Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Low bridge almost overwhelmed by Sleepy Creek after 2 inches of rain

This is what Sleepy Creek looked like on July 7 after 2 inches of rain. As can be seen here, the creek is swollen and muddy from storm water runoff. The sediment that gets into the creek is bad for the organisms that live in the water and makes it’s way into the Potomac river and then the Chesapeake Bay.

Stream monitoring season is underway!

Norman Dean and Chuck Marsh conduct the biological conditions part of a stream survey at Yellow Spring Run. Even though there was very little flow due to lack of rain lately, there were a surprisingly large amount of benthic macroinvertebrates, salamanders, crayfish, and minnows in the net. Bob Meadows, Jeff Iliff and Danielle Watson also helped with the survey. Stay tuned for information on the next monitoring event, maybe you can join us!

Tree planting season is coming soon, stay tuned for details!

Spring tree plantings are just around the corner, so re-visit our site for the dates as they are decided.

Act Now! Septic Repair Cost-Share Up to $7,300

Sleepy Creek Watershed residents, don’t pass up this opportunity to address that nagging septic problem or simply get 50% off that much needed maintenance pump-out! (Watch our Video.)

You should receive a copy of this valuable coupon and limited time offer in the mail this week.

Letting a septic system fail STINKS and poisons our water.

Click on the coupon image below
to download the simple application form

Email us if you have questions or contact Suzy Campbell at the Panhandle Conservation District for more details.

Please do it today and help care for our Sleepy Creek Watershed!


Sleepy Creek septic coupon press rev

Click picture above to Download the Simple Application Form

Plenty of tree planting opportunities in the next few weeks!

Maya and Eliza are happy volunteeers

Planting trees is fun!

Herb Peddicord, the WV Chesapeake Bay Forester, is inviting all interested volunteers of all ages to help plant trees in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties on several following dates.  Here is the tentative schedule:
Saturday, October 15th: 9:00 am until Noon – Near Tuscarora Pike, west of Martinsburg.  Take exit 13 from I-81,  Turn west toward Poor House Farm on Tuscarora Pike.  Go approximately 1.7 miles, loor for mailbox #8055 on the right.  Turn right into the driveway.  The holes are already dug for 140 trees.
Saturday October 29th – To be determined depending on tree order arrival.
Saturday, November 5th – Planting at the “Crossing on the Potomac: HOA in north Berkeley County.
Saturday, November 12th – “Tree 4 Bees” planting at Sacred Roots on Persimmon Lane in Jefferson County.
Saturday, November 19th – Riparian buffer planting on Back Creek of Ganotown Road.
Herb will also have two other Tree 4 Bee planting he will schedule for weekdays or on October 2th.
If you would like to help out with any of these tree plantings please contact Herb Peddicord at (304) 229-2665 or for more information.
Participants at all of these planting should bring water to drink, gardening or work goloves, sunscreen, pub spray, and a spade or shovel. Work clothes and boots are also appropriate clothing.


Stream monitoring results for Sleepy Creek at Creek Rd. 09-02-2016

It was perfect weather to enjoy the beauty of Sleepy Creek during our annual monitoring at this site.

Level 3 Stream Survey results for Sleepy Creek at Creek Road on 09-02-2016, 8:30am.

Participants: Fink, Iliff, Oaks, Meadows, Dean.

Conditions: Sunny and cool, no rain in the last 48 hours.

Latitude: 39-30-59  Longitude: 78-13-38

Water temp: 19.5  C. , Dissolved Oxygen: 67 mg/l,  Conductivity: 284 uS, Turbidity: 56 (tube reading)

Habitat conditions: 180 optimal (up 15 from last year)

Biological conditions: 83.6 Optimal (up 2.6 from last year)

There were 180 low tolerance benthic macroinvertebrates  represented by 10 types, 83 ‘critters’ of 7 types in the medium tolerance category, and only one in the high tolerance category.

Click on our ‘Stream Monitoring’ category (to the right) to see stream monitoring results for other Sleepy Creek Locations this year, as well as a deeper explanation of the process in a posting called, “What is stream monitoring and what do the numbers mean?”

Free trees available to honor Carla Hardy

Carla Hardy (1971-2016), founder of the Carla Hardy WV Project CommuniTree program, has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  Cacapon Institute is offering memorial trees to be planted in her honor in fall 2016. By planting a memorial tree this fall, you are expanding upon Carla’s legacy and upholding the motto of the program she began back in 2008 by “Building Communities from the Roots Up!”


