U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, Vol. 6, Issue 4, Summer 2016
First Responders train at East Branch see page 9
Headwaters Update is a quarterly publication of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District. It is produced for electronic distribution by the Public Affairs Office. Views and opinions expressed in the Headwaters Update are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Submissions may be sent to CELRP-PA@usace.army. mil for consideration in upcoming editions. Stories submitted should be in a Word document format. All photographs should include a caption and be high resolution (at least 4x6 inches and 300 dpi). US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Col. Bernard R. Lindstrom District Commander Public Affairs Chief Carol Davis Editor John Kelly Layout & Design Dan Jones Public Affairs Office 412-395-7500 www.lrp.usace.army.mil
On the Cover First Reponders perform rescue training at East Branch Lake (Photo by Kim Warner, East Branch Lake )
Colonel Lloyd takes command of district during ceremony By Carol E. Davis, PAO
of various equipment like a helmet, ballistic vest or other important gear you The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers need as a Soldier,” Lloyd said. “But the good news is -- I was issued my very Pittsburgh District held its change of own Terrible Towel. Although, I am a command ceremony at the Soldiers devoted Bills fan, I will ensure that I’ll and Sailors Museum in Pittsburgh, always root for the Pirates, Penguins Pa., July 29. and Steelers – except for the one time a With pomp and circumstance, Col. year that they play Buffalo.” John P. Lloyd assumed the command Lloyd when on to thank Col. Lindas the 53rd district engineer from Col. strom and his wife for making his famBernard R. Lindstrom. ily feel at home in Pittsburgh Lloyd arrived at the district from the first night of their after the completion of the arrival. National Security program at “Bernie and I have never the Canadian Forces College. served together,” he said. Prior to that, he served in a “But, like true Army famivariety of engineer command lies, they gave us a top-notch and leadership positions inwelcome, and went above and cluding battalion commander th beyond to make Pittsburgh of the 19 Engineer Battalion home. My family and I are at Fort Knox, Ky. Col. John Lloyd incredibly proud to join the Maj. Gen. Donald E. (Ed) Pittsburgh District family and call the Jackson, Jr., deputy commanding genPittsburgh community our home.” eral for Civil and Emergency Opera“Pittsburgh District has its chaltions, presided over the time-honored lenges – crumbling concrete and ceremony. In a traditional act that is aging infrastructure,” Lindstrom said. rooted in military history dating back “But, this group of people meets those to the 18th century, Jackson passed the command flag from Lindstrom to Lloyd challenges every day with innovative to symbolize the transfer of responsibil- thinking and creative solutions, and I’m so proud to have been able to work ity from one commander to another. with them. They are the heart and soul As the new commander, Lloyd of the river and this district.” passed the flag to Lenna Hawkins, Jackson commented that he underdeputy district engineer. This gesture represents the seamless integration of stood it was difficult for the district to lose a great commander, but he assured the military and civilian team within everyone that Col. Lloyd was the right the district. man for the job. “In my short time that I have been “John brings a wealth of experience, here, my assessment is that the men a passion for excellence and a love for and women of the Pittsburgh District the mission and people of the Corps are simply amazing in every way,” of Engineers,” Jackson said. “There is Lloyd said. simply no better officer to take over “I will say this is the first assigncommand of the Pittsburgh District ment where I did not have to go to the Central Issue Facility to receive an issue than John Lloyd.”
