With over 190 stream miles in Willistown Conservation Trust’s focus area, including the headwaters of Ridley, Crum and Darby Creeks, the goal of the Trust's Watershed Protection Program is to ensure long-term health of these streams through monitoring, restoration, and best management practices.
Since 2018, the WCT Watershed Protection Program has monitored water quality at ten sample sites in the headwaters of Darby, Crum, and Ridley Creeks. Heartfelt thanks goes out to all of the incredible people who have contributed to this report. The expertise of researchers from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and Stroud Water Research Center helped to create a water quality monitoring program and facilitated how WCT’s conservation efforts have impacted local stream health.
Every four weeks, the team visited each of the ten sites to take in-stream measurements and collect samples for analysis in the lab. We are proud to present our findings on water quality based on analysis of our data collected from 2018 through 2021, which includes 41 monitoring visits and over 7,500 different measurements.
To read the report in full, click the button below!
Why Watersheds Matter
A healthy stream starts with a healthy landscape, and our Watershed Protection Program aims to give a better understanding of how land conservation positively impacts the region. The headwater streams found in the greater Willistown area play a critical role in providing clean water to downstream communities and habitats.
Water Quality Research
The Watershed Protection Program is dedicated to learning more about our waterways through a variety of exciting research projects. We monitor the healthy of the Upper Ridley, Crum and Darby Creeks to identify and address threats to steam health. As committed partners in the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, we share our data and build collaboration and research partnerships.
EnviroDIY Sensor Stations
Through a partnership with Stroud Water Research Center, the Trust has set up four EnviroDIY Sensor Stations that collect water quality data that informs our restoration work and deepens our understanding of stream health. Our EnviroDIY Sensor Stations are always on the clock, collecting data on the water quality of Crum and Ridley Creek every five minutes all day, every day. You can even look at the data yourself in real time - click here!
Education and Outreach
We educate the next generation of freshwater stewards through workshops, intern and co-op programs, and our designation as a Field Study Site for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Our children's education is presented through the Trust's Rushton Nature Keepers.
Field Study Site
In spring 2018, the Trust formalized its focus area in the Ridley, Crum, and Darby watersheds as an official Field Study Site of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Through this partnership, the Academy and Drexel University will use the variety of habitats within the Trust's conserved open space as a living laboratory, and the Trust will use the Academy and Drexel University’s facilities and consult their expertise to expand the scientific rigor of our research activities.
Restore Streamside Habitats
We work to restore and steward sensitive streamside habitats, which provide valuable and attractive landscapes that support stream health. Need help managing your own property for maximum ecological health? In addition to streamside management tips, our Resource Guide includes links to tips on planning and managing meadows and shade gardens.
Healthy Streams Start With Healthy Landscapes
Do you know what watershed you live in? Click here for some tips to be a good streamside neighbor and learn more about your local waterways!
What are microplastics? We hear this word a lot, but how exactly does it affect us? Our Watershed Intern Zack Smith can tell you all about the harms of these miniscule plastic fragments getting into our waterways and the damage they do to fish, wildlife and humans alike. Read more here.
Darby Creek Community Science Monitoring Program
The Darby Creek Community Science Monitoring Program was established in 2021 by the Darby Creek Valley Association and Willistown Conservation Trust with support from Stroud Water Research Center! This collaborative project aims to create a network of training and mentoring opportunities to empower the neighbors of Darby and Cobbs Creek watersheds to collect high quality stream data and become water advocates for their community. Learn more about the Darby Creek Community Science Monitoring Program here.