Nearly a year after a flash flood ripped through Salt Springs Park, the
namesake spring was restored last week by volunteers from Southwestern Energy.
The group of about 20 workers spent the day away from natural gas drilling to make repairs to the boardwalk that leads hikers to the waterfalls’ overlook, clear trails, and cut fallen timber into firewood.
“One of our field operators saw a Facebook post about cleanup days, and he approached me to ask if it was something we could get involved with” offered Cody Stanton, who was leading the crew’s efforts at the park. “(Salt Springs Park) is in our own backyard. SWN tries to help where we can and be involved in the community.”
Mike Narcavage, Senior Government and Community Affairs Manager, said, “Southwestern Energy prides itself in its formula of “R2” the Right People doing the Right Things. That just doesn’t mean being the best operator in Pennsylvania it also means being a good neighbor.
“Southwestern’s employees step up to the plate all the time to help our local communities. Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen or library and participating in food drives and warm clothes drives our employees are very charitable.
“Today we were proud to partner with Salt Springs State Park which is in the heart of our Susquehanna County operations. Twenty Southwestern Energy employees worked to clear trails of overgrown brush, fix boardwalks, install signage as well as work clearing the area around the spring. We’re so proud to part of this community and want to do anything we can to assist our neighbors.”
Friends of Salt Springs Board of Directors President Thomas Stoll said, “We really appreciate efforts like this from companies like Southwestern that help us keep the park in the condition we want it for visitors.”
“The Friends saw this as an opportunity to not have Southwestern come for the spring cleanup, but rather to have them here on a day to get some serious projects accomplished,” Stoll said.
Boardwalk repairs topped the project list, Stoll said. The decking is over 20 years old and was in serious need of some work.
The crew also noticed a steep bank leading to the stepping stones in the creek, currently being used with a rope rail to guide visitors to the area of the park where the spring is located. The footbridge was washed away by the flood and is currently in the process of being replaced.
The volunteers carved out stone steps in the bank to lead to the crossing.
Stoll said, “A lot of progress has been made in the past two months.” The septic system in the Calvin house is done and the home – which provides rental income for the park – is ready for tenants.
A DCNR crew also helped to clear much of the rocky debris field left by the flood.
“Slowly but surely, things are coming back,” said Stoll. “It’s a new park.”