The North Branch Watershed Association (NBWA) is comprised of members of the community interested in protecting the water quality and natural resources of the North Branch Neshaminy Creek, Lake Galena, and the Pine Run.
The mission of the Association is to improve the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek, its stream corridors and tributaries, through environmental education, conservation efforts, and promotion of sound land use practices, for the benefit of the community and the health of the watershed ecosystem.
The Association allows concerned citizens to address immediate problems in the watershed and to identify future needs as the local environment changes. The NBWA has held a number of hands-on activities such as stream cleanups, and riparian buffer plantings, as well as tours of other stream restoration sites. At our public meetings, we either host an event or a public speaker. Ideas for future meetings are always welcome.
NBWA’s annual meeting and board elections are held in January and all members are invited to attend and vote on the available positions. Members of the general public are also welcome to attend the meeting and learn more about the North Branch Watershed Association and its mission.
In June of 2000, a group composed of representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bucks County Conservation District, Bucks County Farm Bureau, Bucks County Planning Commission, Heritage Conservancy, Peace Valley Nature Center, Doylestown Township, New Britain Township, North Penn Water Authority, and North Wales Water Authority, came together to discuss source water protection for the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek (NBNC) and Lake Galena. The organizational meeting began with a presentation regarding the importance of the NBNC and Lake Galena for recreation, as a wildlife refuge, and as a regional water supply. Following several meetings throughout 2000, a Growing Greener Application was filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of forming a watershed organization to protect the NBNC. The grant application indicated that following the forming of the group, lectures and workshops on water quality, open to the public, would be conducted. Among the topics presented would be ways to minimize the impact of non-point sources of pollution, such as planting of riparian buffers, and addressing the resident goose problem, as well as other topics related to maintaining and improving water quality. The grant was approved in December 2000, and the work began to inform the public that a new watershed organization was being formed and their help was needed for the association to succeed.
In the summer of 2001, Dave Froehlich, Executive Director of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, addressed the group and gave tips regarding characteristics to help a fledgling watershed group succeed. He indicated that in addition to money and resources, a presence in the community, forming partnerships, and having a board of directors that is willing to work on projects, fund raising, and represent the group in the community are all important. In July 2001, an interim Board of Directors was appointed. The group reviewed a list of potential projects for its kick-off event, and decided to hold a stream clean-up in September 2001. Association members, along with others from the community, removed more than two tons of debris from the stream, near the confluence of the main stem of the Neshaminy Creek, in Chalfont.
The organization also chose its logo at the September event, and the North Branch Watershed Association’s identity was further established. Those in attendance at the November, 2001 meeting heard John Munro, of Munro Ecological Services, speak about the importance of riparian buffer restoration, and issues involved in recreating natural stream environments. At the November meeting, attendees were also asked to submit their names for consideration for board positions, which were voted upon at the January 2002 meeting. Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Department of State on January 22, 2002, officially incorporating the North Branch Watershed Association.
Since that time, NBWA has held annual meetings and stream clean-ups, riparian buffer plantings, a Watershed Awareness Day, and hosted speakers on various topics. The annual stream clean-ups every September have been particularly well attended events for the group. New members are needed to build on the progress NBWA has made to the present and ensure it continues to evolve and fulfill its mission statement, “to improve, protect and preserve the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek, its stream corridors and tributaries, through environmental education, conservation efforts, and promotion of sound land use practices, for the benefit of the community and the health of the watershed ecosystem.