The habitat disturbance you may have seen at the corner of Morris Road and Butler Pike is a Wetland Mitigation Project related to PennDOT’s proposed 202 widening project.
This highway reconstruction project will disturb 0.37 acres of wetlands along the Wissahickon Creek, and as a result of this PennDOT is required to mitigate that disturbance by restoring and/or replacing wetland habitat elsewhere in the watershed. Please note this is not a Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association project; all work is being completed by PennDOT.
Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association released the following statement:
The proposed mitigation will have value and functions equal to or greater than the wetland areas lost as a part of the 202 widening project construction. Local organizations and agencies including WVWA, Natural Lands, and the Montgomery County Planning Commission (MCPC) were consulted as part of the wetland mitigation site selection process.
WVWA recommended the site at Morris Rd and Butler Avenue, because at the time, there was imminent threat of residential development at this site. The site is now referred to as the Prophecy Creek Mitigation Site. The 7.4-acre Prophecy Creek Mitigation Site was acquired by PennDOT for this wetland mitigation, as well as to preserve additional stream and wetland areas and surrounding uplands, which are primarily forested.
The areas planned for wetland construction had previously been mowed and contain some mature trees, which have been surveyed and located on the Wetland Mitigation Plan. Trees surrounding the proposed wetland construction area will be avoided to the extent practicable. Trees that cannot be avoided will be incorporated into the site plan as habitat in the form of brush piles or fallen wood.
After the site has been graded, vegetation will be planted in the wetland replacement area and throughout the areas of the restoration site. A diversified native planting scheme will be used to create a wetland with food, cover, and nesting sites for indigenous wildlife of the project area.