Friends of the Delaware Canal

The Friends of the Delaware Canal (FODC) is an independent, non-profit organization working to restore, preserve and improve the Canal and its surroundings. Its primary goals are to ensure that the Canal is fully watered and the towpath trail is usable over its entire length. The Friends embrace this mission because they believe the 58.9 mile-long Canal provides a unique link to our heritage; beautiful, diverse natural areas; and exciting educational and recreational opportunities.

They accomplish their goals through advocacy, programs, partnerships, community volunteers and fundraising. In keeping with the goal of educating people about the Canal, the Friends have restored the Locktender’s House in New Hope and have opened it as a museum and visitors’ center.

Members of the group are also available to visit schools and organizations to conduct programs on the Canal and Canal life.

In addition, the Friends hold walks, bike hikes, and other activities to acquaint people with the historic Canal and its opportunities.

The Delaware Canal was completed in 1832 and runs from Bristol to Easton. Its primary purpose was to transport coal from northeast Pennsylvania to cities, but it also hauled many other kinds of cargo. Commercial use of the Canal dwindled and in 1931, it became a Pennsylvania State Park. In 1978, the Delaware Canal was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Flood repair projects extending from Easton south to Yardley are underway and expected to be completed in spring 2014. Check www.fodc.org to get updated information about open and closed sections of the towpath.

The Friends are always looking for volunteers to assist with Clean-Up Day held in April of each year and other project and activities. Contact the Friends of the Delaware Canal at 215-862-2021, by email at friends@fodc.org, or go to the FODC website, www.fodc.org, for more information.

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Bucks County Conservation District

Bucks County Conservation District is a unit of state government and was authorized and formed by the Bucks County Board of Commissioners on April 24th, 1961. The district program spans the range of federal, state and local responsibilities and funding is secured through grants, contracts and fees for services.

Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control is the primary area of concern for the Conservation District. Sediment by volume is the largest non-point source of pollution to the waters of Pennsylvania. Erosion and sediment pollution occur when man’s activities destroy the natural cover of the earth. This takes place during plowing and tilling and by other earth-moving operations during construction.

The Conservation District staff works with farmers, construction and home building personnel and the general public in an effort to reduce or eliminate sediment pollution. They offer technical assistance, oversight and education about issues pertaining to soil, water and erosion and sediment control. In addition to their Erosion and Sediment Control Technicians, they have an Agricultural Technician, a Watershed Specialist and an Educator who is available for school and public programs on staff.

For more information on BCCD, including watershed and educational programs, visit their newly designed website at www.bucksccd.org or visit their Facebook page.

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G.O.A.L.

G.O.A.L. (Greenbelt Overhaul Alliance of Levittown) is an IRS 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization formed in early 2009.  G.O.A.L. is dedicated to cleaning Levittown greenways and tributaries of debris; elimination of waterway damming by debris; removal of undesirable plant species with replacement by desirable species; and the ongoing maintenance of these remediated areas. With an emphasis on in-school education and participation of school children and partnering with ecology clubs from educational institutes and other interested parties, G.O.A.L. is able to better promote care and understanding of its shared ecology. The public at large has access to its free seminars on ecology and related subjects that G.O.A.L. presents 10 times a year at the Bristol Township Municipal Building auditorium.

G.O.A.L.’s work is carried out by a core of volunteers from within the community. Their officers, board of directors and volunteers serve without monetary compensation.

Visit www.LTownGoal.com to learn about what G.O.A.L. does. Reach them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/levittowngoal.

G.O.A.L.’s accomplishments since May of 2009 include:

  • 13 miles of waterway cleaned;
  • 250 tons of rubbish removed;
  • 2,600 tires removed and recycled;
  • 1,800 native trees and shrubs planted;
  • 50,000 square feet of wildflowers planted;
  • 48 cubic yards of plastics and aluminum recycled;
  • 25,000 pounds of steel provided to homeless coalitions to trade for funds;
  • 28 public seminars sponsored;
  • 13,500 volunteer hours donated;
  • 11 awards won;
  • 28 organizations partnered with.
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G.O.A.L.

