©2017 by The Spring Creek Watershed Atlas. Proudly created with Wix.com

Take a walk during any season along the 4.4-mile trail winding its way along Spring Creek Canyon and you’ll be rewarded with a dizzying array of plants. Known locally as a botanical “hot spot” by amateur and seasoned botanists alike, Spring Creek Canyon boasts a mixture of mature forests and successional communities, cultivated areas and unique ecological communities each contributing to the botanical richness of the area. Although proximity to developed areas has overwhelmingly shaped the flora...

Virtually all the potable water consumed in the Centre Region is drawn from the groundwater reservoir.   Even residents in the Bellefonte area depend on groundwater that emerges naturally in the Big Spring. But the movement of water on and beneath the surface is controlled by the rocks and structures that shape the valley.   

Figure 1. Paleogeographic globe with present-day North America superimposed on the American landmass of c. 450 Ma.  (White dashed line is the equator; north i...

Unlike the Centre Region, most communities with a population of several thousand or more are located adjacent to a river or a large body of fresh water.  For those communities, water management is relatively simple: “Pump it and Dump It.” 

Water is pumped from the river upstream of the community, used, and after treatment, the wastewater is dumped back into the river downstream.  Where the source is a lake, water drawn from the lake is treated, used and the treated wastewater returned to the...

 Dynamic Wetlands in Time and Space: Vernal pools are wetlands that experience alternating periods of flooding and drying, and are synonymous with animal species that exploit these seasonal waters that are free of predatory fish.  Fish have a difficult time colonizing vernal pools because they dry up during seasons (or years) with moderate rainfall, or lack stream connections through which fish can immigrate.  For these reasons, vernal pools are more broadly called seasonal pools or isolated dep...

The Spring Creek Watershed is home to some of Pennsylvania’s most productive soils. These  soils are a primary reason for the region’s economic success.  They support agricultural and forestry operations that produce a wide variety of building materials, biofuels, and food products for humans and animals.  Soils also act as engineering materials for roads, pipelines, residential and commercial buildings, and recreational opportunities like bike paths.  Unfortunately, the best soils for food prod...

The following article has been condensed from the publication “The Fishery of Spring Creek – A Watershed Under Siege” by Robert F. Carline, Rebecca L. Dunlap, Jason E. Detar, and Bruce A. Hollender.

Figures 1 and 2.  (Left) Average-size wild brown trout from Spring Creek. (Right) Large wild brown trout. Few individuals reach this size in Spring Creek.

Historically, native brook trout sustained the fishery, which was apparently good enough to attract the famous angler, Theodore Gordon, who raved a...

This article was originally published by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission: State of the Susquehanna 2010 Report.

Spring Creek, a famous stream in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River watershed, is aptly named.  Within this 146-square-mile watershed, there are at least seven springs that each produce more than 1 million gallons per day (mgd) of clean, cold water.  These springs have influenced settlement patterns in the watershed.  The most famous is Big Spring around which the Borough o...

How many wetlands occur in the Spring Creek Watershed? This is a typical question arising when considering the water resources of a geographic area. It is also a difficult one to answer.  An easier, and perhaps more interesting, question is “How many different types of wetlands occur?  In this brief synopsis, we’ll examine both questions, as we explore the abundance and diversity of wetlands in the Spring Creek Watershed.

Climate, geology, topography, and soils are the primary natural driver...

Map of land use in the Spring Creek Watershed in 2014.

By clicking on the map above, you will open it as a pdf image that you can enlarge.

Rain falls everywhere on the Spring Creek watershed. Where it falls, whether on the forested ridges, the agricultural valleys, or the built up and paved over neighborhoods, it has a profound impact on the water quality of its streams. The Centre Regional Planning Agency's estimate of land use in the watershed in 2014 was 38% forest, 29% agriculture, 26% develop...

Forested watersheds provide many benefits to humans. One of the most important is to provide clean, clear drinking water but forested watersheds also support fish and wildlife and provide endless recreational opportunities. An often overlooked benefit of forested watersheds is pollution dilution. Many of our towns and cities rely on clean water coming from upstream, forested areas to allow us to dispose of wastewater and other pollutants into the stream while still maintaining a relatively clean...

Please reload

Nature of the Watershed

Current Condition of Natural Features and Water Resources