In this Issue
Page 4 - Incoming, Outgoing commanders visit East Branch Lake Page 5 - Loyalhanna Lake celebrates Water Recreation Day Page 8 - Shenango Lake rocks Summerfest Page 11 - Mahoning Creek Lake celebrates 75 years
Shenango Lake looking to improve pollinator habitat Kyle Kraynak, Park Ranger, Shenango Lake
Lake partnered with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to install a half-acre pollinator plot at Mahaney Recreation Summertime in the United Area, a highly utilized recreStates means fireworks, parades, ation area at the project. family get-togethers and cook This was a cost-sharing outs. There is nothing more effort as the PA Game ComAmerican than baseball and apple mission donated oats that pie so goes the saying. When you would serve as a cover crop reach for that apple pie, blueof the native seeds and also berry cobbler, lemonade or fresh their equipment for planting. cucumbers, do you realize the The Corps of Engineers projeopardy these and many other vided the native wildflower fruits and vegetables face? and grass mix and prepped According to the New York Pollinator seed mixed with oats that will serve as a cover the site by controlling weeds Times, on a global scale 35 crop for the wild flower seed mix. that would compete with the percent of the crop production Pollinators. This policy directs federal flowers. depend on pollinators with a value agencies to develop plans to enhance The pollinator plot is in view of the of as much as $577 billion a year. pollinator habitats. public and serves as an education area Pollinators include: honey bees, Section 3 of the memorandum, as well. butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles, Increasing and Improving Pollinator The pollinator plot consists of birds and bats. However many of these Habitat, states the U.S. Army Corps of re-purposed mowed “green space”. species are experiencing alarming Instead of mowing the half acre site declines in their populations according Engineers shall incorporate conservation practices for pollinator habitat weekly and releasing more CO2 into to studies conducted by the Natural improvement on the 12 million acres the atmosphere, the decision to plant Resource Defense Council. One study of lands and waters at resource develthe pollinator plot was made. The site showed that since 1990 more than 25 opment projects across the country, was prepped and planted and currently percent of colony honey bees in the as appropriate. USACE served on the is blooming with numerous species United States have died off. White House Task Forces for Poland varieties of native grasses, flowers The current administration’s stratlinator Health and contributed to the and plants. egy to combat this decline is outlined development of various components of Plans are under way to expand in the Presidential Memorandum Crethe strategy. this activity in the spring of 2017 at ating a Federal Strategy to Promote In the spring of 2016, Shenango Shenango Lake. the Health of Honey Bees and Other
Incoming, Outgoing Commanders visit East Branch Dam Project
By Kim Warner, East Branch Lake
East Branch Clarion River Lake hosted the current and incoming commanders of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District for a visit to the East Branch Dam Safety Modification Project in advance of the organizational change of command, July, 6. Col. Bernard Lindstrom, outgoing district commander, and Col. John Lloyd incoming district commander, were briefed on project details, construction status, engineering during construction, mega-project management, then toured the project facilities and construction site. After the tour, the two leaders joined the operations and construction staffs for introductions and a special cookout lunch. The visit was demonstrated the working relationships that exist between operations and construction at the East Branch Project. Prior to the Change of Command Ceremony, Col.Bernard Lindstrom (left) esorted Col. John Lloyd (right) to various sites throughout the Pittsburgh District to introduce him to the staff and brief him on the project.
Camp Sunshine brightens day Crooked Creek Lake
Loyalhanna Lake celebrates Water Rec Day
By April Richards, Loyalhanna Lake
Loyalhanna Lake held its annual water recreation day to promote the cohesion of fun and safety on the water, July 9. There were many water related stations to visit during the event. Participants were invited to try paddling different types of kayaks and canoes, or try their hand at yard games. Attendees also had an opportunity to practice using a rescue-throw bag and see an inflatable, personal flotation device demonstration, which highlighted the importance of proper wear and maintenance. Those who participated received free water safety items and were entered into a drawing to receive donated PFDs. Additionally, the event showcased how safety professionals do their job on the lake. Blairsville Fire Department performed a mock water rescue and displayed the equipment used in water rescue situations. Westmoreland Emergency Management presented the importance of developing a family safety plan to help reduce risk and eliminate confusion when dealing with a crisis situation. Visitors were also able to interact with live snakes while they learned the difference between native venomous and non-venomous. Furs, feathers, fish
Prior to the Change of Command Ceremony, Col.Bernard Lindstrom (left) esorted Col. John Lloyd (right) to various sites throughout the Pittsburgh District to introduce him to the staff and brief him on the project.
mounts and other wildlife props were on display to illustration animals of the area. Guest were also treated to lake tours which highlighted the districtâ€™s mission at Loyalhanna. The day was designed to help promote safe practices while having fun on the water and strengthened rela-
tionships with our local partners. Approximately 85 visitors attended throughout the day, while 12 volunteers supported the event by showcasing their water safety message. Local partners including Westmoreland Emergency Management, Blairsville Volunteer Fire Department, Two Dam Kayaking Outfitter.
Crooked Creek gets fresh coat of paint By Pam McCauley
By Pam McCauley The ARC of Armstrong County held its annual day camp, Camp Sunshine, at Crooked Creek Lake June 27-29. Campers enjoyed various activities and entertainment, met Bobber, the Water Safety Dog, received water safety materials, and went for a boat ride on Crooked Creek Lake. The event was attended by 40 individuals with intellectual disabilities and 30 volunteers.
