Spring 2023 Park News

Watch for two upcoming projects at West Mill Creek Park: first, thanks to the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program, we will receive valuable (and free!) assistance with our Friends of WMC Park planting program for several years. Second, starting this Fall, the Township will begin implementation of a major construction project involving regrading and replanting the stream banks. Read on for details!

An Important Boost for Plants and Wildlife at the Park

We are thrilled to announce that local native plant guru and Master Naturalist, Michelle Detwiler, has committed to donating at least 20 hours of work annually over the next 3 years to help maintain native trees and plants and control invasive species throughout the park.  This major volunteer commitment is made under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program, which provides rigorous training for program participants in ecological gardening to benefit local ecosystems.   The program includes environmental pro bono work as part of its ongoing certification requirements.  We are indeed fortunate that Michelle has selected West Mill Creek Park as the beneficiary of her services!  If you would like to help Michelle, volunteer opportunities will be available.

Over the past several years, as a consultant for Friends of WMC, Michelle has selected and sited all of the new trees and shrubs planted during our annual Fall Planting Days.   In addition, she designed and assisted with the installation of the new planting beds in and around the parking lot entrance and exit areas.  We have received many compliments on this work and expect park users will welcome the future plantings as well. 

Our efforts this year focused on the new parking lot gardens, Pictured here, L to R, are Michelle Detwiler, garden designer, with Friends of WMC Park Volunteers Alan Wood, Ellen Reese, Karen Hinckley, Mark Wassmansdorf, and Ellen Briggs. Dave DeAngelis of the Lower Merion Parks Department (pictured far right) and his crew provided essential support to our efforts.

Construction Work at the Park this Fall

To comply with mandated Pennsylvania requirements intended to reduce water pollution statewide, Lower Merion Township will be implementing an extensive project at West Mill Creek Park. The project will involve major regrading of the stream banks, installation of in-stream structures to direct water flow, and replanting of the regraded banks.  Friends of WMC is working closely with the Township Engineer to minimize loss of mature trees and maximize access for Park visitors during this process.

Construction is expected to begin in the Fall of 2023.  The Park will remain open to park users (both dogs and people) throughout the project, although sections of the Park will be closed off to allow work on those parts as the project proceeds.  Heavy equipment and trucks needed for the project are expected to park in the grassy area off Old Gulph Road so as not to take up precious parking lot space. 

Best wishes for a happy summer and fingers crossed for a good rain!