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Remember: What's up with the Riparian Buffer at The Parkway?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's up with the Riparian Buffer at The Parkway?

Today, I am going to talk about something I stumbled upon over the weekend at The Lehigh Parkway, that is appalling.  Last week, I wrote about the spring situation on the other side of the pedestrian bridge and the need for proper vegetation to take hold and for mowing to cease, etc…

The problem I want to discuss today involves the “grow zone” and riparian buffer area near the Robin Hood bridge.  Let me begin by showing you a picture that I have featured before on here, but in seemingly altered circumstances.
Behind, and all around this sign in full bloom is an invasive species called Garlic Mustard.  Like all invasives, it is a fast colonizer that destroys native vegetation and by doing so weakens stream banks and eliminates the food needed by native animals to survive.
The people represented on that sign as the caretakers and developers of that area need to get on these issues as soon as possible. 

(Realize that the reality of this situation is the complete contrast of what is written on that sign. Click on it for a close up.)

This entire area is at risk of being overrun, not only by Garlic Mustard but by invasive honeysuckle, invasive ground ivy, and invasive multiflora rose. 
Walking through the vegetated area, the difference (even from just last year) is appalling.  Invasives are running rampant, creek banks are still eroded, and if you take a look in the Little Lehigh itself, you will see little save a few sucker fish, algae growth and sediment.

It is time to put the wheels in motion to see these issues resolved.  Again, having covered two sites now, I have just touched the tip of this ecological iceberg.  Still, despite these problems, nature persists.

I am sure the oriole was pissed.  We messed his home up.  How would you feel if someone came into your house, removed all the furniture, and emptied your pantry? 

Original Commenta:

Anonymous said...

This is not just a city issue, but a regional issue. The townships and their failing septic systems put sewage into the streams and rivers when it rains. Rampant over development of the region's farmland into suburban housing has degraded our rivers and our drinking water.

Anonymous said...

The City should address these serious issues before it begins any new programs like the trails plan. No blacktop should be placed in any of the parks. The asphalt at Cedar Creek has changed the nature and scale of that park, and the Rose Garden, from its original intent. The health of the creeks themselves must come first. This is not happening now.

Anonymous said...

Last week someone asked if there are any natural trout left in the Lehigh Valley. We asked a long-time woodsman the same question. His answer, sadly, "no". He mentioned one very large Pennsylvania tributary where fresh trout grow no more than two to three inches because of pollution. That's why the fish hatchery above the Parkway is thriving. It iterally "stocks" the Little Lehigh prior to popular fishing contests.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My understanding about invasive species is that you need an army of volunteers to adopt an area to hand pull the nasty plants. Maybe organizations like the Muhlenberg fraternities and the boy scouts could help you. Unfortunately, the organizing needs to be done by someone like you.

May 2, 2010 at 12:46 AM  

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