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Major Stream Cleanup Project


Under the sponsorship of the Montour Run Watershed Association (MRWA), a twelve-person AmeriCorps crew from Washington, D.C. spent 10 days in May of 2005 removing debris deposited on the banks and floodplain of Montour Run by the Ivan Hurricane flood of September 17, 2004.  The removal of piles of this debris would promote unobstructed flow and would mitigate future flooding of the stream, thereby directly benefitting Airport-area sections of the Montour Trail.


Tasks that were to be undertaken by the crew included:


     Remove downed timbers and other obstructions from the stream bed at each location where the stream flow is being restricted by pile-ups of debris.

     Free up of the limbs of stream-bank-stabilizing shrubs and small trees that are pinned down by debris and entanglements by removing the debris and selectively  cutting the limbs, enabling the growth to straighten.

     Remove plastic and other non-biodegradable debris from the floodplain.


The AmeriCorps team members donned waders and life vests and entered the stream with hand tools and chain saws, breaking up tangles of branches and other debris, bagging non-biodegradable trash, and hauling the branches up to high ground to decompose.  They dragged the trash to trail-side for later pickup by MRWA and Montour Trail Council volunteers during work parties held on May 21 and June 4, and they worked side-by-side with the volunteers loading the trash into waste-disposal dumpsters on May 21.


Blockages to stream flow were removed from the stream at the Findlay Activity Center and at the California Hollow Bridge in Imperial; at the abandoned railroad bridge abutments near the YMCA Western Area Program Center; and just downstream of the Beaver Grade Road crossing of the stream.  In all, three large 30-cubic-yard dumpsters were filled with debris that the team removed from the stream and floodplain.


The Montour Run Flood Restoration was a project of the Washington, DC-based Senate 7 Team of the National Civilian Community Corps, a division of AmeriCorps.  This project was physically demanding of the team members, but they neither weakened nor complained about the wet and muddy conditions in which they had to work.  They even gave up weekend days off to help MRWA members plant several hundred seedlings.  The team members were housed in camping facilities at Raccoon Creek State Park.




PO Box 15509
Pittsburgh PA 15224-0509

2008 Montour Run Watershed Association