SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. — A trophy and an award ceremony was held at the Schuylkill County courthouse in Pottsville Wednesday.
The honorees are people who spearheaded a flood mitigation project in the Pine Grove area.
"We took this approach of creating an area that would absorb these waters. To divert them from going downstream and really flooding the neighborhood," said Donna Enrico, PA DCED Program Manager.
The award comes from a national organization called the Council of State Community Development Agencies.
They chose to recognize the project in Schuylkill County because it protects the environment and property in the Pine Grove area by using a wetland to absorb flood water.
The project took nearly a decade to complete but has already been proven successful.
"Where everyone now sees the results and its impact, there's been two flood events didn't leave a drop of water from the Swatara Creek," said Heath Machamer, Pine Grove Borough Manager.
"Damages to people's homes and things like that, it's probably saved tens of thousands of dollars compared the few million dollars that the project cost," said Wayne Lehman, Schuylkill County Natural Resource Specialist.
And the project created a 10-acre wetland that some species now call home.
"There's all different kinds of wildlife using the site that before was just a rather abandoned area that has been turned into a real mecca for wildlife," said Aaron Clauser, environmental scientist.
The Pine Grove flood mitigation project is now being used as a blueprint in flood zones throughout the country.
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