Gunpowder Valley Conservancy Asks For Community Input On The Future Of Our Watershed

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Credit: Gunpowder Valley Conservancy

PERRY HALL - After last year's success, The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy will be hosting two more roundtable discussions to explore the health and future of the Gunpowder River.

The first of this year's discussions will be held at the Perry Hall Library on Thursday, February 23, 2023. Those interested in participating in the forum can register online here.

In 2022, over 60 people representing 43 organizations attended the Gunpowder Watershed Forum. Baltimore County Government officials gave presentations on watershed planning and how climate change affects the Gunpowder.

The goal of the roundtables is the create a comprehensive report on what the community would like to see for the future of our beloved river. In last year's report, community members identified six goals for the Gunpowder:

People feel secure with their water: "It is a place for safe swimming, fishing, and boating. The drinking water is safe. Recreation is used as a way to engage the public and increase investment in watershed health."

People feel welcome and connected: "Amenities along the Gunpowder, from trails to recreation opportunities, feel inclusive to a wide range of people. People feel connected to the Gunpowder and engage in community clean-ups and other stewardship efforts."

The watershed is restored and regenerated: "Invasive species are under control, there is an increase in aquatic life, and a diversity of native species thriving. Native landscaping and robust riparian buffers reduce water temperature and increase habitat for native species. Reforestation efforts contribute to watershed health. Runoff and sediment are controlled."

Communication & Adoption: "Landowners understand and adopt practices to improve the health of the Gunpowder, (including runoff management, erosion control), improve agricultural practices (including use of technology, cover crops, and forestry). Messaging is clear, consistent, and makes a connection between a healthy Gunpowder and healthy families."

Collaboration: "City and County agencies work together with local groups. They communicate smoothly and effectively across many platforms. Reporting is easy and interconnected, and data is shared widely. Local agencies are able to subsidize BMPs and monitor existing riparian buffers."

Land Use and Land Access: "Land is zoned to protect the health of the watershed, and development is managed with environmental stewardship in mind, including smart growth principles in all new projects."

A second roundtable discussion will be held at the Cockeysville Library on Tuesday, March 9.

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