With the rains that occurred over the past several weeks, many of us have had to mow our lawns more often. These heavy rains can also contribute to grass clippings ending up in storm water runoff. Grass clippings that are blown into the street eventually enter the street storm drain.
When lawn clippings, fertilizers, soil, leaves, or animal wastes, are picked up by storm water runoff, they are carried directly to our local streams and lakes. All of these materials including grass clippings contain phosphorus. According to the U.S. EPA, phosphorus is one of the most troublesome pollutants in storm water runoff and it is considered the primary cause of water quality problems in our lakes, ponds and streams.
Grass clippings contribute nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which cause unwanted and uncontrolled growth of algae and aquatic weeds in the waterways. Increased algae growth is observed as green algae blooms or “scums” on lakes and ponds. Too much algae is harmful to a lake system. It blocks sunlight and prevents other plants from growing. When it dies and decays, it also takes much needed oxygen away from fish. Limiting phosphorus reduces algae blooms. According to the Northeast Wisconsin Stormwater Coalition, one bushel of fresh grass clippings can contain 0.1 pounds of phosphorus which if it ends up in lakes or ponds is enough to produce 30 to 50 pounds of algae.
When mowing your yard, make certain that you do not blow grass clippings into the street. Alsace Township has an MS4 Permit with the DEP which regulates stormwater and pollution which may enter the streams from the storm system. Also, we were required to adopt an MS4 Ordinance adhering to these regulations. Lawn clippings blown into the street and not cleaned up by the homeowner may enter the storm system and is a violation of the MS4 Ordinance and is a fine-able offense. When mowing, make the first few passes with the lawnmower blowing the grass clippings into the lawn not the street. If there are grass clippings on the street or sidewalk, use a broom or leaf blower to blow them back into the lawn. Do not use a hose to wash them into the street or storm drains. Keeping your leaves and lawn clippings out of the streets and gutters will have significant benefits for your local lake or stream. You can reduce the amount of phosphorus entering a lake or stream and keep one of our most precious renewable resources clean for the next generation.
Alsace Township is currently in the quarantine area for the Spotted Lanternfly. The Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), an invasive planthopper, has been discovered in Berks County, PA. It is native to China, India, Vietnam, and introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest. This insect has the potential to greatly impact the grape, hops and logging industries. Early detection is vital for the protection of Pennsylvania businesses and agriculture.
The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately 1” long and 1/2” wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots, and develop red patches as they grow.
Signs & Symptoms:
Trees, such as tree of heaven and willow, will develop weeping wounds. These wounds will leave a greyish or black trail along the trunk. This sap will attract other insects to feed, notably wasps and ants. In late fall, adults will lay egg masses on host trees and nearby smooth surfaces like stone, outdoor furniture, vehicles, and structures. Newly laid egg masses have a grey mud-like covering which can take on a dry cracked appearance over time. Old egg masses appear as rows of 30-50 brownish seed-like deposits in 4-7 columns on the trunk, roughly an inch long.
What to do:
If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs into alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. Please report all destroyed egg masses on our website.
Collect a specimen: Specimens of any life stage can be turned in to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Entomology lab for verification.
Take a picture: A photograph of any life stage (including egg masses) can be submitted to Badbug@pa.gov.
Report a site: If you can’t take a specimen or photograph, call the Automated Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189 and leave a message detailing your sighting and contact information.
For a list of available insecticide products containing the most effective ingredients click on the link. Effective Insecticides for Spotted Lanternfly
For instructions of Placing Sticky Banks on Trees click on the following link. Management Options for SLF- sticky bands c.pub
The 2018 Summer Recreation Program is rapidly approaching!
You can register at any time, however full payment is required at the time of registration. Registration Day is going to be held on Saturday, June 9 from 10:00 – 12:00 at the playground. You can download the registration form (ONE form per child). Click here for registration form: 2018 – Recreation Program REGISTRATION FORM
The 2018 Summer Recreation Program runs from:
- June 11 to August 10
- Monday thru Friday
- 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
The program is for children ages 5 to 14 years old. The cost of the program is $85.00 per child. Checks should be made payable to “Alsace Township”. Cash or checks are accepted in-person at the Alsace Township Playground or Municipal Building with a completed Registration Form.
Come join the fun! Questions? Please call 610-929-5324.
We offer a daily schedule of activities including tie dye day, water days, crafts, field trips, athletics, and more! The children are supervised by Program Leaders.
Also available for download is the Parent’s Handbook for Summer of 2018. A signed acknowledgement page from the Handbook also needs to be returned to the Township.
Open burn permitted
Call Alsace Manor Volunteer Fire Company at 610-921-9372 for more information.