The bottom end of the Shooty-Chute, which launched park visitors into the waters of the Swatara. Contact Memorial Lake State Park office for facility seasons and hours. Susquehanna River (Red Hill Dam) Near the Dock Street dam in Harrisburg, the PFBC access areas at Fort Hunter, Millersburg and in Halifax. 8 In June of 1963, the system drew over 100 million gallons from the High Bridge Reservoir and over 76 million from its second source, a small intake facility already on the Swatara near Jonestown. Swatara State Park was formed in 1987 with the idea of damming the Swatara Creek to create a lake at the park. Controversy surrounding the plan only grew over time as setbacks and delays stalled the project and costs began to add up. The bottom end of the Shooty-Chute, which launched park visitors into the waters of the Swatara. Swatara Creek Intake. 17.0 in. There is a low-head dam on the Swatara just east of PA Route 72 and north of Jonestown. The last of the land was acquired in 1987, when it was announced that work would begin soon, with the dam expected to be complete by 1989. Topics and series. In comparison, the proposed dam would have measured 40 feet high and 500 feet wide with a 750-acre impoundment behind it, flooding nearly seven miles of land from Green Point out to Suedberg in Schuylkill County. ... 31, downstream on Friday at the Swatara Creek … 12: High water affects several homes upstream of the Route 39 bridge. In hopes of maybe catching a few small natives we headed to the only access points we could manage to find and wetted our lines for 4 hours or so. The Swatara Creek is a 72-mile tributary of the Susquehanna River. Meiser subsequently stated that he had first conceived the idea even earlier in 1955, when he was a member of the Regional Planning Commission. Today, Swatara State Park is dam-free and likely to stay that way for the time being. 22) To start at Pine Grove, Harper Tavern should be over 2.5’; To get through Swatara State Park, Inwood should be 3.25’. The corporation was active in the 70’s then became dormant. However, Steamboat Annie, which carried passengers along the Swatara Creek. RE: Swatara Creek 2008/09/03 16:44:54 I went up to Swatara Creek acouple days ago around Swatara State Park and overall the fishing was slow for any trout anglers. Water use in the lower basin for public supply totaled about 200 million gallons per day in 1985. By the late 1970s, around 200 parcels of land had been acquired by the state, funded by the 1971 grant as well as a supplemental 1974 grant of $1.7 million. Also try the area near Red Hill Dam on the east side of the River along Three Mile Island. Still, the project seem to always be perpetually two or three years behind schedule. Swatara State Park was originally slated to become a large lake by creating a dam on the Swatara Creek in 1987. The death of a Cleona man who drowned this summer while kayaking on the Swatara Creek near Jonestown is a cautionary tale. At this event, the Citizens Conservation Association of Lebanon County spoke against the plan, with opponents claiming the unlikelihood of fixing the Swatara’s pollution problems permanently. Motorboats with up to 10 horsepower were to be permitted on the lake. A long-gone dam on the creek existed between 1826 and 1862, comprising a 45-foot breast and an 800-acre impoundment that ran six miles northward in the direction of Pine Grove. as well as camping from the Swatara Watershed Association, which organizes an overnight Swatara Creek Sojourn trip each May (www.swatarawatershed.com). The Swatara Feeder, as it was called, ran from the Water Works Dam north along the Swatara Creek to Finnegans Dam about 2.4 miles north of Jonestown. Registration for the conference is due by January 23rd. What really happened at the “Taste of Sicily trial”? Steamboat Annie, which carried passengers along the Swatara Creek. Besides the historic predecessor, dam proponents pointed to the Swatara’s potential for fishing as another reason to consider the project. 10: A few homes adjacent to the creek upstream of the Route 39 bridge flood. Paddlers should avoid this area, which lacks good portage. Lebanon County, PA news, events, and opinions. If the reservoir became a reality through the use of state funding, the City of Lebanon would be billed for any water taken from it. By the late 1990s, these groups included the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which were particularly concerned for the acres of important wetlands that would be inundated by the reservoir. In comparison, the Swatara reservoir would contain around 3.3 billion gallons — over ten times High Bridge’s volume. However, that plan never came to fruition. A Lebanon City resident died after getting pulled underwater by strong currents at the Jonestown Dam, Pennsylvania State Police said. “But the Swatty had been dammed right below [Kline’s] property. Uneven portage on left bank, which disappears into tree line in high water. Although the Swatara Creek is generally a slow moving, shallow water with few dangers and suitable for all levels of paddlers, there are some points of concern including two dams (just below Union Deposit and the PA Turnpike). Perhaps this is not the last we’ve heard about a dam on the Swatara. Any project as large in scope as the Swatara Dam draws mixed opinions and often heated debate. For months, the Swatara Dam and state park hung in limbo. Concerns that the current water supplies available to the Lebanon system would be insufficient in the oncoming decades would have been laid to rest if the reservoir was created. Following a decade of nationwide dam unpopularity, as well as constant pressure from opponents, the idea of a dam appeared to be on its last legs. CCA secretary Richard Henry stated that there was no permanent solution for treating the Swatara’s acid problem and described the plan as “economically unsound.”