GFWC Meadville Woman’s Club Garden Division met March 15th at First Presbyterian Church.
Judy Acker, Education and Outreach Specialist for the French Creek Valley Conservancy, presented the “French Creek: Past, Present and Future” program.
Historical significance reveals that French Creek was named by George Washington in December 1753. It was home to Seneca Indians and the French were the first European settlers. The French Creek Feeder Canal was an extension of the Erie Canal that opened ports and markets to the north until the railroad became more popular. Acker discussed the top 10 tributaries.
The creek has over 3,000 native plants, 26 species of aquatic mussels, over 80 species of fish, and the Eastern Hellbender Salamander, the second largest species in the world, thrives in French Creek. Acker also shared information on invasive species that pose a threat (Japanese knotweed, Japanese honeysuckle, multiflora rose, and round goby).
Acker noted that French Creek is a community treasure and one of the last great places. Today it is important for recreation, fishing, scientific studies and drinking (filtered) water.
In 2021, approximately 800 people volunteered for cleanup day and collected 26,375 pounds of litter from the creek.
The French Creek Valley Conservancy was established in 1982 and turns 40 this year and French Creek was named Pennsylvania’s 2022 River of the Year.
Co-chair Norma McClay chaired the business meeting. Madalyn Davis read the words of Garth Brooks from “The River” for inspiration, Lee Petersen read the November meeting minutes, and McClay read the treasurer’s report for Jeannine McQuiston.
The horticulture report was presented by McClay.
McClay served as hostess and Petersen was in charge of reservations.
The next Garden Division meeting will be April 19 at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.