Restoring a Zacharias Creek Tributary: Stormwater Management in Upper Gwynedd Township
ENV-332 Urbanization and the Environment
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The Gwyneddere subdivision (off of Morris Road) in Upper Gwynedd Township is a suburban development constructed in the mid-1980s. The development is located in the Zacharias Creek, a subwatershed of Skippack Creek. The land on which Gwyneddere is currently located was formerly farmland, but is now characterized by single-family detached housing developments. This is a pattern that has repeated itself through much of Upper Gwynedd, with suburbanization in the township resulting in higher density development patterns than in nearby Worcester township.
Suburban housing developments are often interspersed with some open spaces, either owned and managed by the township or by a homeowners' association. In the case of Gwyneddere, the township owns key lands adjacent to and including small streams. Taking advantage of this land ownership, the township recently has undertaken diverse stormwater management efforts on these township-owned open spaces. At Gwyneddere and just off Morris Road, this management has predominantly taken the form of a stream realignment project and associated riparian buffer tree plantings. Both elements of this stream restoration are intended to reduce high sediment delivery and nutrient loads to the stream, minimize adverse stormwater effects, and mitigate flood risks to neighboring properties.
Information for the creation of this Story Map came from interviews with township officials, local residents, and non-profit representatives as well as through consulting state and federal agency websites related to stormwater issues in the U.S. Historical context about suburbanization came from academic works cited on the main Biophilic Suburbs Story Map.
Upper Gwynedd Township, Skippack Creek, suburbanization, Gwyneddere, open spaces, stream restoration
Biodiversity | Environmental Studies | Forest Management | Geographic Information Sciences | Urban Studies and Planning | Water Resource Management
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Becker, Sarah; Connelly, Cole; Hidlay, Heath; Kirk, Nick; Lee, Anna; and Waldron, Shawn, "Restoring a Zacharias Creek Tributary: Stormwater Management in Upper Gwynedd Township" (2018). Biophilic Cities and Suburbs. 1.