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Volunteers repair flood damage along Jacks Run at Lynch Field

| Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
A jack dam, which has been repaired by volunteers from Firestone Building Products in Youngwood and the Sewickley Creek Watershed Association, controls erosion and adds oxygen to Jacks Run. The dam is directly across from the Kirk S. Nevin Ice Arena. .
Volunteers include (foreground) Firestone warehouse manager Tom Molina and grandson Taylor Molina and (background) Sewickley Creek Watershed Association member Dean Nelson and Firestone plant manager Michael McCrea as they plant trees along Jacks Run on Saturday.

Volunteers have worked a little magic to shore up Jacks Run at Lynch Field in Greensburg.

Last Saturday, members of the Sewickley Creek Watershed Association and workers from Firestone Building Products Co. LLC in Youngwood planted willow and crabapple trees and willow and viburnum shrubs to help stabilize its banks and prevent erosion.

In addition, the volunteers repaired a jack dam that had been installed on the stream several years ago to channel water away from the eroding banks and to add oxygen to the stream to support aquatic life.

The work is part of a three-year project to repair damage from previous floods and to prevent future flooding, said Larry D. Myers of the watershed association.

The Bridgestone Trust Fund, through its Youngwood facility, donated two grants of $2,600 each for materials in the three-phase project. Two heavily damaged sections of Jacks Run have been remediated, Myers said.

Jacks Run is one of the tributaries to Sewickley Creek, which flows directly past the Youngwood plant and eventually empties into the Youghiogheny River.

The City of Greensburg and the Sewickley Watershed Association have matched the $5,200 in grants with manpower and equipment.

“We planted trees and shrubs and then the city will be coming in with heavy equipment and putting big boulders along the bank,” Myers said.

That work will likely be undertaken sometime early next year. Volunteers will return in the spring.

“We are happy to work with local groups on projects such as this as a way to express our company's support for the community,” Michael McCrea, plant manager for Firestone's Youngwood facility, said in a statement.

Last fall, the group re-graded stream banks, placed riprap to stabilize the banks and planted trees, shrubs and grass .

The third phase will include the installation of an educational kiosk between the Five Star Walking Trail and the stream, along with interpretive signs, to explain how the project components work and how they can be replicated at relatively low cost.

“We hope visitors to the park will take the time to inspect the project and be inspired to try similar riparian buffer activities in their backyards,” Myers said.