The Robert Porter Allen Natural Area and the Sylvan Dell Environmental Center is a 227 acre former farmstead in South Williamsport, PA, bordering the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. This site holds one of the largest remaining floodplain wetlands on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. This report is part of developing an Ecological Restoration Plan to restore and expand the wetland to its original size and shape.
Using GIS mapping software, the 10 basemaps in this report provide the necessary details to orient the site and its features on a map, and find the best areas within the Sylvan Dell parcel to expand the wetlands. This requires overlaying different sets of modern data, as well as historic maps, for the information needed to inform the wetland habitat restoration. GIS mapping the site has uncovered past flowlines running throughout the entire Sylvan Dell site, and an abandoned river channel that the current wetland now occupies. In addition, various kinds of data relating to soil classifications and hydric properties has identified other possible areas for the wetland’s expansion. The wetland restoration design is intended to serve as a case study for MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) compliance with US EPA and PA DEP requirements for urban runoff treatment in a cost effective manner. This Ecological Restoration Plan will inform the final restoration design, anticipated to be performed by US Fish and Wildlife Service in spring of 2022.
This project was supported by funding from the Bucknell Public Interest Program, and collaboration between the Place Studies Program of the Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment and Brian S. Auman Landscape Architecture.
For a research poster of the associated findings, please see this entry.
Ecological Restoration, GIS, Wetlands
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