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Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust records


Held at: Old York Road Historical Society [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Old York Road Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust was established as the Pennypack Watershed Association in 1970. A public non-profit organization, it was dedicated to providing a unified approach for implementing sound environmental goals for the 56 square-mile Pennypack Creek area that extends through the suburbs of Bucks and eastern Montgomery Counties and into the highly urbanized areas of Northeast Philadelphia.

Through an arrangement with the National Lands Trust, the Association leased the 25 acre Ruck estate in Huntington Valley where it established offices and an Environmental Management Center in 1974. Much of its early efforts were focused on monitoring water quality, limiting and reviewing development in the flood plain area, and environmental education. It was active in attempting to implement a spray irrigation system for wastewater treatment and recycling for the Central Pennypack region. In 1976 it dedicated its Wilderness Park area, with the goal of establishing 800 acres of protected natural space. In 1993 it changed its name to reflect an increasing focus on land management of its property.

The Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust records, 1971-2009, chiefly consist of minutes reporting on land acquisition, finances, and programs and activities. There are also miscellaneous records relating to the organization's activities.

The Board of Directors meeting minutes, 1973-2007, report on long range planning, land acquisition, finances, and programs and activities of the Trust. The other records represent salvaged files of what would seem to be an incomplete documentation of the activities of this organization. The bulk covers its first twenty years.

Some of the records seemed to have had a semblance of original order, and an effort was made to retain that arrangement. Arrangement was supplied where an original order was not discernible. The records are divided into record groups and series as outlined below. There is some duplication of documentation between the record groups.

Group I: Board of Director minutes, 1973-2007 (1.5 cubic feet), provides financial reports that often include detailed discussion on operations and fund raising activities. There are also resolutions, committee and staff reports. Minutes of the 1970’s deal with issues of spray irrigation and developing the Wilderness Park Plan. There are reports on the education programs and the public employment programs (CETA) that provided staffing for capital improvements. In the 1980’s the issues for discussion included road closings, deer management, land acquisition, the Bethayres Reclamation Corporation landfill, and fund raising. The minutes for the 1990’s report on the review of the Trust’s mission, it’s name change, goals and objectives, strategic planning, Abington sewers, Upper Moreland-Hatboro Joint Sewer Authority, and acquisition of Raytharn Farm. The minutes of the late 1990’s to 2007, record reports of the Executive Director and committees of Finance, Development, Stewardship, Deer Management, Membership, and Land Acquisition, and cover subjects of acquisition of Bethayres Woods, Bethayres Swamp, and other land purchase negotiations, the 1975 Master Plan update, and a $7.7 million capital campaign. Feodor U. Pitcairn served as president and then Chairman to 1990 when J. Ross Pilling was elected Chair and Dick Brickman President. In 1998, William Weihenmayer became President followed by Christopher B. Asplundh, in 2004.

Group II: consists primarily of the files of David B. Witwer who was the Executive. Director from the 1970 founding to 1989. There are two series. Series 1 (2.5 cubic feet) is geographically arranged and documents the Association’s monitoring and review of development plans and activities in the Central Pennypack area and other localities. Series 2 (8 cubic feet) is a general file, alphabetically organized by subject. A significant portion relates to the spray irrigation system efforts and is documented in several different categories, including: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Sewerage, Spray Irrigation, Upper Moreland-Hatboro Joint Sewer Authority, and others.

Group III: consists of the binders kept by Mildred Wintz, Director of Education from 1975 to 1990. In some cases, the binders had been disassembled and an attempt was made to retain the original order. In Series 1 (1.5 cubic feet) the Curriculum materials are Discovery Trek booklets for schools and groups, with activities, questions and information on the park’s flora and fauna, alphabetically arranged by subject. There is a series of "Color Me Upper Darby" booklets. Programming and scheduling binders contain Wintz’s calendars, summaries of education programs and activities, upcoming events, annual highlights, and employee activities report. There is also a copy of Wintz’s 1987 dissertation "Environmentalism: Implications for Environmental Education." Series 2 (2 cubic feet) is a general alphabetical file , portions of which served as a resource library for the Association. There are several files relating to water quality testing by the Pennypack Pollution Task Force, 1989.

