. “But the Swatty had been dammed right below [Kline’s] property. You seem like a real fan. 22) To start at Pine Grove, Harper Tavern should be over 2.5’; To get through Swatara State Park, Inwood should be 3.25’. 3 lb. Steamboat Annie, which carried passengers along the Swatara Creek. One possibility for the dam to move forward was through Project 70, a 1964 state law allocating $70 million for use in acquiring land for public parks, reservoirs, historical sites, and other preservation efforts. Major tributaries and their drainage areas east of the Susquehanna River are Swatara Creek (571 square miles) and the Conestoga River (477 square miles). Historic accounts of the creek’s natural populations were cited in early meetings as proof of the possibilities. All Rights Reserved. The park itself is the end result of a complex, ambitious, and ultimately incomplete plan that would have added a dam on the river at the Swatara Gap near Green Point and created a miles-long lake stretching out across the northern end of the county. Concerns over water shortages in the future are still relevant, though any talk of a new dam project is likely to receive considerable opposition due to ecological, financial, and logistical concerns. Photo at right: The Swatara Creek Greenway, by Rich Zaino. Swatara Creek River of the month. The 125-foot Siegrist Dam tripled the water capacity of the High Bridge reservoir on the site to 1.2 billion gallons and became the new second surface water source fed into the City of Lebanon Authority’s system after the intake facility already on the Swatara. Do you support local news?If you believe that Lebanon County needs independent, high-quality journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. The Lower Little Swatara Creek, Schuylkill County, and Quittapahilla Creek, Memorial Lake is an option when the Swatara is too high or too low. 8 miles (13 km) of Swatara Creek lie within the park's boundaries, which are roughly formed by Pennsylvania Route 443 to the north and Interstate 81 to the south. 12: High water affects several homes upstream of the Route 39 bridge. PRINTABLE VERSIONS Large Files - PDF : 1 = 736 Kb 2 = 813 Kb 3 = 913 Kb 4 = 502 Kb: ONLINE VERSIONS Smaller Files - HTML : Work continued haltingly in the 1980s, though more than $40 million was allocated for the project at this time. The dam was by then scheduled to be finished by 1991. Numerous homes adjacent to the creek are affected by high water. The existence of this dam (used for the management of the Union Canal) was brought up in discussions on the new one. However, for a variety of reasons, plans never materialized, and in 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) started to create trails and other recreational areas in the park. ... To extend the trip even further you can start at the park in Union Deposit, but there is a dam in Hummelstown that will need portaged, and if you start even further upstream from that park, a very dangerous dam is an absolute must portage, lethal hydraulic at … Following the Swatara Creek from Pine Grove to main line of the Canal at Water Works was a Feeder Branch. When this column began 6 years ago, its stated purpose was to introduce club members to lesser-known local waterways. Excluding any breaking news, we will return to our regular posting schedule on Dec. 28. At the time, Lebanon’s major source of water was the High Bridge Reservoir near Pine Grove, which had a capacity of about 310 million gallons or so. In comparison, the proposed dam would have measured 40 feet high and 500 feet wide with a 750-acre impoundment behind it, flooding nearly seven miles of land from Green Point out to Suedberg in Schuylkill County. as well as camping from the Swatara Watershed Association, which organizes an overnight Swatara Creek Sojourn trip each May (www.swatarawatershed.com). Following a decade of nationwide dam unpopularity, as well as constant pressure from opponents, the idea of a dam appeared to be on its last legs. Goddard, who had retired from the DER in 1979, urged locals to put pressure on legislators to keep the project moving at a Municipal Building meeting in 1988. Dams Two dams are on the Swatara Creek, a low-head dam owned by the Lebanon Water Authority, and one dam owned by PA American Water Company to provide clean water for residents of the Swatara Watershed. RE: Swatara Creek 2008/09/03 16:44:54 I went up to Swatara Creek acouple days ago around Swatara State Park and overall the fishing was slow for any trout anglers. An ice dam along the Little Swatara Creek provided ice for Rehrersburg and employment for about 10 men during the winter months between 1880 and 1920. The Swatara Feeder, as it was called, ran from the Water Works Dam north along the Swatara Creek to Finnegans Dam about 2.4 miles north of Jonestown. Swatara Creek River Water Trail - Trail Map - Trail Guide (text)-- Water Trails Index. Work on the park, which had remained undeveloped since 1987, began in 2011 and it was officially opened the following year. Water use in the lower basin for public supply totaled about 200 million gallons per day in 1985. (The Lebanon Daily News, 8 May 1998). Remains of the abandoned railroad bed, five canal locks and the old dam on Old State Road can be found within the park. Two dams are on the Swatara Creek, a low-head dam owned by the Lebanon Water Authority, and one dam owned by PA American Water Company to provide clean water for residents of the Swatara Watershed. Uneven