Community organizations and private homeowners are encouraged to apply to plant memorial trees throughout their communities and in their backyards.


Trees will be available for pickup between October 1st and November 30th at either:

  • Inwood – WV Division of Forestry office (145 Pilgrim Street, Inwood, WV 25428)
  • Moorefield – WV Conservation Agency office (60 Moorefield Industrial Park Rd, Moorefield, WV 26836)


On your order form, you’ll need to select where you’ll be picking up your trees from, how many trees you are requesting, and answer some basic information about where you’ll be planting the trees and how they will be maintained. Please keep in mind that we will do our best to honor all requests for species, but in certain situations, a similar species may be substituted based on nursery availability.


The deadline to apply for memorial trees is Wednesday, September 14th


We encourage successful applicants to submit their tree planting with pictures to Cacapon Institute’s “What’s Your BMP” tool on our website.


Please fill out a form at the Cacapon Institute website, and email it to or contact me with any questions.  

On behalf of Carla Hardy WV Project CommuniTree,

Tanner Haid, Urban Watershed Forester

ISA Certified Arborist #MA-5639A

Cacapon Institute

#10 Rock Ford Road

Great Cacapon, WV 25422

Cell: 540-335-0687

Office: 304-258-8013

Building Communities from the Roots Up!



SCWA begins preliminary surveys for an ambitious stream bank restoration project

Ted Hogan surveying the stream bed

Here Engineer Ted Hogan surveys the Sleepy Creek  stream bed downstream from the bridge at Spriggs Rd.

SCWA began the preliminary steps necessary to apply for a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant to restore natural stream flow and reduce stream bank erosion in Sleepy Creek. On June 1st SCWA members were met at the Spriggs Rd. bridge by engineer Ted Hogan from E.O. Restoration to view the site and get survey measurements of the stretch of stream in question. The natural flow of the stream has been thrown off by the footings of the 100 year old cement bridge, causing bank erosion which increases stream sediment and releases the nitrogen and phosphorous that was bound up in the soil. The sediment and nutrient loads end up in the Potomac river and Chesapeake bay, negatively affecting the plants and wildlife that live there. Every four feet, from above the banks on both sides, measurements were taken across the stream  to help get a cross-section of the stream bed depths. Longitudinal measurements were also made to calculate downstream slope. This data will be helpful in putting together a restoration design plan and give us a baseline for where the banks are at this point in time, so we can measure any future erosion. Applying for this NFWF grant has many stages, and this is just the beginning. We will keep you updated on the progress of this project.

Sleepy Creek member attends Choose Clean Water Conference

SCWA was represented by Jeff Iliff at the 7th Annual Choose Clean Water Conference in Annapolis MD on May 24th and 25th. This conference brings together experts from all around the Chesapeake Bay watershed to share the newest developments and information to help watershed and environmental organizations maximize their effectiveness. There were many informative workshops from advocacy and communication challenges to public health and environmental justice. The highlight was a field trip to an organic farm to observe best management practices aimed at avoiding chemical and sediment runoff such as building healthy soil using winter crops and strategic grazing for cows and sheep. Clagett farm is owned and run by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and is a functioning farm that is also an educational site available for school field trips to teach the next generation how ‘green farming’ works. There is no doubt that all conference attendees will bring a wealth of new information back to their local organizations. You can check out their website for more information.

Final Report on Fecal Coliform Bacteria levels in Sleepy Creek released

The iconic limestone train bridge near the mouth of Sleepy Creek

The iconic limestone train bridge near the mouth of Sleepy Creek

The Cacapon Institute recently released it’s 2014-2015 final report on Fecal Coliform Bacteria levels in the Sleepy Creek Watershed. Seven sites were sampled over the course of 15 months. The tests were done as a result of Sleepy Creek’s 2007 designation as an ‘impaired’ stream due to it’s high levels of Fecal Coliform Bacteria. These sites were sampled because the source of this pollution was thought to be coming from the estimated 6,400 homes in the watershed that were not connected to a treatment facility, (14.18% of which are thought to be failing).  Sleepy Creek has an ongoing septic system pumping and repair cost-sharing program through a 319 grant that we have implemented to help address this problem and dozens of homeowners have already taken advantage of these funds. (You can get the forms by going to the ‘Grant Awards’ category on the right.) Sleepy Creek Watershed Association is also helping to reduce runoff from rain events by planting trees along the creek to help buffer and absorb runoff into the stream.

Thanks to Cacapon Institute for their testing and laboratory expertise.

You can check out the entire Final Report by clicking here: