Originally published on York Dispatch
Twice a week, for the past six months, Ted Evgeniadis worked his way up and down the banks of the Codorus Creek, chopping away at vegetation growing there. Since being named Lower Susquehanna River Keeper, Evgeniadis put out a weekly plea for volunteers to help control the multitude of plants that grow inside the flood-control banks of the creek.
For more than two years, Evgeniadis’ predecessor, now Mayor-elect Michael Helfrich, negotiated an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to be permitted to control the growth of vegetation along the banks of the Codorus from College Avenue to the train trestle north of Philadelphia Street as part of the Greener Codorus Initiative. If vegetation is removed, the Corps of Engineers don’t have to spray herbicides in the area.
“The Army Corps would spray herbicides on the creek which kills all the vegetation all along the creek,” Evgeniadis explained. No herbicides mean vegetation is permitted to grow, keeping the banks of the creek green.
“There are a couple different positive impacts from what we are doing,” said Evgeniadis. “All the cut vegetation acts as a riparian buffer and helps feed the ducks and other wildlife on the creek and keeps the downtown area green.”
As part of the agreement, the Corps of Engineers inspects the Greener Codorus section to make sure Evgeniadis and his volunteers are keeping the growth to less than eight inches. Wednesday, Nov. 15 was the final inspection until April when the River Keeper will again start asking for volunteers.
“We are looking for anyone who is willing to come out and help spread the message for what we are doing here,” said Evgeniadis. Interested parties can contact Evgeniadis via Facebook by searching for the Lower Susquehanna River Keepers Association or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.