Volunteers from Philips Respironics partnered with Crooked Creek Lake and spent the day painting lines and bumpers in four parking lots to increase visibility for guests who are parking around Crooked Creek Lake July, 12. The group of 24 individuals completed painting at the Resource Management Office, Outflow Recreation Area, Justice Pavilion, and Constitution Pavilion parking lots during their six hours at the project.
USACE Commander visits Pittsburgh By Carol E. Davis, PAO
Lt. Gen Todd Semonite tours the inside of the middle wall at Montgomery Lock and Dam.
Lt. Gen Todd Semonite and Command Sgt. Maj Antonio Jones (left) greet employees at Montgomery Lock and Dam on the Ohio River.
The 54th U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ chief of engineers visited the Headwaters District, June 22, to gain a better understanding of the challenges inland navigation faces with an aging infrastructure. Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Antonio Jones visit started with a tour of two Pittsburgh District inland navigation facilities, the Montgomery Locks and Dam on the Ohio River, and Charleroi Locks and Dam on the Monongahela River. Col. Bernard Lindstrom, district commander, said the tour was designed to provide Lt. Gen. Semonite with an overview of the district’s vital missions. “As the headwaters district, it’s our mission to maintain and operator some of the oldest inland navigation infrastructure in the Corps’ system,” Lindstrom said. “It’s important for him, as a new commanding general, to have a complete understanding of the challenges our district faces.” Robert Buckel, Montgomery equipment mechanic supervisor, said the challenges faces the facilities are not any different from what should be expected with a 80-year-old project. “One of the biggest challenges at Montgomery is there are no off-
the-shelf parts,” Buckel said. “Our repair fleet does what they need to do to keep this facility up and running, and if that means they have to rebuild parts, that is what they do.” Although, the facility underwent a major rehabilitation 30 years ago, Buckel said the rehab had a 25-year warranty. Now, he says, they are facing some of the same issues that the rehab addressed. Crumbling concrete, old parts and a limited maintenance budget means the district has to be judicious about how every dollar is spent. “I just want to keep this facility up and running the best way we can,” Buckel said. “We only want to continue to be an asset and not a hindrance to industry.” Constructed from 1932 to 1936, Montgomery Locks and Dam opened in 1936. The facility eliminated the three original wooden wicket dams. In addition to the condition of the locks and dam, Buckel said keeping and recruiting staff is also be an issue. “We make lock and dam operators here,” Buckel said. “No one comes off the street as a lock and dam operator, we have to train them which we do gladly. Once an operator locks at Montgomery they can lock anywhere on the Allegheny, Ohio or the Monongahela rivers.” During an award presentation at Montgomery
Locks and Dam, Lt. Gen. Semonite recognized the challenges facing the district. “You guys are dealing with some of the oldest facilities in the Corps’ system,” Semonite said. “Now, it’s up to headquarters to ask, how can we continue to support you, and when you do have a project, how can we best help to see it through? The solutions are not going to come today, but with some innovative thinking, we will find them.” From Montgomery, the chief and the command sergeant major travelled to Locks and Dam 4 on the Monongahela River at Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Charleroi is a part of the Lower Mon River project, which includes Elizabeth, the district’s oldest facility at 109 years old, and Braddock locks and dams. In 1992, Congress authorized the Corps’ plan to modernize the locks and dams on the lower river. Then, the project was expected to be complete in 2004, a decade ago, but inefficient funding has pushed the project date back to at least 2027 with an estimated price tag of $2.7 billion. Standing on the dam’s bridge, Lt. Gen. Semonite had a bird’s eye view of the multiple construction projects in progress to include construction of a new lock chamber. “Right now we are the bottle neck on the river,” Paul Meininger, lock master said. “With only one chamber open, we have to be vigilant
to make sure the equipment and the chamber continues to run. If it goes down, the river goes down.” When construction is finished, the new chamber will better accommodate the needs of today’s industry. The current chamber is 56-foot wide by 720-foot long, the new chamber will be 84-foot wide by 720-foot long. The wider chamber would allow industry to pass more barges through more quickly. While at Charleroi, Lt. Gen. Semonite said that the Corps simply does not have the money to fix all of the challenges faces the district’s inland navigation system. “If we can get industry to help us, technology to help us, and then, if we find the appropriate savings in other areas we can invest back in the system.” Lt. Gen. Semonite said. “It is the people who do the dayto-day operations that come up with innovative solutions to find a better value to give back to the nation.” Command Sgt. Maj. Jones echoed the chief’s statements. “It’s the wage grade people who make this system work every day and it’s those people that I’m out here to see, get to know, give a pat on the back and say thank you for all you do,” Jones said. “It really is all about the Corps family, working side-by-side, that’s how we will keep this system working,” Semonite said.
