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Nearly $320,000 in State Funds to Aid Watershed Restoration Projects in Centre County

Millbrook Marsh Nature Center is a 62-acre site managed by Centre Region Parks and Recreation

Posted on January 8, 2024

Two projects to restore Centre County watersheds were awarded nearly $320,000 in state grants on Friday.

The Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited received $211,341 to aid streambank restoration along Slab Cabin Run at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in College Township and $108,365 for a similar project along Bald Eagle Creek in Taylor Township. They were among 15 projects in Pennsylvania’s north-central region awarded a total of $2,478,520 from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Plus grant program.

The Slab Cabin Run project will restore 4,409 linear feet of streambank reconnecting the stream with the floodplain in the marsh and providing structures to limit streambank erosion, according to the DEP.

State Rep. Paul Takac, D-College Township, a former chair of the Spring Creek Watershed Commission, said in a statement that the Slab Cabin Run work at Millbrook Marsh is “an important rehabilitation and restoration project.”

“The funding will help rehabilitate the upper Spring Creek ecosystem by building out riparian buffers, helping control stormwater and restoring critical habitat to support the great variety of native plants and wildlife that rely on this local treasure,” Takac said. “The marsh also serves as a first-class educational and recreational resource and this project will help contribute to that mission, and I’m proud to have written a letter of support in 2023 for funding this project.”

Ford Stryker, Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited board member and chair of its Conservation Committee, said that in addition to the importance of the environmental aspect, the project “will be a great demonstration project for those that come to Millbrook Marsh to learn how watershed restoration can improve the health of the stream and mitigate impacts of climate change.”

The Bald Eagle Creek project, meanwhile, will restore 1,810 ft. of streambanks and reconnect the stream to the floodplain.

“With this grant from DEP, we will restore the Bald Eagle Creek Watershed to provide for stormwater management, keeping Taylor Township residents safer from the risks of flooding,” state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, said. “Conserving and restoring the watershed will also further protect our Centre County environment.”

More than $12 million in Growing Greener Plus grants were awarded statewide for projects to protect waterways and watersheds, reclaim abandoned mine sites and reclaim and plug abandoned oil and gas wells.

Grantees have up to three years to implement their projects.

“The Growing Greener Plus grant program empowers communities to pursue environmental progress and innovation,” Interim Acting Secretary of Environmental Protection Jessica Shirley said in a statement. “This support fuels vital Pennsylvania initiatives that protect our land and restore local watersheds. As a result, our Commonwealth can look forward to a greener future.”


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