Group IV (1 cubic foot) contains the alphabetically arranged files of Timothy Burris, Pennypack Watershed Association Naturalist from 1983 to 1989. The Board files include agenda, financial reports, and minutes. Other files relate to the fall festival, Volksmarsh, and other programs.

Group V (.5 cubic feet) is published material up to the present, including newsletters, annual reports, flyers and brochures, and clippings.

Group I. Board of Director’s Meeting Minutes, 1973-2007 1975 May: Wilderness Park Plan introduced 1976 February: Wilderness Park Plan agreement with Pitcairn Company 1979 December: Executive Committee review of draft of Wilderness Park Operating Plan (for copy of 1980 Plan see June 1987) 1982 June: Revised long-range planning with "all emphasis on Wilderness Park" 1983 December: Park Manager hired to handle land acquisition and serve as liaison with Natural Lands Trust; Witwer to concentrate on fundraising. 1986 September: Wilderness Park Development Plan and Program 1987 March: Endowment Fund management 1987 September: Desperate finances; what programs can be eliminated, whether or not to fill two staff vacancies. 1988 March: new Wilderness Park director hired 1989 December: Mission Committee Report; Witwer relieved of duties 1990 March: Mission Statement 1990 December: possible new name for organization 1992 June: Five Year Goals and Objectives 1993 March: Business Plan scenarios 1993 June: Endowment Fund Raising Program Summary 1993 September: Long range and short range goals; name change 1994 September: Needs Assessment Statement 1994 October: Noble Smith Associates fundraising report 1996 March, June: Director of Advancement to replace Noble Smith Associates 1997 July: Raytharn Farm acquisition 1997 December: Strategic planning, including corporate restructuring, board member duties and responsibilities policy 1998 March: Strategic planning 1998 September: accept Strategic Plan (not present); Bethayres Woods acquisition 1999 June: review of Strategic Plan accomplishments 2005 March: Master Plan presentation by Andropogen Associates with schematics for visitor building, site improvements; Capital Campaign plans 2005 June: Capital Campaign presentation 2007 June: $7.7 mil. raised in Capital Campaign

Group II: Executive Director Files

Series 1. Environmental Land Review and Municipal Information

Environmental Land Review [Box 1] Land Developments under Environmental Review, 1971-1972 Abington: 1976-1994: Chronological, alphabetical within year; St. Joe’s Manor—Sewage Treatment, 1974-1975; Butler Tract, 1975-1977: Larwin Multi-housing Pennsylvania Corporation multi-family housing development; Sisters of Holy Redeemer, 1975-1979; Hoffman, Victor, Morendon Ave., 1986-1989 [Box 2]; Sewers. 1990, 1993; Marcus, 1992; Public Hearings, 1973, 1977 Bryn Athyn: 1978-1987; Flood Insurance, 1989-1990; PECO, 1994 Hatboro, 1974-1979 [Jenkintown, no file] Lower Moreland: 1971-1996; Gloria Towers, 1970-1976; Stream Samples, Quality Control Lab, 1971-1984; Gloria Dei Manor, 1973-1975; Heaton Road Development (SCAR LM7302), 1973-1975; Butterworth Manufacturing Co., 1975; Woodhaven Expressway, 1976; Davisville Properties, Inc., Philmont Ave., 1987 [Box 3]; Abidale Pond, 1987; Fred Lieberman, 1989-1992; Philadelphia Suburban Water Co., 1995-1996 Upper Moreland: 1972-1993; Blair Mill, 1972-1974; 421 Warminster Ave., 1973; Henry Hope, 1973; Ivystream, 1974-1978; Trash Transfer, Terwood-Davisvillle, 1974-1976; Carson Simpson Farm, 1987 [Rockledge, no file]

