Conservancy seeks flood of Brandywine votes

The Brandywine Conservancy is backing "River of the Year" honors for the Brandywine Creek.

Members of the esteemed Wyeth family found artistic inspiration in its scenic, rippling currents; George “Frolic” Weymouth, the co-founder of the Brandywine Conservancy, made his home at a crook aptly named “Big Bend;” more than 500,000 area residents rely on it for drinking water, and countless others enjoy it for a variety of recreational pursuits.

The Brandywine Creek is shown from the Lenape Bridge in Pocopson Township.

The Brandywine Creek is shown from the Lenape Bridge in Pocopson Township.

Now, the Brandywine Creek needs the public’s assistance to elevate its iconic status even further. The creek is in contention for designation as 2017 Pennsylvania River of the Year, and the Brandywine Conservancy, which submitted the nomination, is hoping that area residents will cast their votes here.

For the past 20 years, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has annually recognized one river as the River of the Year. This recognition is done to raise awareness of the important recreational, ecological, and historical resources associated with the state’s rivers and streams.

The River of the Year is celebrated throughout the year. Events have included paddling trips, a speaker series, cleanup days, photography contests, and more. The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, administers the River of the Year program, and partnering with community groups, organizes the celebratory events, including a paddling trip, according to the POWR website.

Not surprisingly, the conservancy believes that the Brandywine bests its three competitors in myriad ways. Votes may be cast online now through 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19, and are limited to one vote per email address.

At 315 miles in length, the Allegheny River in western Pennsylvania may beat the Brandywine in size, but it doesn’t flow through rich farmland, down steep wooded valleys, past historic villages and mill towns and nationally acknowledged historic landmarks. Similarly, the Loyalhanna Creek, which passes through the center of the City of Latrobe, and the Perkiomen Creek in Montgomery County can’t boast the Brandywine’s rich history.

So if you’ve ever enjoyed a lazy day tubing down the Brandywine or simply savoring its spectacular vistas, the conservancy would like to see the POWR website flooded with votes.



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About Kathleen Brady Shea

Kathleen Brady Shea, a nearly lifelong area resident, has been reporting on local news for several decades, including 19 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. She believes that journalists provide a vital watchdog service in the community, and she embraces that commitment. In addition to unearthing news, she also enjoys digging up dirt in her garden, a hobby that frequently fosters Longwood Gardens envy. Along with her husband, Pete, she lives in a historic residence near the Brandywine Battlefield, a property that is also home to a sheep, a goat, and a passel of fish.



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