Summer 2018 – Morris and Fairmount Parks

Written by Eric Dahlberg


The teams have carefully monitored the effects of this summer’s dramatic weather – high temperatures, drenching rains, and generally out of normal conditions. Generally there were reports of increased riparian vegetation and increased algae with significant growths of filamentous algae at the broader, slower moving areas of WS 190. Concerns were of increased bank erosion after some of the flooding events such as the four inches of rain reported by WS 150 a week before their walk. The Canoe Club had significant indication of high water from flooding, including mud that was up on their lawn well above the creek. Also in WS 190, there is significant bank restoration and infrastructure work being done by PWD across from the hundred steps at the low dam there and along the drive. PWD is also completing major water drainage work along the creek near the Henry Avenue Bridge as part of reconstruction of Lincoln Drive and its storm water systems.



Most of the reports indicated good water clarity for most of the summer – a surprising and positive sign. Surface coatings were also mostly limited to bubbles or none. WS165 did comment on a large accumulation of an algae-like scum in August, possibly the result of the high air temperatures that persisted. WS 190 saw many fish this summer including some new varieties. Animal observations were rich, including Kingfisher at WS160 and a Plover-type bird at WS 190. A Heron is often spotted. Turtles swam in several of the sections this summer. All these seem to indicate that the Wissahickon in our area is a relatively healthy habitat for an array of wildlife as well as a healing respite for the many people who hike, run, and bike here.




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