portage on left bank, which disappears into tree line in high water. Early in 1971, the project was approved for a $2.7-million grant by the General State Authority, one of 17 grants for park projects around the state totaling $13.3 million in all. Susquehanna River (Red Hill Dam) Near the Dock Street dam in Harrisburg, the PFBC access areas at Fort Hunter, Millersburg and in Halifax. These included Green Point Recreation Area (a day use area with a capacity of 5,300 people), Point Park Overnight Area (2,500 people and access from Route 443), Midway Overnight Area (camper and boating facilities for 2,800 people), Suedberg Recreation Area, and a fifth area with the potential for boat docks, camping, and even an airport. In addition, the Christian E Seigrist Reservoir is located in Schuylkill County, and the Dehart Dam in Dauphin County. Visit the Swatara Watershed Association’s webpage and the DCNR page for the park. The Swatara Creek flows downward, through the mountains and through Lebanon County and the southern portion of Dauphin County. Still, the project seem to always be perpetually two or three years behind schedule. The third problem, pollution, was declared to have changed significantly since the 1960s thanks to millions spent on improvement projects, though it was still not known when the water would be brought down to acceptable levels. At the base of the dam are the remaining structures of the Swatara (iron) Furnace, which began operation in the 1830s. 14: Numerous homes adjacent to the creek are affected by high water. This included the acquisition and subsequent destruction of residences and farm operations within the project’s borders. Both dams must be portaged and can be … Lebanon County, PA news, events, and opinions. The death of a Cleona man who drowned this summer while kayaking on the Swatara Creek near Jonestown is a cautionary tale. The existing Swatara Creek facilities, which were constructed in 1972, are located on the west side of Swatara Creek … Located just miles from Hershey, owner Ben Miller and his trained staff provide both self-guided and guided tours of the Swatara Creek Water Trail, which is … Swatara Creek River Water Trail - Trail Map - Trail Guide (text)-- Water Trails Index. “You wonder how a boat could get in there,” said Meyer. Tyler Hunt. However, “You wonder how a boat could get in there,” said Meyer. The scenic Swatara Creek meanders the length of the park and is surrounded by forests and wetlands that support a … A Lebanon City resident died after getting pulled underwater by strong currents at the Jonestown Dam, Pennsylvania State Police said. Registration for the conference is due by January 23rd. Swatara Creek (nicknamed the Swattie) is a 72-mile-long (116 km) tributary of the Susquehanna River in east-central Pennsylvania in the United States. In response, County Commissioner John Anspach made a statement expressing his and the other commissioners’ support of the project, a sentiment also shared at the time by Mayor Jack Worrilow, Lebanon City Council, the Lebanon Bureau of Water Sewage, and many other community leaders and organizations. Though the idea of a modern dam on the Swatara has frequently been claimed to date back to 1969, newspaper records show it was actually considered as far back as May of 1960, when Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority chairman Franklin Z. Meiser “threw out” the idea of a new dam project at Inwood during a courthouse meeting with the Lebanon County Commissioners. This was also a problem at the High Bridge Reservoir as well, a fact that was cited early on as a reason to pursue the project (the reasoning being that water from the area was already being managed and used in the system). Besides the historic predecessor, dam proponents pointed to the Swatara’s potential for fishing as another reason to consider the project. Dams on the Swatara The Swatara currently has two small dams on it, one operated by the City of Lebanon Water Authority in Jonestown and the other by the PA American Water Company for residential service. In April of 2000, after four decades of plans, meetings, and studies, the DCNR announced that the plans for the development of the reservoir were halted. Susquehanna River (Red Hill Dam) Near the Dock Street dam in Harrisburg, the PFBC access areas at Fort Hunter, Millersburg and in Halifax. Topics and series. There are two dams that are hindrances with terrible portages so I broke the creek into three sections. Acid runoff originating from abandoned strip mines and coal silt was known to be a major issue even in the project’s early days, and many locals could plainly see that the “Black Swattie” was not nearly as clean as it should be. ... 