Projects

Agricultural Projects

According1 to a federal report, agricultural runoff is now considered the primary source of pollutants in streams and rivers in the U.S. Approximately 37% of land use in the Schuylkill Watershed is agricultural, and 258 miles of streams are considered agricutlre-impaired.

More Overview


  • Havens Farm

    Havens Farm has installed a number of agricultural BMPs to improve the water quality of Mill Creek, which eventually flows into the Schuylkill River.

  • Rice Farm

    The Rice Farm, located around a tributary of the Maiden Creek, has installed a liquid manure storage tank, a dry manure storage facility, and a new barn for its dairy cattle.

  • Zimmerman Farm

    The Zimmerman Dairy Farm installed a liquid manure storage tank, two dry manure storage areas, rain gutters and outlets, and barnyard controls and alleyways. These agricultural BMPs help to improve the water quality that is infiltrated into the groundwater of the Saucony Creek.

  • Earl Martin Farm

    Various agricultural BMPs were installed on the Earl Martin Dairy Farm to better manage manure and provide clean water to the Saucony Creek, and ultimately the Schuylkill River.

  • A Farmer's Guide for Healthy Communities

    An Introduction to Agricultural Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs)

  • Cryptosporidium Sampling in the Saucony

    Thanks to a number of local organizations including the Schuylkill Action Network, Berks Conservancy, Berks County Conservation District, Natural Resource Conservation Service and many others, agricultural best management practices (BMPs) such as streambank fencing, manure storage basins, riparian buffer restoration and streambank crossings have been implemented on farms in the Saucony watershed. These measures prevent contaminants from runoff including Crypto from entering the streams that provide our drinking water. We would like to demonstrate the success of these projects by monitoring for Cryptosporidium where agricultural BMPs have been implemented. To do this, Lehigh University and PWD selected sampling sites for research along the Saucony at an upstream control site, downstream of known sources of Crypto including agricultural land and a wastewater treatment outfall, and upstream of the Kutztown drinking water plant.

  • Annual Farm BMP Tour

    See the projects taking place in the Schuylkill Valley that farmers are doing to help protect our local waterways.

  • Macroinvertebrate Sampling Event - January 2013

    Members of the Ag Workgroup made their annual visit to former project sites to sample streams in the Maiden Creek Watershed. The group found several sensitive bugs that had not been seen in these streams before - a great sign that the stream health is improving!

  • Saucony Creek Brewing Company

    The Saucony Creek Brewing Company is a start-up microbrewery in Kutztown, Berks County. Partnering with the Schuylkill Action Network, they have developed the Stonefly India Pale Ale. Portions of each sale will be donated to restoration funds benefitting the Schuylkill River. Check back here for more information on their opening festivities!

  • DEB Woolf Farm SRRF Project

    The Woolf Farm in Berks County was determined to be a high priority farm, that if improved, would have significant impact on the watershed. Grants were given for this project in both 2006 and 2007 and the completed work addressed agricultural remediation issues designed to help reduce excess nutrients and sedimentation within the Maiden Creek watershed. This grant was matched significantly from part of a much larger project on the farm that totaled over $180,000.

  • Adam's Farm SRRF Project

    This project in Berks County located within the headwaters of Maiden Creek was the first project to be completed through the Restoration Fund. Work was completed in the spring of 2007 and included the restoration of approximately 1,000’ of the streambank that was re-graded and seeded to help reduce the effects of sedimentation during future flooding. Over 9,000’ of fencing was installed along the stream corridor and five cattle crossing’s were constructed to restrict farm animal access and damage. On Earth Day 2007 over thirty Kutztown High School students volunteered and planted over 400 native barerooted trees along the stream corridor.

  • Luft Farm BMPs

    Best Management Practices were completed on this farm focusing primarily on stormwater issues and control. Approximately 250 feet of rain gutters and downspouts were installed on the barn and barnyard shed. 200 feet of rain leaders were constructed and connected with a lined outlet that bypassed the main cattle use area.

  • Berks Watershed Restoration Fund

    The Berks County Conservancy and Spotts|Stevens|McCoy have teamed up to create new partnerships between local businesses and farmers in the area! Companies who want to improve Berks County watersheds can donate to the Restoration Fund, and help farmers who need financial assistance to implement agricultural best management practices. Check out the brochure for participating in this great project!

  • Smith Farm

    Streambank fencing and animal crossings protect 2,300 feet of the Mill Creek.

  • Rabenold Farm

    Streambank fencing and animal crossings highlight this Agricultural Workgroup project.

  • Guntz Farm

    A heavily-eroded streambank was restored by the Berks County Conservancy, with support from the Agriculture Workgroup. Additional funding requests have been submitted for implementation of Ag BMPs.

  • Schroeder Farm

    Agriculture BMPs were implemented on this farm located in the Maiden Creek Watershed using both SWIG funding and a grant from the Restoration Fund.

  • Woolf Farm

    A milking operation with 80 cows on 53 acres of land, the Berks County Conservation District initially approached the landowner with concerns about the manure handling on the property. The Woolf’s were extremely receptive to both short-term remediation measures as well as long term considerations, resulting in a success story that highlights what can be accomplished when multiple agencies work together.

  • Martin Farm

    The addition of curbing and fencing took this farm to a new level of environmental awareness. The Martin Farm project serves as a great example of what can be accomplished with an environmentally-aware landowner and the help of cooperating agencies.

  • Seidel Farms

    Commonly grouped in clusters, family farms are ideal locations for Best Management Practice installations. With over 300 acres of land, the Seidel Farms provided multiple opportunities to protect the very springs that form the headwaters of the Maiden Creek.

  • Dreibelbis Farm

    With 75 acres of high-quality wetlands and seven stream buffer acres onsite, the pristine Dreibelbis farm offered a unique opportunity to proactively protect the Maiden Creek and three smaller tributaries from future agricultural runoff.

  • Adams Farm

    Over 5,270 feet of stream bank was fenced off to keep Adams Farm livestock and their manure out of the Maiden Creek, and dozens of Future Farmers of America students learned the importance of agricultural Best Management Practices while planting riparian buffers onsite.