Miscellaneous Municipal Information Abington (includes Vacant Land Study, Ward 2, 1977) Bryn Athyn Hatboro Jenkintown Lower Moreland, includes Vacant Land Study for Northern Portion, 1973 [Box 4] Rockledge (one clipping) Upper Moreland, includes Upper Moreland-Hatboro Joint Sewer Authority—Pennypack Watershed Association v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources & Upper Moreland Hatboro Joint Sewer Authority & Horsham Township Sewer Authority, 1974-1977, 1995 Environmental Land Reviews—Other [Box 5] Bucks County, 1972-1975 Horsham: 1971-1991, includes Henry Brusca, Pine Run Corners II; FPM (Flood Plain Management), 1974-1976, 1979-1980, 1987 [Montgomery County, no file] Philadelphia: 1971-1980: includes Pennypack Marine Terminal, 1973, includes draft proposal, reply, letters from congressmen, etc.; Trash Transfer Station, 1973 Upper Southampton—Charles & Holly Drive, 1981 Miscellaneous Municipal Information—Other [Box 6] Bucks County Horsham Montgomery County Northampton Philadelphia Upper Southampton Warminster

Series 2. General Files Batrachospermum Paper, 1972 [Box 7]: “The Relationship of Light, Temperature, and Current to the Seasonal Distribution of Batrachospermum (Rhodophyta)” by David E. Rider and Richard H. Wagner Bryn Athyn, 1972-1976 Chlorination, 1970, 1973 Clam, Chinese, 1973, 1974 Clivus Multrum, 1974-1976, 1987: information on organic waste treatment system Computer Hardware/Software, 1982-1989 Congressional Record Comments, 1966-1973 Conversion Factors Delaware and Lehigh Navigation Canal—National Heritage Corridor, 1991 Delaware River Basin Commission: 1960-1980; Report of the Status of Greenways, 1978; Groundwater Protection statements, 1979; Minutes, Reports, 1971-1974; Minutes, Reports, 1975-1983, 1990 -1996 [Box 8] Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission: 1971-1983; Open Space Committee, 1975-1976; Water Resources Subcommittee, 1976-1980; COWAMP (Comprehensive Water Management Plan)/208; Environmental/Conservation/Public Subcommittee, 1975-June 1976; July 1976-1977 [Box 9]; Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission COWAMP/208 Water Quality Management Plan, Southeastern Pennsylvania Draft, April 1978, Chester-Bentz.; Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission COWAMP/208 Water Quality Management Plan, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Frankford-Pennypack-Poquessing Sub-Basin Supplement, September 1977, Chester-Bentz.; Waste Supply and Waste Disposal maps of Delaware Basins, n.d. Discharges on Pennypack Creek, 1971-1993 [Box 10] Environmental Protection Agency: 1971-1973; PWA Environmental Restoration Proposal, 1971-1972; Application, letters of support, and other material Erosion Control, 1972-1976: literature from workshops and other sources [Box 11] Flash Flood Alarm System, 1971 [Box 12] Flood Control-Flood Plain, 1971-1983 Flood Plain Management System Data, 1969-1970 Flood Plain, 1970-1975 Gabions—Specs & Technical Applications Greenhouse equipment catalogs and orders Greenhouse—Plant Propagation Complex, 1985 Ground Water Gypsy Moths [Box 13] Land Studies, etc. 1962-1966 Master Plan for Pennypack Watershed Association, 1975 Meadowbrook Valley Partnership/Meadowbrook Partners/Korman, 1976-1990 (folder title “Betz—Abington-Valley Rd., Manor Rd.”) John D. Mitchell, 1974-1981: catalogs of flora and fauna; Wilderness Park Management Plan (without maps) Office Addition, 1988-1989 [Box 14] Open Space Acts, 1975-1983 Penn Dot, 1974 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources Waste Water Management: Studies [Box 15]; Goddard meeting, Conjunctive Management Spray Irrigation Sewerage, 1973; Pennypack Creek Watershed Statement, 1974; Pennypack Creek Watershed Interim Planning Study [alternative wastewater management systems] Draft Final Report, June 1976. Chester-Betz Engineers (Aternative 1: Pennypack Interceptor; 2: Spray Irrigation); Sewer Priority Hearing, 6/21/1976 (empty); R. F. Weston Independent Evaluation, May 1977; Waste Water management Study of the Central Pennypack Conclusions, November 1977; News clippings, 1973-74 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources [Box 16]: Water Quality, 1968-1971; Laws, Regulations, etc., 1969-1975, 1970-1978, 1990; Pa. State Water Plan, 1972-1979: includes Witwer testimony to Select House Committee