31, downstream on Friday at the Swatara Creek … The DER itself later split into the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in 1995. The Swatara Creek is a 72-mile tributary of the Susquehanna River. Although the Swatara Creek is generally a slow moving, shallow water with few dangers and suitable for all levels of paddlers, there are some points of concern including two dams (just below Union Deposit and the PA Turnpike). It’s one of the major bodies of water in Lebanon County, and since 2012, eight miles of its length have been contained within the large 3,520-acre Swatara State Park. A Lebanon City resident died after getting pulled underwater by strong currents at the Jonestown Dam, Pennsylvania State Police said. About 80 … Contact Memorial Lake State Park office for facility seasons and hours. Unlike the dam, the state park that would have surrounded it is today a reality, though it’s not exactly the same park that was shown off to the public back in 1969. Dams on the Swatara weren’t unheard of at the time of the proposal. Swatara State Park was formed in 1987 with the idea of damming the Swatara Creek to create a lake at the park. Today, Swatara State Park is dam-free and likely to stay that way for the time being. This was a serious blow to the project. For months, the Swatara Dam and state park hung in limbo. The dam was never rebuilt because the railroad soon went into operation on the opposite bank of the Swatara Creek. The existing Swatara Creek facilities, which were constructed in 1972, are located on the west side of Swatara Creek … Swatara Creek in Pennsylvania. Its headwaters are in the Appalachian Mountains near Minersville Borough in Schuylkill County. Both dams must be portaged and can be … If the reservoir became a reality through the use of state funding, the City of Lebanon would be billed for any water taken from it. One of the most important roles of the dam would have been to provide a major new source of water for Lebanon County. FEMA 10% Annual Chance Flood Level (10-year flood). Controversy surrounding the plan only grew over time as setbacks and delays stalled the project and costs began to add up. Sections, Gauges & Water Levels Section A (Pine Grove to Rt. It is likely that this very affordable conference would be helpful to paddlers interested in working on dam removal projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Long, but flat, mowed route. LebTown is on hiatus for the holidays. The Swatara Creek Fishing Opportunities Swatara Creek supports a diverse coolwater/ warmwater fishery that includes smallmouth bass, tiger muskies, channel catfish, sunfish, and suckers. ... To extend the trip even further you can start at the park in Union Deposit, but there is a dam in Hummelstown that will need portaged, and if you start even further upstream from that park, a very dangerous dam is an absolute must portage, lethal hydraulic at … View the full PDF from the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources here, [Photo Story] Brilliant blues and fiery fall colors on display at Swatara State Park, A trek into the wilderness of the Lebanon Reservoir and Jeff’s Swamp, a massive expansion of Pennsylvania’s park system, Historic Inwood Bridge off the Swatara, being readied for new placement, Blotter: Fatal crashes, train vs. car crash, accidental fire. Perhaps this is not the last we’ve heard about a dam on the Swatara. If there’s one lesson to be taken away from the story of the Swatara Dam, it’s that nobody can predict the future and the setbacks, progress, and problems it will bring. ... Strainers are relatively few; the only carry I can remember was a beaver dam. In comparison, the Swatara reservoir would contain around 3.3 billion gallons — over ten times High Bridge’s volume. Motorboats with up to 10 horsepower were to be permitted on the lake. Some would say that’s a good thing, and some wouldn’t. Swatara Creek Fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing spots. Goddard, still one of the project’s biggest supporters at the state level, continued to fight for it in his position as secretary of the newly-created PA Department of Environmental Resources, established after the Department of Forest and Waters was abolished in 1970. Read More: [Photo Story] Brilliant blues and fiery fall colors on display at Swatara State Park. There is a low-head dam on the Swatara just east of PA Route 72 and north of Jonestown. And dams? Siegrist Dam is a concrete dam, 125 feet high and 600 feet long with a capacity of 1.2 billion gallons that was completed and placed in operation in 1994. Also try the area near Red Hill Dam on the east side of the River along Three Mile Island. Sections, Gauges & Water Levels Section A (Pine Grove to Rt. Steamboat Annie, which carried passengers along the Swatara Creek. Areas of the park are open specific seasons and hours. Reach our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you. Swatara State Park. In 1828, work began to … Swatara State Park was originally slated to become a large lake by creating a dam on the Swatara Creek in 1987. This number and others, like the estimated cost of $3 million, grew as Meiser and proponents of the idea continued to develop the project. Below are weather averages from 1971 to 2000 according to data gathered from the nearest official weather station. Concerns that the current water supplies available to the Lebanon system would be insufficient in the oncoming decades would have been laid to rest if the reservoir was created. The 3,520-acre Swatara State Park consists of rolling fields and woodlands situated in the Swatara Valley, between Second and Blue mountains. Swatara State Park is a 3,515-acre (1,422 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Bethel, Swatara and Union Townships, Lebanon and Pine Grove Township, Schuylkill Counties in Pennsylvania in the United States. The Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Inc. was founded in 1970 in response to encouragement from the Chamber of Commerce and State and federal agencies to promote conservation of the Swatara Creek Watershed. Creek, Schuylkill County, and the Swatara watershed Association ’ s then became dormant, began in 2011 it! 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