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A Decade Of Growing Greener- We Haven't Looked Back - Five Years Of Restoring The Genesee Watershed
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The following Growing Greener Watershed Program success story was submitted by Jack Fleckenstein, Watershed Specialist, Potter County Conservation District, outlining how the program has helped the Genessee Headwaters Watershed Association improve their watershed. The Association is now in the running for a $250 Growing Greener Anniversary grant.

We Haven't Looked Back - Five Years Of Restoring The Genesee Watershed

The Genesee Headwaters Watershed Association was started with Growing Greener Funds five years ago and hasn't looked back. We applied for and received a GG Grant to do an assessment of our 86 square. mile headwaters of the Genesee River.

In the findings were the top ten worst problem reaches in the river. Since then we have each year applied for and received GG Grants and others to do work on eight of the sites.

We have done dozens of bank stabilizations, with volunteers and contractors. We have stream bank fenced more than 4 miles on two sides with buffers in highly eroded farm pastures. We have done numerous cattle watering lanes and farm crossings.

We have also joined with Dominion Gas Co. to create a new wetland including 10 acres of Hemlock wetland. We have also done two dike repairs to stabilize the banks to protect our town of Genesee, Pa.

We have teamed with townships to do many miles of Dirt and Gravel road projects.

Our members take monthly water and macro invertebrate samples and track rain amounts. We hold stream clean ups yearly, with volunteers young and old. We recently completed four more habitat improvement/bank stabilizations and are now ready to begin four more next summer.
We like to think that we can leave our Genesee to our kids, better than when we got it.

We have about 40 members from locals, camp owners, TU members from NY state. I have given a presentation at the Great Lakes Annual conference in NY, and reminded them that we send them some of the highest quality water in PA.

We even are on the web with the Democratic Chronicle Rochester, NY paper, July, 2009 after a series of articles their investigative reporters did. "Where does the Genesee Start?"

The Genesee had a couple of tribs that were listed threatened with agricultural runoff by the Department of Environmental Protection, but we have been working on them and they all sustain great macro's and Brook Trout. Wellsville, NY is the first town across the border and they drink Genesee River water.

This is a rural small town Association but the Genesee Headwaters Watershed Association is alive and well.Attached are just a few photos of GHWA accomplishments made possible thanks to the Growing Greener program.

Jack Fleckenstein
is the Watershed Specialist at the Potter County Conservation District and he can be contacted by sending email to: j.fleckenstein@pottercd.com.

8/31/2009

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