Riparian Restoration

Upper Makefield Township created a Riparian Restoration and Preservation Grant Program in 2007. Maintaining the lengths of water’s edges throughout Upper Makefield’s streams —Riparian Corridors— is an ongoing effort in Upper Makefield. Maintenance and strategically planted trees and other vegetation can manage streamflow and stormwater.

Two Grants for Residential Properties

Here’s more information on how to manage the land within 200 feet from the bank on either side of your stream or creek.

  • Plant Trees and Deer Protection. Download an application for our  Tree Grant Program.
  • Implement a Riparian Restoration Plan for your property. 
    • Riparian Restoration Grant Application
    • Riparian Grant Terms & Conditions
    • Riparian Grant Program Resolution No. 2013-08-20

Watershed Restoration Projects in Review

With input from residents, Upper Makefield Township officials and consultants are drafting a strategic plan to stabilize stream banks and improve waterquality within the Jericho Creek and Houghs Creek watersheds. By years’ end, the Board of Supervisors expects to review and approve the plan. As part of the study, an approved Assessment Map update may help the Township secure grant funding for approved projects. The Assessment Map shown is a draft presented at a September 11, 2018 public workshop. It illustrates the results of survey work this year.

Clear-cut timbering and environmentally insensitive agricultural practices years ago accelerated natural erosion and sediment along these creeks. Today, powerful storm waters carry tree branches and sediment downstream that block and erode established waterways and creek banks. Stormwater overflow (flooding) from creek banks also picks up ground contaminates that pollute our drinking water systems.

Upper Makefield Township and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are working jointly under a grant to update the Township’s Watershed Assessment, and to develop a number of projects most likely to help restore the two watersheds.

About 2 dozen residents participated in a September 11, 2018 public workshop with consultants from LandStudies of Lititz, Pennsylvania. With their input, plans are being prioritized for review by the Board of Supervisors.

You Can Help Now

If you own property along the Jericho Creek or Houghs Creek, here’s how you can help:

  • Learn and apply best maintenance practices for the property. Here is our Creek Maintenance Fact Sheet.
  • Get financial help by applying to Upper Makefield’s Riparian Restoration and Preservation Grant Program. Read more below.

Discuss your property’s specific needs with Dave Kuhns, Director Planning & Zoning.

Details on Riparian Restoration Grant Eligibility

In 2007, Upper Makefield Township created a Riparian Restoration and Preservation Grant Program. The Township funded the grant with settlement paid by a developer from land development litigation brought by several residents.

This program gives residents funds to reforest riparian areas, repair stream banks, and to establish riparian area easements. Riparian reforestation and restoration help preserve water quality and reduce flooding.

Riparian buffers are defined as areas within 200 feet from the bank on either side of a stream.

Recipients of Riparian Restoration Grants may use the funds for:

  • Planting trees and other restorative vegetation
  • Long-term maintenance and replacement of tree canopies
  • Preserving riparian areas by establishing riparian easements
  • Maintaining and improving stream flow characteristics and stormwater management
  • Streambank repair and improvements
  • Protection of riparian plantings from potential deer damage
  • Construction or professional services related to the above activities

You will be asked to provide:

  • An executed and signed Riparian Restoration Grant application.
  • A scope of work
  • An estimated time period within which the work will be completed
  • Written authorization to the Township to access the subject property
  • Written authorization from the property owner for all proposed project activities
  • A detailed project description
  • A bona-fide contractor estimate of the scope of work to be finished
  • A description and plan of long-term maintenance and protection upon completion of the project

The Township Manager and Township Engineer will review each application and provide comments to the Board of Supervisors, who will decide if the proposal is within the scope of the Riparian Fund.

  • The Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) will then review the application and provide recommendations to the applicant and the Board of Supervisors for the proposed project.
  • The Board of Supervisors will review the recommendations of the EAC, and if approved by a unanimous vote, the applicant may enter into a Grant Agreement with Township.