How do you keep stream banks from eroding and destroying historic buildings? Worlds End State Park Manager Bill Kocher and the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association have been struggling to solve this problem for years.
The cabins at Worlds End State Park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Nestled in hemlocks with outdoor stone fireplaces and plenty of privacy, the cabins overlooking the Loyalsock Creek are very popular with tourists year round.
But the stream banks by the cabins have been eroding over the years, in some cases right up to the cabin porches.
Dushore's Boy Scout Troop 48 Scout Master William Choplick, left, and Scouts Tom Choplick and Ethan Phillips put up a fence at Worlds End State Park on Aug. 21. The new fence will help keep the stream bank from eroding.
In 2004, the cabins at Worlds End State Park were closed for renovations. With no one using the cabins, it soon became clear that one of the major causes of erosion was foot-traffic.
Campers scrambling up and down the banks to access the creek had removed much of the natural vegetation. Without the vegetation, the soil was left exposed to be washed away by heavy rains.
Input from the Sullivan County Conservation District and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources convinced the directors of the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association to partner with the park to install a fence that would keep people off of the stream banks.
Director Ruth Rode chose several locations along the bank and helped create permanent paths for campers to access the creek. The old fence did its job, but it was too visible.
Since then, the vegetation on the banks is coming back.
Unfortunately, the fence started showing its age. On Aug. 21, directors, members and friends of the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association replaced more than 1,500 feet of fence with another fence that is less visible. The team consisted of William Choplick, Tom Choplick, Ethan Phillips, Harold and Fay Sausser, Carroll Kline, Jon Weaver, Ruth Rode, Bill Kocher and Rudy and Carol Kafer.
The old fence was cut down, rolled up and carried away.
The new fence had to be removed from its plastic sleeve and put up with cable ties. More fence posts needed to be pounded into the rocky soil. Tools had to be hauled to keep up with the volunteers installing the fence.
We started at 9 a.m. Two teams worked from the ends toward the center, and the fences were joined by noon.