Lt. Gen Semonite is escorted across the service bridge at Charleroi Lock and Dam on the Monongahela River.
Col. Bernard Lindstrom, former district commander, Col Benjamin Bigelow, LRD Deputy Division Commander, speak with Lt. Gen Semonite during his tour of Charleroi Lock and Dam
Shenango rocks Summerfest
By John Kelly, PAO The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Shenango River Lake partnered with local organizations to hold the 13th Annual Leslie Sparano Memorial Summer Fest July 22. Summer Fest symbolizes the idea of living life, giving and the outdoors, according to the Leslie Colucci-Sparano Memorial Foundation and the Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission, who co-founded the event. Those ideals and the fesBobber the Water Safety Dog visits with guests at Sumtivals namesake, for the 13th year mer Fest promoting the Corps water safety message. in a row, have been the reason to rally behind the entire Sharpsville evidenced by the many smiles of atcommunity where the event takes place. tendees, all of which feed into the sense Leslie Sparano was a Support of community that made the event a Coordinator with the Mercer County success. Behavioral Health Commission and 28 Throughout the day, the festive years old when she was tragically killed atmosphere was electrified by a DJ in a car accident in 2004. According to named David who has a special conthe Leslie Colucci-Sparano Foundation nection to the event. David is Leslie “Everybody that knew Leslie loved her. Sparano’s brother, and his participation She had a passion and zest for life that is another example of how this event is was unsurpassed.” a labor of “family love.” Hundreds of attendees who were The event succeeded in accomplishwilling to brave briefly inclement ing its primary mission of enabling weather were treated to an immersive disabled residents a chance to venture and activity filled experience, said John into the great outdoors for some fun. Kolodziejski, Shenango River Lake “The laugher, smiles and good times natural resource manager. touch so many and in ways one might Activities included boat rides, fishing, have never expected,” Kolodziejski crafts, games, a dunking booth, bingo, said. dancing, bocce ball, a full lunch and While there were several booths more. to visit and events to take part in, the Jubilation was in great supply as event also offered a chance for commu-
nity partnership with the district and its facilities. “Our projects do not exist in a vacuum; they are part of the communities in which they are situated. Events such as this one are crucial to garnering public support of our missions and remaining relevant to the geographic areas we serve,” said Evan Skornick, supervisory operations project manager, northern area operations for the Pittsburgh District. Serving the public through maintenance of the district’s project sites that exist within its boundaries, and providing access to use those sites for community events is the unique privilege of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This privilege also enable partnerships similar to this event to connect with its target audience through the outdoors, said organizers. “Summerfest is a perfect example of a great partnership. In this case Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission, the Leslie Colucci-Sparano Memorial Foundation and the Pittsburgh District work together to bring an average of 900 clients, family members and volunteers together for a day of outdoor recreation at Shenango Lake,” added Kolodziejski. At the end of the day, these type of partnerships create a dynamic relationship with the community and offer a chance for some outdoor focused fun. As far as the future of the event goes, Kolodziejski did not mince words, “2016 represented our 13th year and there is no end in sight.”
Rescue Training held at East Branch Lake
By Kim Warner Members of both the Wilcox and Kane Volunteer Fire Departments conducted rescue training exercises at East Branch Dam June, 11. Various rescue scenarios were enacted on the work platform in coordination with Bencor and USACE, including utilization of the VFD ladder truck for simulated rescues from the top of the material storage silos. The event helped further existing working relationships with the local VFD’s, and was a tool used to promote a safe work environment. The training was conducted in cooperation with the East Branch Resident Office and Contractor, Bencor Global Inc.