to Investigate State Water Planning, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, December 18, 1975; Citizens Advisory Board, 1975; Montgomery County Conservation District Directors Meeting minutes, 1988-1990; Southeast Regional Roundtable, 1991-1996; [Box 17]; Southeast Regional Roundtable Odor Subcommittee, 1992 Pa. Dept. of Forests and Waters, 1967, 1970 Pa. Fish Commission, 1974, 1983-1984 Pa. Environmental Pollution Strike Force, , 1970-1972 Pennsylvania Land Trust Alliance, 1991-1996 Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency summer internship , 1995-1996 Pennypack Connection, 1980-1986 (between Montgomery County’s Lorimer Park and the Association’s Wilderness Park) Phila. Electric Company: Electrification for Reading Railroad line, 1975 [Box 18] Philadelphia Water, 1973 Phosphates/Nitrates Articles Pitcairn Incorporated/Raytharn Farm, 1970-1971: plans for development and conservation Pollution Incidents, 1971-1992 Pollution and Pollution Costs Articles Population statistics, 1970’s-1980’s Public Law 566: Watershed Conservation and Flood Prevention Act Rain Gauge: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission report on regional rain gauges, 1976 [Box 19] Raw Water Quality: Delaware River Basin Commission Report, 1969 Recreation, Parks within 25 miles, 1975-1976 Ruck Property, 1971-1973: transfer of tract from National Lands Trust to Pennypack Watershed Association Scenic Rivers Act, 1974-1975 [Box 20] Sewerage: Central Pennypack 201, Camp Dresser & McKee, 1979; Central Pennypack Watershed Wastewater Treatment Facilities Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, U. S. EPA, 1981; Northeast Treatment Plant, 1976: primarily clippings; Philadelphia Combined Storm Sanitation miscellaneous; Sewer Construction/Regionalization, 1973-1974, 1984; Sewer Treatment Plant Operation; Sludge Disposal article; Waste Stabilization-Sewage Lagoons (Chester Conservation District File); Wastewater planning clippings and other; Sewage Treatment—new methods, 1970’s (clippings); Sewage Treatment Project (Bryn Athyn Wastewater/W. J. Jewell), 1983 Soil Compaction: U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Brochure, 1959 Solar articles Solid Waste information Spray Irrigation System for Sewage Disposal [Box 21]: General, 1973-1978: correspondence, memoranda, reports, etc.; Agreements, 1976, 1978; Bus trip, 1978; Huntingdon Valley Country Club, 1974-78; Kendal at Longwood/Richardson Associates, 1974/75; U. S. Representative Peter H. Kostmayer, 1977-78, correspondence, clippings; “Living Filter” film, 1973-1974; Mosquitos, 1970; Pennsylvania State University, Institute for Research on Land and Water; Resources newsletter, 1973-1982; Other areas, 1977; Philmont Country Club, 1974-1977; Rydal Sewer clippings, 1975, 1976 Summary Report, etc. originals, 1975-1989 [Box 22]: Includes reports on educational activities, efforts to institute application of spray; Irrigation of sewage wastes and development and implementation of PWA environmental management center and wilderness park plan, financial reports, and general background and mission statements Surplus Supply, Federal/State, 1988-1994 Symms Application, 1993: National Recreational Trails Fund application to stabilize and macadam park areas (denied) Trails, 1972-1977, 1987 U. S. Army Corps of Engineers [Box 23]: Zeldin publication (Flood Plain Management), 1973-1975; Pilot Study (Flood Plain Information Study, 1976-1978; 1979-1984 U. S. Geological Survey, 1960’s, 1972 Upper Moreland-Hatboro Joint Sewer Authority, 1975-1996 [Box 24]: Upper Pennypack 201 Facility Plant Public Hearing, 1984; Plant reports, 1975-1976, 1982-1985, 1996; Clippings; Other information Vector Control (Mosquitoes, Insects) [Box 25] Water, Drinking, 1986-1996 Water Inventories Manual, 1965 Water Resources Planning information Water Quality, 1969-1972: Proposed Water Quality Management Program for Pennypack Watershed, April 1971; Chemical and Biological Investigation of Pennypack Creek, April 1972 Water Testing, 1988-1991 Weather Monitoring Information, 1989 Well Measurements, 1975-1982 Wilderness Park Plan, 1975: Undevelopable and Developable Lands, road and bridge closings Wilderness Park Land Appraisals, 1976-1986 Woodmont Wastewater Treatment System (Masons Mill Office Park, 1978-1979, 1986) Xerox, 1982 (supplies)

