There is a wonderful communal quality to waterways.
A stream belongs to those whose lives it touches, and whose life is not touched by their nearby streams? We enjoy the soothing sound of running water and the dance of sunlight on the water's surface. We fish in streams, live near them, build parks along them. Our children play in and around them.
Our stream is not only part of what connects us to nature, it also connects us with others in our local community by virtue of being shared, and with others up and down the stream. We all benefit, variously, from the riparian ecology of our streams.
With our common benefit and enjoyment of the stream comes a responsibility to care for the streams: to show our streams some love. Far too often we take our stream for granted.
Walking along an uncared for stream one sees debris. Testing water quality there we find it laced with subtle, invisible contamination.
Our stream is an indicator of our quality of life and how socially responsible we are. How we treat the stream is, in part, how we treat each other.
We who live around Shippensburg, near the border between Franklin and Cumberland Counties, are blessed with a special, spring fed trout stream: Middle Spring Creek and its tributaries, Branch Creek, Burd Run, Gum Run, and Mains Run.
Our streams have mercifully avoided the worst extremes of mistreatment, but are also far from pristine. The development in and around the borough and surrounding agricultural region put our streams at special risk of man-made ecological stresses.
We must be vigilant in preserving our stream, removing garbage from it, and repairing and maintaining it as a quality riparian habitat. Doing so is the mark of a good community.
Fortunately our community also has some special resources to help care for the stream.
There is MSWA. There is Shippensburg University, especially its Biology Department, with various research capacities, faculty expertise, and students interested in the stream and its ecology. Perhaps most important of all we have a strong community that cares about our streams.
We ask you to show your love for the stream by supporting MSWA's work and participating with us in keeping the stream clean, improve the quality of the stream ecology, and caring for our shared community asset.