G.O.A.L. (Greenbelt Overhaul Alliance of Levittown) is an IRS 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization formed in early 2009.  G.O.A.L. is dedicated to cleaning Levittown greenways and tributaries of debris; elimination of waterway damming by debris; removal of undesirable plant species with replacement by desirable species; and the ongoing maintenance of these remediated areas. With an emphasis on in-school education and participation of school children and partnering with ecology clubs from educational institutes and other interested parties, G.O.A.L. is able to better promote care and understanding of its shared ecology. The public at large has access to its free seminars on ecology and related subjects that G.O.A.L. presents 10 times a year at the Bristol Township Municipal Building auditorium.

G.O.A.L.’s work is carried out by a core of volunteers from within the community. Their officers, board of directors and volunteers serve without monetary compensation.

Visit www.LTownGoal.com to learn about what G.O.A.L. does. Reach them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/levittowngoal.

G.O.A.L.’s accomplishments since May of 2009 include:

  • 13 miles of waterway cleaned;
  • 250 tons of rubbish removed;
  • 2,600 tires removed and recycled;
  • 1,800 native trees and shrubs planted;
  • 50,000 square feet of wildflowers planted;
  • 48 cubic yards of plastics and aluminum recycled;
  • 25,000 pounds of steel provided to homeless coalitions to trade for funds;
  • 28 public seminars sponsored;
  • 13,500 volunteer hours donated;
  • 11 awards won;
  • 28 organizations partnered with.
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Friends of the Delaware Canal

The Friends of the Delaware Canal (FODC) is an independent, non-profit organization working to restore, preserve and improve the Canal and its surroundings. Its primary goals are to ensure that the Canal is fully watered and the towpath trail is usable over its entire length. The Friends embrace this mission because they believe the 58.9 mile-long Canal provides a unique link to our heritage; beautiful, diverse natural areas; and exciting educational and recreational opportunities.

They accomplish their goals through advocacy, programs, partnerships, community volunteers and fundraising. In keeping with the goal of educating people about the Canal, the Friends have restored the Locktender’s House in New Hope and have opened it as a museum and visitors’ center.

Members of the group are also available to visit schools and organizations to conduct programs on the Canal and Canal life.

In addition, the Friends hold walks, bike hikes, and other activities to acquaint people with the historic Canal and its opportunities.

The Delaware Canal was completed in 1832 and runs from Bristol to Easton. Its primary purpose was to transport coal from northeast Pennsylvania to cities, but it also hauled many other kinds of cargo. Commercial use of the Canal dwindled and in 1931, it became a Pennsylvania State Park. In 1978, the Delaware Canal was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Flood repair projects extending from Easton south to Yardley are underway and expected to be completed in spring 2014. Check www.fodc.org to get updated information about open and closed sections of the towpath.

The Friends are always looking for volunteers to assist with Clean-Up Day held in April of each year and other project and activities. Contact the Friends of the Delaware Canal at 215-862-2021, by email at friends@fodc.org, or go to the FODC website, www.fodc.org, for more information.

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Bucks County Conservation District

Bucks County Conservation District is a unit of state government and was authorized and formed by the Bucks County Board of Commissioners on April 24th, 1961. The district program spans the range of federal, state and local responsibilities and funding is secured through grants, contracts and fees for services.

Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control is the primary area of concern for the Conservation District. Sediment by volume is the largest non-point source of pollution to the waters of Pennsylvania. Erosion and sediment pollution occur when man’s activities destroy the natural cover of the earth. This takes place during plowing and tilling and by other earth-moving operations during construction.

The Conservation District staff works with farmers, construction and home building personnel and the general public in an effort to reduce or eliminate sediment pollution. They offer technical assistance, oversight and education about issues pertaining to soil, water and erosion and sediment control. In addition to their Erosion and Sediment Control Technicians, they have an Agricultural Technician, a Watershed Specialist and an Educator who is available for school and public programs on staff.

For more information on BCCD, including watershed and educational programs, visit their newly designed website at www.bucksccd.org or visit their Facebook page.

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The efficiency of solar water heating

submitted by Mark Bortman, Exact Solar, mark@exactsolar.com 

When you think of sunny places, Germany, Austria, China and Japan don’t usually come to mind. But these countries with climates similar to ours are way ahead of us at taking advantage of the energy from the sun. They are global leaders in installing solar water heaters. Almost every new house gets one and many older houses are retrofitted. What do they know that we don’t?

In the United States, solar water heating is not as well known as the other type of solar panels that generate electricity. Solar water heaters, however, are very efficient at taking the sun’s energy and converting it to something useful – hot water for showers, dish washing and even space heating. 