. (The Lebanon Daily News, 8 May 1998). Unlike the dam, the state park that would have surrounded it is today a reality, though it’s not exactly the same park that was shown off to the public back in 1969. Blotter: Accidents, scattering rubbish, theft, At the turn of the century, Valley Glen Park was the place to see and be seen, A look back at some of the worst snowstorms in county history, [Photo Story] Your photos of this week’s snow in Lebanon County, Police share details on weekend crash that killed Lebanon motorcyclist, The latest food safety violations in Lebanon County, Two Annville couples open axe-throwing venue in Hershey, Police ID city murder victim; suspect named, is still at large, What’s in a name? Theme by AcademiaThemes. Reach our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you. Below are weather averages from 1971 to 2000 according to data gathered from the nearest official weather station. About 80 … The acquisition of the remaining land was now believed to be the last objective standing in the way of construction. We didn’t get quite as much as predicted, but that didn’t stop Lebanon Countians from going out and capturing some beautiful images of this week’s snow. This included the acquisition and subsequent destruction of residences and farm operations within the project’s borders. PRINTABLE VERSIONS Large Files - PDF : 1 = 736 Kb 2 = 813 Kb 3 = 913 Kb 4 = 502 Kb: ONLINE VERSIONS Smaller Files - HTML : Over the course of the decade, the state began piecing together the massive acreage of the project through land purchase and use of eminent domain. Want to learn more about the project and the Swatara Creek and State Park? Susquehanna River (Red Hill Dam) Near the Dock Street dam in Harrisburg, the PFBC access areas at Fort Hunter, Millersburg and in Halifax. For comparison, attendance numbers in recent years have been around 150,000 or so. Some would say that’s a good thing, and some wouldn’t. Day use areas close at dusk. This was also a problem at the High Bridge Reservoir as well, a fact that was cited early on as a reason to pursue the project (the reasoning being that water from the area was already being managed and used in the system). “But the Swatty had been dammed right below [Kline’s] property. Siegrist Dam is a concrete dam, 125 feet high and 600 feet long with a capacity of 1.2 billion gallons that was completed and placed in operation in 1994. The Lower Little Swatara Creek, Schuylkill County, and Quittapahilla Creek, ... To extend the trip even further you can start at the park in Union Deposit, but there is a dam in Hummelstown that will need portaged, and if you start even further upstream from that park, a very dangerous dam is an absolute must portage, lethal hydraulic at … Read More: A trek into the wilderness of the Lebanon Reservoir and Jeff’s Swamp. In 1828, work began to … Acid runoff originating from abandoned strip mines and coal silt was known to be a major issue even in the project’s early days, and many locals could plainly see that the “Black Swattie” was not nearly as clean as it should be. A portion of the Big Dam, a guard lock, and several lift locks remain on the other side of the Swatara. The Swatara Creek and the proposed map of the reservoir and surrounding park. Hershey dam portage is also on the left. Erected 1950 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Sections, Gauges & Water Levels Section A (Pine Grove to Rt. ... Strainers are relatively few; the only carry I can remember was a beaver dam. Keiser reported that three of the plan’s biggest obstacles had been “largely eliminated,” according to state officials. In August of 1969, Dr. Maurice Goddard, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Forest and Waters and one of the project’s staunchest supporters, unveiled a map of the proposed reservoir and state park to a crowd of 500 officials and citizens at Northern Lebanon High School. The Swatara Creek begins in the mountains of Schuylkill County, coursing over 70 miles to the southwest through Lebanon and Dauphin Counties before emptying into the Susquehanna River near Middletown. Proponents of the project, including Meiser, suggested that limestone impoundments could be used to neutralize the creek’s acid content. It’s this period of land acquisition that still stings for many of the residents displaced and affected by the project. The DER itself later split into the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in 1995. Dams on the Swatara The Swatara currently has two small dams on it, one operated by the City of Lebanon Water Authority in Jonestown and the other by the PA American Water Company for residential service. Swatara State Park. 8 miles (13 km) of Swatara Creek lie within the park's boundaries, which are roughly formed by Pennsylvania Route 443 to the north and Interstate 81 to the south. In mentioning that all of the money must be allocated and spent by Dec. 30, County Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth reminded the commissioners that the county has disbursed $9.1 million in grants to Lebanon County businesses in just over 3.5 months. Questions about this story? It was in use from 1832-1862. The Swatara Creek Watershed Association, Inc. was founded in 1970 in response to encouragement from the Chamber of Commerce and State and federal agencies to promote conservation of the Swatara Creek Watershed. It is likely that this very affordable conference would be helpful to paddlers interested in working on dam removal projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Most of these species occur in the lower portion of the creek near Middletown. Continuing downstream in Dauphin County, the final stretch does have some potential hazards such as a dam near Union Deposit, rapids near Hummelstown and a former dam near Middletown. While generally favored by officials at both the local and state levels, the dam was an unpopular prospect for families who would be forced to vacate their homes to make way for the reservoir and park, as well as citizens who doubted the state’s capacity to take care of the creek’s acid problem. Work continued haltingly in the 1980s, though more than $40 million was allocated for the project at this time. Still, the seepage threatened to overwhelm any preventative measures since there was no way to effectively seal off the mines from the watershed.
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