A watershed is a region in which water all flows to the same waterway. Rose Valley is located in the Ridley Creek Watershed and Delaware River Watershed. Within the Delaware River Watershed, we are in the Delaware Estuary - the part of the watershed in which tides come in and out, mixing fresh and salt water. Learn more about the Delaware Estuary here.
Ridley Creek Watershed
The Ridley Creek watershed encompasses 38 square miles and 17 municipalities of Chester and Delaware Counties. Ridley Creek itself runs 24 miles from Immaculata University in Chester County to its confluence with the Delaware River between Chester City and Eddystone Borough in Delaware County.
The Chester Ridley Crum Watershed Association is a not-for-profit tasked with the conservation and restoration of Chester, Ridley, and Crum Watersheds through stream cleanups and tree plantings to reduce stream pollution and streambank erosion. The CRC Watershed Assocation has sponsored many trees plantings and erosion control projects in Rose Valley. Please watch the short video above to learn more about them or visit their website here.
Ridley Creek Watershed's largest threat is from sedimentation resulting from unmanaged stormwater runoff. To learn more about the watershed, how all of the municipalities within the watershed are connected, and how our actions or inaction to manage our runoff can impact Ridley Creek and our neighbors on the Creek downstream from us, watch this presentation about Ridley Creek from the Willistown Conservation Trust.
Delaware River Watershed
The Delaware River is the longest undammed river East of the Mississippi. It flows 330 miles from the Catskills in New York, along the border between Pennsylvania and New York, then along Pennsylvania's border with New Jersey, to its the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean along Delaware's coast.
The Delaware Watershed, also called the Delaware River Basin, covers 13,539 square miles. Pennsylvania contributes 6,454 square miles or 47.67 percent of the basin's total land area.
For more information about the Delaware Watershed, watch the Audobon video on this page, or click here.
44% of the Delaware River Watershed is impaired, and like Ridley Creek, one of the biggest culprits is pollution and sedimentation from poorly managed stormwater runoff. "In general, studies have found that water quality in a watershed is significantly affected once impervious surfaces, such as buildings, parking lots and roads, cover more than 10 percent of a watershed’s surfaces, said Cory Trego, a water resources planner at the Chester County Water Resources Authority in West Chester, Pa." ("Streams in the Delaware River watershed face a variety of threats," Delaware Currents, April 20, 2022.)
For thousands of years before Europeans settled the Americas, the Delaware River Watershed was part of the ancestral home of the Lenape people, who called the area "Lenapehoking." In fact, the Minquas path that runs through Rose Valley was given its name by the Lenape of this area.
Originally, there were over 30 Lenape tribes, many with their own dialects. By the end of the 17th century, however, the Lenape were so reduced by disease and war that sub-clans decided to combine, giving the impression that there were only three tribes - the Turtle, the Turkey, and the Wolf. The remaining Lenape were forced from this area or into assimilation through the late 17th and 18th centuries by European settlers.
Today, the Lenape tribes of New Jersey and Delaware have been recognized by those states. Pennsylvania has a Lenape Nation as well, though it has not yet been recognized by the state.
By User:Nikater - File:Delaware01.png, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27384249
We hope you will take a take time to learn more about the Lenape -the original inhabitants of Rose Valley and this region. Here are a few resources to help you get started.