Posted on June 8, 2022
Core Creek Park is going to be the site of a conservation project that officials hope will impact the body of water and park for generations to come.
This August, Bucks County government and the Bucks County Conservation District will begin work on a months-long project to restore the conservation pool, which sits along the Woodbourne Road causeway, and improve the inlet where water pours into the 175-acre Lake Luxembourg in Middletown Township.
The project will have the following goals:
- 14,200 cubic yards of sediment removal
- Stabilize settling pool with tree vane installation
- Facilitate future maintenance
- 7 acres of wetland plantings
- Install habitat features
The county is putting $800,000 toward the $2.1 million project. The rest of the funding comes from state, federal, and private grants.
As of May, the project has already cost about $48,000, but bills will start coming in when the bulk of the work starts in August, said Bucks County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Karen Ogden.
Bucks County Conservation District Director Gretchen Schatschneider said the project will clear out sediment from the conservation pool, aid in reducing the amount of sediment flowing in, and reduce phosphorus and other levels to follow state and federal guidance.
“This was always our ultimate goal over the past 20 years,” Schatschneider said.
When the lake was created in 1977, it was assumed the conservation pool had about 100 years before it filled up with sediment. However, the conservation pool, which is smaller than the main body of the lake, was at capacity by 1986, Schatschneider explained.
“We were going from the estimated 100 years to filled in nine years,” she said.
Last year, officials said the larger portion of the lake has a maximum depth of more than 20 feet in some parts, while the conservation pool has a mean depth of 1.3 feet and a maximum of 5 feet.
Lake Luxembourg’s watershed is 6,000 acres in the surrounding area of Lower Bucks County and 99 percent of that water enters the lake through one inlet.
Schatschneider said dredging alone won’t do the trick and the improvement on the inlet and water that gets to the lake is important.
With the upcoming project, the lake will need touch ups every 15 to 25 years, but it won’t need a large-scale project for decades, officials said.
Ogden, the watershed specialist, said the lake’s water level will start being lowered in mid-July so equipment can begin dredging in August.
“It will look messy. People will drive down Woodbourne Road and see an excavator and wonder what is going on,” she said.
The dredging spoils will be moved from the lake to the surrounding farm fields and graded into the landscape.
Ogden said the county-owned land will begin being farmed again in 2023.
The bulk of the work will be done in fall and the lake’s water level will return to normal by December 31, which will allow bald eagles to nest.
In April 2023, work on planting and habitat features in and around the lake will begin.
During the work, the public won’t be able to use the lake as they normally would, Ogden said.
The water drawdown could case harmful algae blooms, and the conservation district will keep an eye on the lake, Ogden said.
The county parks department and conservation district will be working on public outreach leading up to the start of the work.