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[graphic] Honey Hollow Watershed


[photo] Aerial view of a portion of the Honey Hollow Watershed
Photograph from National Historic Landmarks collection

[photo] Views of Forrest Crooks' House and the watersheel on the Miller farm
Photographs from National Register collection

Created in 1939, the Honey Hollow Watershed Conservation Area was the first small upland watershed in agricultural use to demonstrate that soil, water, and wildlife conservation and flood prevention could be achieved through cooperative local action. The Honey Hollow Watershed consists of five farms totaling about 650 acres located along the Delaware River north of New Hope, Pennsylvania. It was established when local farmers, dismayed about the erosion of their fields, applied to the Soil Conservation Service for assistance in developing a comprehensive soil conservation plan. The project attracted national attention and became a model of cooperative farmers' action to conserve natural resources. The history of the watershed in regard to conservation began in the 1930s, when the owners of the farms along Honey Creek observed how their fields were washing away. Cultivation by machinery had caused serious sheet and gully erosion on the upland farms, while siltation struck those on the downslope. It was obvious that the erosion must be checked, or else the land would be ruined for agricultural use. The five owners of the farmland in the Honey Hollow watershed combined efforts and took their tale to the regional office of the Soil Conservation Service in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. The Regional Director, Dr. J. P. Jones, agreed to provide the technical assistance needed and the landowners agreed to band together and carry out the soil and water conservation practices prescribed for each tract. Within the next two years terraces and diversion ditches had been constructed to control runoff on steep slopes, long dense hedges had been planted to check erosion and provide waterlife habitat, and several ponds were built and stocked with fish. Almost overnight the "Honey Hollow Project" attracted attention from high levels in the Department of Agriculture, as well as farmers seeking ways to improve their land. Vice President Henry Wallace visited in 1944, and came back other times. Louis Bromfiled, novelist and conservationist, was also a good friend of the project. The Watershed still retains all the conservation measures adopted in the late 1930s, terraces, contour-plowed fields, diversion ditches, wildlife hedges, ponds, and treelands. It is now a National Historic Landmark.

The Honey Hollow Watershed Conservation Project is located in Solebury Township in Bucks County. All the sites are along R.D. #1 in New Hope. They can be seen following Upper York Rd. where it makes a right onto Creamery Rd. There are tours offered of the Honey Hollow Watershed every other Sunday at 1:00pm by the Bucks County Audubon Society, more information is available on their website. Please call 215-297-5880 for further information or visit the Audubon Visitors Center, 2877 Cremery Rd, Solebury Township,New Hope.


 [graphic] Link to Canal History Essay
 [graphic] Link to Delaware and Lehigh Region Essay
 [graphic] Link to Scranton and the Railroad Essay
 [graphic] Link to Establishing the Heritage Corridor Essay

 

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