Published on August 6th, 2014 | by GrowWNYAdmin


Learn and Play Watershed Tour

Learn and Play TourBy: Joanna Panasiewicz

Tonawanda Creek is one of the largest watershed areas in Western New York, comprised of 405,606 acres or 648 square miles, and is approximately 101 miles long. The drainage basin of Tonawanda Creek includes portions of Wyoming, Genesee, Niagara and Erie Counties, and the Tonawanda Seneca Nation.

Its headwaters start in the Town of Wethersfield, Wyoming County where the elevation is more than 1,800 feet. The Creek flows northward from Wyoming County to Batavia where it turns west and continues its flow along the boundary of Erie and Niagara Counties until it reaches the Niagara River in the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda. The Barge Canal is also a part of Tonawanda Creek from approximately Hopkins Road in Amherst to the Niagara River. Cultivated land represents 45% of the land use in the watershed while, forests comprise 27% and wetlands 11%.

The Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee is proud to announce the free Learn and Play Watershed Tour to take place onSaturday, August 23, 2014 from 8:30 am -1:00 pm. You and your family are invited to join us as we explore the Tonawanda Creek watershed and learn about issues that impact everyone, no matter where you may live. Such topics include invasive species management, agricultural best management practices, geology, natural resource conservation challenges, flood control, pollution prevention, and drinking water resource protection. All the while, you will experience places you and your family can relax, fish, picnic, kayak, canoe, or play in the future. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy after the tour in Akron Falls Park. This project is financially supported by the Erie County Environmental Education Institute, Inc., the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and the Erie County Water Quality Committee.

The tour will begin at the Cummings Lodge in Akron Falls County Park in the Town of Newstead and feature two bus routes. One will travel west and make stops at the Clarence Escarpment Sanctuary, Ellicott Creek Park, Ellicott Island Park and Great Baehre Swamp Wildlife Management Area. The second bus will travel east and make stops at Batavia Dam, Peace Garden, Attica Reservoir, a local dairy farm and Darien Lakes State Park.

Seating on the tour is limited; pre-registration is required. To register please e-mail Kim Falbo, Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District at kfalbo@frontier.com or call 585-786-5070 ext. 121. For more information about the Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee please visit www.tonawandacreek.shutterfly.com.

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