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Remember: Riparian Buffers 3: Trexler Park

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Riparian Buffers 3: Trexler Park

The Riparian Buffer zone at Trexler Park was one of the first established in our park system and has been rampantly successful.

The buffer is large and covers a great amount of the heart of Trexler Park. Cedar Creek here is cold. While standing in a deep section, I had the unique experience of feeling trout swim around and between my legs. The wildlife that is present here is varied and in abundance. There are many types of songbirds and waterfowl in addition to salamanders, trout, chipmunks, groundhogs, squirrels, snakes and more.

Riparian buffer zones keep excess sediment from building in creeks and help keep the stone and pebbles on creek floors established for wildlife habitat and decreased turbidity:

I have witnessed two different kinds of snakes at Trexler Park. The first was a large Northern Water Snake. This snake is often confused with a Water Moccasin, but the Northern Water Snake is non-venomous. The second type of snake I have encountered is a Garter Snake, another non-venomous species.

I cannot locate the original plans for this area so I have no idea what was planted there in the beginning. I do know that many native plants are present here and flourishing.

I saw the disturbing presence of one invasive species, Japanese Knotweed but in one area. This plant needs to be removed as soon as possible. I would hate to see this area lose itself to knotweed like Trout Creek Parkway.

There is a small area with no Riparian Buffer alongside part of the creek. Here, you can see what erosion can do to a stream bank:

This Friday, I will be interviewing Dr. Abigal Pattishall about the upcoming Riparian project in Cedar Beach Parkway. If you have any questions you would like me to ask her, leave them as a comment and I will try to fit them in. The interview will be posted for Monday morning.

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Blogger michael molovinsky said...

an informed gentleman commented last week at city council that all the plantings in the trexler park riparian zone (very expensive at time, hundreds of thousands) had been taken over by native and/or invasive species. he recommended for riparian installation, just stop mowing and let nature take over. questions for pattishall; is the conservancy at all embarrassed by all the construction plans next to its buffer in cedar park or the lumbering or development plans for south mountain?

July 23, 2009 at 5:16 AM  
Blogger LVCI said...

Two different situations, no?

Trexler has the original mud embankments. Cedar Beach creek area's banks are stone lined.

So the question is. Has any creek bank erosion occurred at Cedar Beach?

If so, perhaps I missed it..

July 23, 2009 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous monkey momma said...

I would like to know what Pattishall and the Wildlife Sanctuary's relationship is with the City of Allentown. What type of funding does the city give to Pool? (If any.) In other words, is the Wildlife Sanctuary at all beholden to city politics?

I know you're probably keeping the buffer theme for the interview and trying to avoid contentious politics, but if the Sanctuary's decisions are made with political underpinnings, it would be interesting to know.

In terms of the buffers, what is the budget for installing the new buffers?

Once again, great job on the blog. I hope you find a job where you can apply your love of nature and details. If I were an employer, I would seriously look at this blog as a major selling point.

July 23, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Thanks for the questions folks.

LVCI, there are some areas of erosion at CBP where no stone cages exist and the entire creek is not maintained with them. Even with the stone cages, pollutants and other harmful chemicals get into the water and next to no wildlife habitat is present.

Monkey Momma,
I am actually returning to school this fall after three years out of it. I will be attending Muhlenberg College and I'll be working towards a degree in Environmental Science and a teaching certificate. I hope to remain actively involved in our park system while I am studying for my degree and it is my desire to work for our parks once I am finished.

July 23, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger LVCI said...

Andrew Kleiner said... ,Even with the stone cages, pollutants and other harmful chemicals get into the water

You do realize the city's street storm drains are fed directly into that creek? Along with the city applied winter chemicals, lawn chemicals that end up in the street, etc.

So the riparian would not be a barrier what-so-ever as to the water runoff from city streets and therefore a complete waste as far as in regards to this concern.

The Link: Little Lehigh Creek Watershed
Page 62 (

Page 63 Table 14 lists many more locations>

July 23, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

LVCI, I absolutely do. Thanks for the link. I intend to ask Dr. Pattishall about that tomorrow.

July 23, 2009 at 1:58 PM  

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