Wetlands project at Nixon Park to start next month


Work to create wetlands at a York County park is set to get underway next month, transforming 2 acres of meadow in the 187-acre Nixon Park into a marsh.

The project will open new educational options for the park, as well as expanding its trail system to a new area, said Tammy Klunk, county parks director.

Construction is slated to start at the end of August and will take about eight months to complete. However, a substantial part of the work could be finished by Thanksgiving, Klunk said.

Cost: Commissioners at their weekly meeting on Wednesday awarded an $844,287 contract to Aquatic Resource Restoration Co. of the Seven Valleys area. Commissioner Chris Reilly did not attend the meeting.

A large portion of the funding — $696,156 — is coming from the state Department of Transportation, Loganville and Springfield Township. The remaining $148,131 will come from the county parks grant fund, officials said.

PennDOT is picking up a large portion of the funding because part of the existing wetlands near the Mount Rose Avenue interchange of Interstate 83 is being affected by a massive construction project.

The department's policy dictates the habitat be restored or replaced.

"Whenever there's wetlands (affected by road construction), we try to restore them," Mike Crochunis, a PennDOT spokesman, has said. "That's been part of our environmental process."

Wetlands: Officials opted to construct the new wetlands on a meadow with a meandering stream near the entrance to Nixon Park in Springfield Township.

The wetlands will boast plants and trees native to the state and will include trail extensions and a bridge to carry hikers into the area.

The addition of wetlands is a first for the park and will serve as a teaching tool for students and nature lovers, Klunk said.

As part of the project, the stream that runs through the meadow, which will feed the wetlands, will be restored.

County commissioners last year approved spending $30,000 to cover the cost to design a bridge over the stream, construction management and bid procurement.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.