Creek Restoration Begins
The Miquon School Begins Restoration of Beloved Creek, Reducing Pollution to Schuylkill River; Helping Children ‘Grow Greener’
The Miquon School is set to begin restoration work for its 1,400 foot creek, beloved by students and an integral part of its outdoor curriculum.
The Miquon Creek, a first order tributary to the Schuylkill River, serves as the heart and soul of the school’s campus, providing a multitude of opportunities for hands-on learning and exploration. But decades of mill farming and development in the watershed has degraded the creek’s safety and ecosystem health. The creek has been badly damaged by erosion and storm surges and has now crossed a tipping point: minor rains now cause mudslides and significant rain events cause noticeable bank loss. For example, approximately 1,700 cubic feet of soil — approximately the volume of a standard backyard swimming pool — was lost in one afternoon during a storm in 2012.
“In a world where kids have a lot structure and not enough free play, we are committed to providing children with daily opportunities for exploration, experimentation, and discovery out-of-doors, and a healthy creek is a big part of that,” said Principal Susannah Wolf.
The project will be an exciting campus activity and students will observe and study the restoration activity. Teachers will integrate lessons about the importance of water quality in a watershed into their curriculum. Erosion during big storms is not only harmful for the Miquon creek, but has broader reaching impacts. The soil that gets washed downstream ends up in the Schuylkill River, causing sediment overload and nutrient pollution.
After raising $71,000 from school and camp families, alumni, staff, grandparents and alumni parents, Miquon secured a $95,000 state grant through the Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener program. Contractors Biohabitats and Aquatic Resource Restoration are ready to begin their work this March.
The restoration work will take between 4-6 weeks to complete. A series of riffles and pools will be constructed, creating shallow aquatic beds that will help lessen erosion during big storms. The project also will protect adjacent wetland areas and groundwater seeps, which in turn, will protect water quality. In sum, the project will restore stability and ecological integrity to the stream, as well as new, safe opportunities for student stewardship, education, and play.
Founded in 1932, The Miquon School is an independent, coeducational elementary school for children aged three to 12. Dedicated to preserving childhood, Miquon provides its students with a progressive, child-centered program with an emphasis on the natural environment. The school enrolls approximately 150 students, including 31% students of color and 46% receiving financial aid.
More about the Creek
Check out For the Good of the Creek.