Erie County Conservation District

Featured Projects

Memorial Tree Trail

A dedication tree planting ceremony was held on Tuesday June 5th to kickoff a new project for ECCD: a Memorial Tree Trail to serve as an educational tool for visitors to Headwaters Park and an opportunity for residents to memorialize or honor loved ones. The ceremony included remarks from Erie County Councilwoman, Kathy Fatica and Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper. The project is a collaboration effort between ECCD and Eagle Scout candidate Quinn Barnes.

Quinn is a recent graduate of North East High School and has held leadership positions in BSA Troop 57. Quinn has a passion for the outdoors and wanted to give back to the community for his Eagle Scout project. Barnes explained the concept of his Eagle Scout project, “I liked the idea of initiating a program that brings people closer to nature with a purpose.”

As the Memorial Tree Trail grows in the future, it will give visitors to Headwaters Park insight to trees that are native to Pennsylvania through identification. Native trees are important because they are equipped to live with the local climate, soil types, and animals. The Tree Trail can also provide ideas to visitors for tree planting on their own property. According to the USDA Forest Service, healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value, and the planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams.

ECCD is one of 66 conservation districts in the Commonwealth that functions as a governmental agency which provides assistance, management and education for the wise use of our natural resources. One of the many working partners over the years has been the County of Erie. One great supporter of the District was County Councilman Phil Fatica. Mr. Fatica served as the liaison to District from 2008 to 2011, and advocated for our purpose and mission. The inaugural tree for the Memorial Tree Trail program was dedicated to the memory of Mr. Fatica and his understanding of the importance of conservation in Erie County. John Hallenburg, Chairman of the District’s Board of Directors, stated, “We hope this is a great beginning to an important educational opportunity for all to enjoy. Phil was a friend of the District and once called Headwaters Park the ‘hidden gem of Erie County’.”

Don't Give Up the Drip Rain Barrel Project

The Green Man

The Green Man

Don't Give Up the Drip is a community art and environmental project focusing on rain water and rain barrels. The District, in partnership with Environment Erie, has commissioned Erie County artists to design and create 51 rain barrels to be displayed throughout the 2016 summer/fall season. Each barrel is unique in design and approach, and artists are taking care to create barrels and seal them in a way that best withstands Erie weather, both UV rays and wind/rain.

Each barrel is being sponsored by a local business and will be displayed at their location throughout the coming summer. The barrels are fully functioning, with businesses intending to use the collected rain water for watering their landscaping, herb beds, and various other uses. Download this map to locate all 52 barrels!

  • map (781.26 KB)
  • The goal of this project was to educate the Erie community and visitors about the benefits and convenience of rain barrels and utilizing collected rain water. It is also the intention to showcase our local art talent and also highlight our unique and enthusiastic local businesses. Through this project and collaborative effort, we are excited to display the barrels at the Erie Home and Garden Expo in March 2016 prior to placing them at their permanent location.

    The Rain the park and other things

    Many donors made this project possible; their generosity with goods and services is much appreciated. Trolleyline Vineyards and Welchs donated the 55-gallon, food grade barrels. Bonnells Collision was gracious to apply adhesion promoter and primer to each barrel, making the work of the artists just a little easier. Good Ideas, Inc. is donating a pedestal for each barrel, making their visibility and use much easier. Birkmire Trucking was generous in their assistance with a truck and driver to transport the barrels to and from the Expo in March.

    Funding from DEP, PACD, ErieBank, and the Erie Arts and Culture grant also made the possibility of this county-wide project a reality.

    Please visit the facebook site 'Don't Give Up the Drip' for updates on barrel progress and a current list of sponsors and host sites. We look forward to seeing everyone out in Erie this summer - post picture of your barrel on our fb site!

    Good Planets are Hard to Find

    Any questions about the project can be answered by calling the District office at 825-6403 and asking for Kristen Currier.

    Headwaters Park Master Site Plan

    Headwaters Park

    For many years, Headwaters Park has been a haven to those interested in enjoying nature. Tucked away within Bundy Industrial Park, the 70 acre Park is home to four unique habitats: meadows, stream, forest, and wetland. These diverse habitats are imperative to the health of the region and the species that live within them. Part of our care of the Park includes forward-thinking plans, leading to the creation of our Master Site Plan.

    Completed and approved in March 2015, the Master Site Plan takes into account the current uses of the Park, such as hiking, picnicking, dog walking, and nature observation, to name a few. We are also looking into the future health of the Park, and are making great efforts through this Plan to maintain the natural integrity of the area while creating access for visitors and educational programming.

    Please take a look at our plan in entirety - feel free to all and talk about the ideas and future of Headwaters Park!

  • Headwaters Park Master Site Plan (11.11 MB)
    Master Site Plan
  • Park Master Site Plan map (2.11 MB)
  • Resource Center Master Site Plan map (489.98 KB)

  • Trout Run/Godfrey Run Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP)

    Streambank, with new slope, plantings, and additional stabilization techniques

    The primary goal of these projects is to reduce nutrient loading to attain overall water quality improvements within the Trout Run and Godfrey Run watersheds through the implementation of various Best Management Practices (BMPs). The two distinct watersheds are in close proximity, within the northwesterly portion of Erie County, PA, ultimately discharging to Lake Erie. The original problems for Trout and Godfrey Run were nutrient loading through a lack of riparian areas and the increased sediment through eroding banks.

    While the overall project is ongoing, two initial projects have been completed. The projects consisted of the restoration and stabilization of streambank along Godfrey Run, including the establishment of a riparian buffer. Natural streambank design techniques were completed for a reach of stream located within an existing apple orchard. This reach was stabilized and restored to a natural state through the use of bank grading and implementation of log vanes, rock weirs, armoring, brush matting and vegetative planting. In addition, an existing severely deteriorated bridge, which was increasing downstream velocities due to restriction of flow, was removed and replaced.

    Cascade Creek Frontier Park Project

    Streambank, with new slope, plantings, and additional stabilization techniques

    The Cascade Creek project is a cooperative effort between the City of Erie, the Erie County Conservation District, SONS of Lake Erie, PA Sea Grant, and Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier (LEAF) Park. The project work is occurring in several phases, with the ultimate intention to promote the continued wise public use of the park, while improving water quality to Cascade Creek and subsequently Presque Isle Bay.

    The existing stream channel had clear signs of accelerated erosion, primarily due to urban stormwater runoff and lack of riparian buffer. This project intends to not only decrease current sediment loads, through stabilization of the stream banks and establishment of riparian buffer zones, but minimize future disturbance to these areas by limiting public access within the riparian zones and promote filtering of other non-point source pollutants through the buffer establishment.

    Natural Streambank Stabilization Techniques

  • Natural Streambank Stabilization Techniques (1.51 MB)
  • Armoring – stabilizing the streambank in a meandering form with embedded rocks