Group III. Mildred Wintz, Director of Education, Binders

Series 1. Curriculum and Employment Binders Curriculum Binders A-Z [Boxes 27, 28] Color Me Upper Moreland Series [Box 28a] Programming/Scheduling Binders, 1975-1990: [Boxes 29, 30]

Series 2. General Files Arboreal Vegetation Analysis [Box 31] Birds, Mammals and Plants of the Pennypack Wilderness Park, 1975 Bird Count, Christmas, 1979, Survey, Spring, 1981 Bird Study, 1986 Board of Directors, 1981-1985, 1988 Deer Exhibit, 1987 Deer Management, 1981-1988: reports, surveys, Board minutes, culling Fairmount Park Commission, Mouth of the Pennypack Study, 1979 [Box 32] Friends of Pennypack Park: Newsletter, 1988-1989; Memos, etc., 1988; Photographs, 1988 Greenhouse, 1985-1988: Proposals and progress reports Harvest Festival, 1981 Langstroth Bee Garden: background information and tree inventory, 1986 Major Programs, 1982, 1988 Maps and Aerial views Miscellaneous studies, 1971-1980: Brandywine Plan, 1973 (chapter); Montgomery County Plan for Growth, 1978; Lower Moreland Historic District Zoning Legislation, 1979; Lower Moreland Township Landscape Strategy for Detention Basins, 1980 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Harvest Show, 1986, 1987, 1988 Pennypack Creek miscellaneous information Pennypack Watershed Reports: Benefits of the Pennypack Preservation Area (Louis Berger & Associates, Inc., for Chester-Betz, 1975; U. S. Army Corps of Engineers: Expanded Flood Plain Information, Pennypack Watershed: Flood Hazard Identification, Flood Damage Assessment, Environmental Concerns, 1980 Plant Inventories, 1981-1987 [Box 33] Press Releases, 1972-1985 Propagation Program, n.d. Raytharn Farm: Phase 1, Spring 1970. Kendree and Shepherd: “to identify suitable building sites on the Farm (West Chelten property), while protecting the amenities of the land, particularly the Pennypack Valley . 3 copies.; F. Pitcairn address to “Clan Members,” 1973 Seltzer, Maurice: “Autobiography of a Creek,” 1979 Tree Guide, n.d. “The Waltons of the Manor of Mooreland, 1684-1860” 1990 Water Quality Testing, 1969-1989: reports, literature, regulations, etc. [Box 34] Wildlife Management Seminar, 1985: Penn State Continuing Education [Box 33] Wilderness Park: Operating Plan, 1980; Management Plan, 1981

Group IV. Timothy Burris, Naturalist, Files Annual Meeting, 1982-1989 [Box 35] Audubon Double Elephant, 1987: unsuccessful effort to sell Audubon print reproductions for PWA benefit Board, 1983-1989 Boy Scouts, 1986-1989: service projects Correspondence, 1983-1989 [Box 36] Environmental Management Center Reports and Information, 1985 Management Trail, 1985 Open House/Fall/Harvest Festival, 1979-1981, 1983-1984 Park Cleanup Day, 1988-1989 Programs, 1982-1989 (includes more than programs) Roundup/Herbicides: list of application areas Volksmarsch, 1986-1987: walkathon fund-raiser

Group V. Publications Newsletter, 1971, 1973-1992, 1995-2007 [Box 37] Annual Reports, 1984, 1986, 2005-2007 Strategic Master Plan, 2005 [Box 38] Brochures, flyers, etc., 1995-2009 Clippings, 1975-2004 Clippings—Sewage Plant, 1975-1984

Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, courtesy David Robertson.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR), using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society. The HCI-PSAR project was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was done in the HCI-PSAR project.

Oversize maps and other rolled items from the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust are stored off-site at the Rowland Community Center.

Old York Road Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society.
This preliminary finding aid was created by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) using data provided by the Old York Road Historical Society. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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