Restoration at Quittapahilla Creek

Watershed: Quittapahilla Creek
Project Location: Annville, Pennsylvania
Date Of Completion: February 2024
Highlights: Steam Restoration, Sediment Reduction

In Annville, Pennsylvania, lies the Quittapahilla Creek, a vital waterway that serves both the ecological needs of its inhabitants and the recreational interests of its surrounding community. However, like many natural resources, Quittapahilla Creek has faced challenges over the years, including habitat degradation and sediment accumulation. Recognizing the importance of preserving this ecosystem, ARRC partnered with the Trout Unlimited Doc Fritchey Chapter to take on a transformative project along the Syner Road section of the creek.

Our work at Quittapahilla Creek began over a year and a half ago when ARRC secured grant funding for the project. The design process took approximately eight months to complete, including the review from state and federal agencies. Following the application and project review for Quittapahilla Creek, we promptly initiated work. ARRC’s mission was to enhance trout habitat, restore the creek’s ecological balance and reduce sediment runoff.

Throughout our work, we experienced various challenges, including a wide channel width that resulted in poor habitat quality and elevated water temperatures during the summer months. To address these issues, our team adjusted the creek’s width-depth ratio to create cooler temperatures and enhance habitat diversity. These changes ensured there were macroinvertebrates present and food for the trout. ARRC also focused on stabilizing the creek banks to reduce erosion, ensuring long-term resilience against storms.

Through excavation, our team supplemented the project with on-site and sourced materials, ensuring critical components— like wood for habitat enhancement and carbon sequestration— were adequately provided for. These materials were installed into the banks and covered with topsoil to reduce shear and roughness in the creek. Construction lasted about two months, starting in January and ending in February 2024.

Today, we’re proud to say the collaborative effort between ARRC and the Trout Unlimited Doc Fritchey Chapter resulted in a significant transformation at Quittapahilla Creek. Throughout this project, our work not only addressed the challenges facing this vital waterway but also revitalized its ecosystem for the benefit of both wildlife and the local community. We look forward to continuing our restoration efforts throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and ensuring our local waterways thrive for generations to come.