District Engineer visits Allegheny navigation Locks By Mike Clark
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District senior leadership conducted site visits to the upper locks on the Allegheny River to assess district navigation facilities Aug. 4. The upper locks include those situated along the Allegheny River numbered 4 through 9.
Think before you sink... visit bobber.info 9
Stonewall Jackson Lake brings Water Safety to JAKES Day By Scott Hannah, Stonewall Jackson Photo by Jacob Henry, Stonewall Jackson Lake Two rangers from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District’s Stonewall Jackson Dam attended the JAKES Day with the Stonewall Jackson Woodland Tracks Chapter of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation in Buckhannon, West Virginia, Aug. 20. Rangers Scott Hannah and Jacob Henry assisted in hosting 83 children, ages five to 17 years old, attended the festivities in an all-day event. Throughout the day, children had the opportunity to meet some of their favorite mascots: French Creek Freddie, West Virginia’s groundhog that watches for his shadow every early spring; Smokey the Bear, the national fire prevention bear; Eddie Eagle, the state mascot for gun safety; and Bobber the Water Safety Dog, the US Army Corps of Engineers national water safety mascot. Additionally, the children were given the opportunity to attend 30-minute sessions at each station ranging from fishing, fish identification, wildlife identification, turkey hunting, snakes, archery, air rifle target practice, skeet shooting, camping/
Mahoning Creek Lake celebrates 75 years By Fabiana Burrell Photo by Carol E Davis
Stonewall Jackson Lake ranger, Scott Hannah, gives JAKES Day participants water safety information and the childrens questions and concerns.
first aid, and last but not least, water safety presented by the rangers. Rangers Hannah and Henry demonstrated how to find the life jacket that fits for you, care and maintenance of life jackets, and the 4-step rescue of reach, throw, row, go get help. The ses-
sions were interactive and the children shared many questions and stories. This was the fifth year Stonewall Jackson rangers have presented water safety programs with JAKES Day and the rangers plan to attend for many more.
Stonewall Jackson never misses an opportunity to promote Water Safety By Jacob Henry Photograph by C. Scott Hannah
Mahoning Creek Lake staff commemorated the 75th anniversary of the completion of the construction of Mahoning Dam, June 18. Throughout the day visitors had the opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities including tours from the top of the dam. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary gave free courtesy safety check for boaters, and a 75th anniversary tree-planting ceremony. Sixteen stakeholders were invited to participate in the festivities and explain how our mission initiatives have formed partnerships with them. Col. Bernard Lindstrom, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District commander, joined Richard Lockwood, chief Operations Division, Scott Eberle, maintenance worker at Mahoning Dam, Randy Brozenick, Armstrong County Public Safety Director, and Ricky McKee in the anniversary tree-planting ceremony. The Mahoning Dam was mandated by Congress to be completed through
Col. Bernard Lindstrom, district commander, and Mahoning Creek partners and staff plant a tree as part of the 75th anniversary celebration, June 18.
the 1936 and 1938 Flood Control Acts that were created in response to the 1936 St. Patrick’s Day flood. The dam was completed and placed into operation in 1941 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District and has been a part of the community since, according to Ricky
McKee, natural resource manager of Mahoning Dam. Mahoning Dam has been providing flood protection for the lower Allegheny River Valley and the upper Ohio River since its completion. More than 400 visitors attended the event throughout the day.
Hiker visits Conemaugh River Park, finds peace, happiness with each step By Holly Dill
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees participated in the Lewis County Fair Kid’s Day to promote the Corps water safety mission July 20. During the event, Scott Hannah and Jacob Henry, Stonewall Jackson Lake rangers, provided water safety messages and handed out water safety giveaways to over 300 kids. Bobber the Water Safety Dog made an appearance to promote water safety and meet the children who were in attendance. He received several hugs, high fives, and posed with attendees for several pictures.
A Maryland hiker passed through Conemaugh River Park en route to Saltsburg traveling the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal July 30. The hiker Ed Talone, 59, of Maryland had negotiated the West Penn Trail prior to this current endeavor. He commented that he came back to see how the Conemaugh River area has changed. Carrying his belongings in the pack on his back, Talone says hiking is a passion of his. An investor by trade, Talone has logged more than 60,000 miles over the past 30 years and has no plans of slowing down.
Pittsburgh District Commander Col. John Lloyd meets with Senator Bob Casey prior to a press conference at Charleroi Lock and Dam (Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jeff Hawk)