McGee Run Watershed: Conserving Ridge to River

On May 21, the Westmoreland Conservation District and its partners celebrated one of the first projects to be completed in a watershed-wide conservation effort in the McGee Run Watershed in Derry Borough and Derry Township.

A new permeable parking lot at the Derry Area Community Pool will allow rainfall to soak into the ground rather than to run over the surface, pick up pollutants, and carry them to McGee Run. The new conservation parking area also will include trees that will use the stormwater for nourishment and provide shade for visitors to the facility.

The new parking lot is one of multiple conservation improvement projects slated for the McGee Run watershed over a two-year period. The work – which will include conservation measures to steward forests, control erosion, manage stormwater, support agriculture, and improve dirt and grave roads – is being funded by a $300,000 state grant that the conservation district applied for and received.

Derry Pool lot ribbon cutting

Pictured (l – r), Ron Rohall, Westmoreland Conservation District Board Chairman; Tyler Courtney, Westmoreland County Commissioner; Bob Pore, Westmoreland Conservation District Associate Board Member; Judy Sinemus, representing Senator Kim Ward; Chad Fabian, Member of Derry Borough Council; Ted Kopas, Westmoreland County Commissioner and District Board Member; Al Checca, Member of the Derry Borough Council; Gina Scheller, representing Representative Joseph Petrarca; Jay Bell of the Silvis Group; and Jim Pillsbury, Westmoreland Conservation District hydraulic engineer.


Com Kopas pours on permeable pvmt

Com Kopas pours on pavement

In the first photo, Westmoreland County Commissioner and District Board Member Ted Kopas demonstrates how the new permeable parking lot allows water to soak into the ground…as opposed to a the impervious surface of a traditional parking lot (second photo), which forces the water to pool and run off, carrying pollutants and debris with it to nearby streams.

This new permeable parking lot will help improve water quality in McGee Run, and benefit everyone who lives downstream.