On sunny days, a solar water heating system can easily heat water to above 140 degrees. Moreover, solar water heaters always have a back-up heating system in place, for those times when it hasn’t been sunny. In many cases, the back-up is your existing water heater.

Solar water heaters have withstood the test of time – they have been available for over 100 years. More importantly, demand for them is increasing as PECO rates and oil prices rise. The addition of a rebate from the state Sunshine Program and a federal tax credit reduce the cost of a system by an incredible 65%. Many people don’t realize it, but water heating typically accounts for 15-25% of your overall utility bill. With a relatively small upfront investment, you can reduce your utility bill and help the environment.

There are additional, easy steps you can take to reduce the amount of energy used to heat your water. These are as simple as making sure your dishwasher is full before running it and turning down the thermostat on your water heater, or more involved such as installing low-flow shower heads or heat traps. Other measures include insulating your water heater and hot water pipes and fixing leaky faucets. 

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Boehm seventh graders participate in school’s first Green Home Show

 

by June Portnoy 

On Wednesday, April 24th, 140 seventh grade students on team 7A at Charles Boehm Middle School displayed miniature models of eco-friendly homes that they had designed and created for the school’s first annual Green Home Show.

“This show was the culmination of what I taught in class about renewable and nonrenewable energy sources,” said seventh grade science teacher Anita Quinn. “My students had a week to apply what they learned about energy and conservation in class to their homes.”

Students were placed in groups and then given specific criteria to use when developing their homes. They were expected to describe the many energy efficient techniques they used inside and outside of their home. They also had to select a plant species native to the area where they built their house.

In addition they had to incorporate renewable resources into their homes based on the location of their home. It was important that they understood what the region they chose had to offer in terms of water, wind and solar power.

And finally, they were told to choose from four alternative fuel vehicles (biodiesel, electric, hydrogen fuel cell and ethanol).

[Read more...]

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Newtown students honored for Arbor Day poster designs

 

Goodnoe Elementary School first and fifth grade students recently competed in Newtown’s annual Arbor Day Poster Design Contest. Students were encouraged to design a poster illustrating the importance of trees in our world.

The result of the challenge is a beautiful collection of children’s artwork that will be displayed on Friday, April 26th at Brian Gregg Memorial Park during Newtown’s Arbor Day Celebration.

“The poster contest is an important and hands-on component of our Arbor Day Celebration,” says Arbor Day Committee Member, Amy Moore.

“The event is about celebrating the wonders of nature and challenging the children to become actively involved in caring for our environment.  In the process of creating their posters, the children are given the opportunity to express not only their knowledge of and feelings about trees, but also their concerns for the future of our planet. The environment is clearly a topic the children are understanding the importance of based on the unprecedented number of poster entries this year.”

Six posters were chosen from many entries judged by a panel that included Borough Mayor Dennis O’Brien, Rotary Club representative Marge Torongo, Borough Councilman Perry Warren, Trove owner Christine Edmonds, past Park and Recreation president Heidi Adams, and landscape designer Karen Waitkus.

The winners, Tali Deutsch, Anish Heda, Eliana Vovk (first grade), Gulia Strokin, Sarah Porter and Caralyn Coolidge (fifth grade) will be acknowledged at the Newtown Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 26th at Brian S. Gregg Memorial Park on North Congress Street in Newtown Borough (rain date April 29th).

The winning posters will be on display in storefronts throughout the Newtown area, on the Newtown and Council Rock School District websites, and at Goodnoe Elementary School.

 

PHOTO CAP: Caralyn Coolidge’s Arbor Day poster entry

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Volunteers needed for Churchville Nature Center’s Summer Camps

If you are concerned about your children having too much free time in the summertime, consider having them volunteer at Churchville Nature Center’s (CNC) Summer Camps. Sessions begin in June, and Counselor training will be held on Saturday, June 8th from 10:00am to noon. This training is mandatory.

Besides the enormous contributions volunteers will be making to the center, they will be learning skills and enhancing their education.

CNC offers a safe, positive environment, where volunteers can socialize with other youth, all of whom share a mutual interest in their environment.

This Volunteer program fills up quickly, so hurry and register! Applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program no later than May 20th.

Anyone ages 14 and up who would be interested in volunteering and become a counselor for the summer camps at CNC should go to their website and fill out an application, www.churchvillenaturecenter.org. If you need more information call Peg Mongillo, Educational Director, at 215-357-4005 ext. 14.

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