Project will improve water quality at Logan Park

By on June 17, 2015

 

Starting this week, Manheim residents will notice a different type of activity at Logan Park. The borough leases the park to the Manheim Soccer Club and often it’s filled with youth and parents during games and youth and coaches during practices. The sounds of kids at play are now being replaced with the drone and beep of construction equipment that will restore the natural stream bank and flood plain of Rife Run.

Located along West High Street across from Mummau Park, Logan Park lies within the borough, and it contains nearly a dozen soccer fields. Playing fields are located on both sides of Rife Run. Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance and the Manheim Soccer Club have teamed up to coordinate the stream bank project with input from the borough.

A view of Rife Run near the foot bridge in Logan Park. The stream bank will be restored during a project that is a joint effort between the Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance and the Manheim Soccer Club. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

A view of Rife Run near the foot bridge in Logan Park. The stream bank will be restored during a project that is a joint effort between the Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance and the Manheim Soccer Club. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

“The park is our land, but the watershed group and the soccer club have taken the lead on this project,” said Manheim Borough Council President Dave Fenicle on June 9. “Our part will be maintaining it when it’s complete.”

CCWA President Tim Elder said that the project will restore 1,040-feet of floodplain, remove legacy sediment, and extend an existing footbridge across the stream. It is anticipated to be completed by the end of September.

LandStudies, Lititz, is the general contractor, and B.R. Kreider is the sub-contractor. Jim Kreider of LandStudies said that nearly three feet will be shaved off the streambank as the natural contours of the stream and its floodplain are restored. After the stream work is completed, the stream bank will be stabilized and wetlands plants will be planted on the bank to prevent erosion and help filter stormwater. Kreider said that a study using marker pins along the streambank indicates that in the past two years the bank has eroded by 38-inches in some places.

“The timing was coordinated with the soccer club so they had use of the fields for the spring season,” Elder said.

Manheim Soccer Club was organized in 1981, and club representatives have estimated that the organization began using the Logan Park fields a year or two after that. Brian Peters of the Manheim Soccer Club said that the new fields will be designed with better drainage and planted with grass designed for sports use.

“In the short term, we will be losing some fields for a few seasons,” Peters said. “However, if you look at the bigger picture this project will ultimately benefit the soccer-playing kids of our community. Our organization supports anything that will improve the quality of soccer play for our kids and help to foster a love for the ‘Beautiful Game’.”

During the project, the organization will lose the use of a few fields at Logan Park. Peters said that the organization hopes to have those fields back in play for the fall of 2017. In the meantime field space will be re-allocated in the park for intramural teams, and travel teams that had played at Logan will be shifted to either Rapho Township Community Park along Strickler Road or to Cedar Hollow Park along Cedar Hollow Drive in Penn Township.

Although the main benefit of the project will be improved water quality, Peters said that a side benefit will be that the areas where sediment removed from the stream is placed will be richer in nutrients and that enhanced soil along with the new grass seed and better drainage will create better fields.

Rapho Township manager and CCWA representative Sara Gibson added that the project will also allow development of new wildlife habitats. Since it will increase capacity of the stream, the project will help reduce flooding in the park, which sustained damage during Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011. During that storm soccer fields and the parking lot off High Street were damaged. Flood waters swept away bleachers and goal posts and removed telephone poles that were placed around the perimeter of the stone parking lot. There was also more than five feet of water in the soccer club’s equipment storage shed and the concession stand.

Immediately following the storm, volunteers from the soccer club mounted a cleanup effort of the park. It was followed up by a larger effort from CCWA and the borough. Three months after Tropical Storm Lee’s devastation, CCWA and the Soccer Club announced plans for the stream bank restoration project.

This foot bridge that spans Rife Run will be replaced as part of the stream bank restoration project.

This foot bridge that spans Rife Run will be replaced as part of the stream bank restoration project.

CCWA completed a stream bank restoration project of Rife Run in Mummau Park in 2010. Located along West High Street, the nearly 11-acre park straddles Manheim Borough and Rapho Township. CCWA was also instrumental in installing a trail and wetland plantings in the park. An education kiosk near the stream promotes the benefits of improved water quality.

“The Logan Park project is an extension of what we’ve done at Mummau Park,” Gibson said. “What makes the Logan Park project unique is that the stream is adjacent to active recreation areas, that’s not the case at Mummau Park.”

In addition to serving as general contractor, LandStudies also designed the project. Design was funded in part by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; the total cost was about $40,000, with the grant amount of $30,000. Construction is estimated to cost $439,000, funded by a DEP Growing Greener Grant of $239,000 and a second NFWF grant of $200,000.

The master plan of the Logan Park project will be on display at the CCWA’s Watershed Expo from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, at the Lancaster Liederkranz, 722 S. Chiques Road, Manheim. A representative from LandStudies will be on-hand to answer any questions about the project.

For more information about CCWA and its activities, visit www.chiquescreekwatershed.org or the organization’s Facebook page.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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