By Justin Strawser

SHAMOKIN - The Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) Authority is planning to apply for funding from two state agencies to control storm water runoff and construct a secondary trailhead for non-motorized activities.

As discussed Tuesday night at the authority's workshop meeting, the members will be placing two motions on the agenda to apply for grants from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

The first project would provide a place for storm water to collect once the parking lot and trailhead are built later this year in what is called a rain garden, authority member David Crowl said.

A rain garden is described as a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses which should be positioned near a runoff source like a downspout, driveway or sump pump to capture rainwater runoff and stop the water from reaching the sewer system. Microorganisms in the water will eat spilled liquids from the motorized vehicles.

The funding would come from the Growing Greener Grant from DEP, Crowl said.

Once finished, Crowl said Northumberland County could use it as an example to other businesses looking to build one of their own.

The second project, expected to cost $500,000, would provide a secondary trailhead and parking for non-motorized activities, such as hiking, equestrians and hunting, and be located approximately 3/4-mile east of the initial trailhead off Route 125.

In addition to the parking lot, a small office building and bathroom would be built, the authority members said.

The funding would come from Phase II Second Round of funding from DCNR, they said.

Missing trees

Chairman James Backes provided the other members several photographs showing that several trees were illegally cut down on the eastern side of the property near the radio tower.

There were several freshly cut stumps in the forest and sawdust on the ground showing where those logs had been cut into smaller pieces.

Backes, who guessed someone was either preparing a campsite or cutting firewood, asked Solicitor Frank Garrigan whether a motion was needed to start an investigation and prosecute anyone who was caught.

Garrigan said it was in the authority's power to investigate and press charges, and a motion was not needed. However, a formal announcement could be made at the next public meeting.

Welcoming guests

The authority plans to approve the Dirt Devils, a group of 25 children, leaders and parents; the Geisinger Health Systems Children's Miracle Network benefit ride on Sept. 19; and the JK Adventure Group, of Philadelphia, on July 20, to all hold events and rides.

Once the public portion of the meeting concluded, the authority met in executive session to discuss committee appointments, security personnel and land leases.

The next public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 16.