Who we are and what we do…
We are a group of environmentalists who also like to fish – primarily for trout.
Our Mission: To preserve, protect, and restore the cold water resources of Chester County.
What does Valley Forge Trout Unlimited do?
- Hold two fundraisers each year. One in the fall, generally the Clean Streams Raffle and one in the spring which is our Trout Show. The Trout Show is the biggest fund raiser and it consists of raffles for quality merchandise and gear and a guest speaker who is usually well known in fishing circles
- Hold a Fly Fishing School every year on the Sunday after Mother’s Day. This is an educational event for ages 12 and up. It is for beginners or experienced fly fishermen. We encourage young people to attend and have had many families and friends go through the school. We charge $75 for adults and $30 for young people under the age of 16. It is an all-day school running from 8:30 AM until 6:30 PM. Three meals are included plus one on one guided fishing for 1½ hours at the end of the day.
- Support 15 (as of July 2020) Trout in the Classroom Projects. This is a joint project between the PA Fish & Boat Commission and PA Council of Trout Unlimited. We support the local school who participate in the program. We generally donate $200 per year to each school to help defray the costs of the program. Many of our schools have been participating for many years.
- Participate actively in the Valley Creek Restoration Partnership. The partnership was organized in 2000 and was formed to include local, county, state and federal entities that have a stake in Valley Creek. The purpose of the partnership is to identify projects and assist in getting them implemented to improve the watershed.
- Lead the Valley Creek Coalition. The coalition is comprised of non-profit organizations that came together in the 1970’s and 1980’s to restore the health of Valley Creek. This group is more inclined to challenge a developer or land owner if they are doing something detrimental to the creek in the watershed. This group has sued Penn DOT and PA DEP. It has obtained a Settlement Agreement with PA DEP regarding the review of cumulative effects of pollution on Valley Creek before any NPDES permit is issued.
- Attend township meetings to stay engaged in the community and participate in items which may affect Valley Creek. We have been part of negotiations on numerous developments. Most recently the expansion projects on Route 202 and the PA Turnpike as well as the Uptown Worthington Development and Atwater. We also comment on local and state regulatory changes if they affect Valley Creek or other watersheds of concern.
- Sponsor 3 Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing veterans outreach programs
What has Valley Forge Trout Unlimited Done?
- We have been a leader in pushing effective stormwater controls on development. We have been aggressive learning about stormwater and applying that knowledge to obtain progressive stormwater ordinances locally and statewide.
- We have participated with developments in the area to enhance their stormwater management plans. Examples of such successes are the main campus of Vanguard, the current Route 202 expansion, the PA Turnpike Slip Ramps at Route 29 and the proposed widening project from the Slip Ramps to Valley Forge, the Uptown Worthington development, Atwater.
- We have done projects with Valley Forge National Historical Park such as riparian buffer restoration along Valley Creek, stream bank protection/revetment project to protect a sewer line, temperature monitoring of Valley Creek.
- We have done many projects outside of the Valley Forge National Historical Park in the greater Valley Creek watershed area, including:
- Demonstration rain gardens.
- Habitat improvement project on the main stem of Valley Creek and its tributaries.
- Attempted to restore native wild brook trout to a tributary to Valley Creek.
- Stream restoration, stabilization and relocations projects in and out of the Valley Creek watershed.
- Gotten home owners involved with their own stormwater management through a Back-Yard Ecology program.
- Supported grants for a demonstration green roof on a local elementary school.
- Initiated and ran a stream temperature monitoring program with more than 20 recording sensors in various sections of Valley Creek and selected other local streams. Valley Forge National Historical Park has taken over this effort and is managing data collected within the park. VFTU is currently collecting data from sensors in Valley Creek, West Valley Creek and Pickering Creek.
- Planted hundreds of trees in the watershed.
- Retrofitted a stormwater basin from a mowed flow-through basin to a vegetated habitat that discharges less stormwater.
- Advocated for and have done projects to control stormwater runoff in the headwaters of the Valley Creek watershed.
- We were instrumental in forming the Valley Creek Coalition and the Valley Creek Restoration Partnership.
- We work with as many groups as we can. We currently have working relationships with the following non-profits, local governments, county agencies, state agencies, federal entities and research and educational institutions.
- Open Land Conservancy of Chester County, Green Valleys Watershed Association, West Chester Fish Game & Wildlife Association, League of Women Voters, Natural Lands Trust, Pipeline Safety Coalition, French & Pickering Creek Conservation Trust
- East Whiteland Township, Charlestown Township, East Bradford Township, West Whiteland Township, Tredyffrin Township
- Chester County Conservation District, Chester County Water Resources Authority
- PA Department of Environmental Protection, PA Fish & Boat Commission
- Valley Forge National Historical Park, US Geological Survey
- Stroud Water Research Center, Villanova University, Cabrini College, Temple University, Drexel University, the Academy of Natural Science – Patrick Center
1988 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Best Chapter Newsletter, Jim Clark, editor.
1989 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Best Chapter Newsletter, Jim Clark, editor.
1989 – Pennsylvania Fish Commission Adopt-A-Stream program Certificate of Recognition and Award of Merit for the West Valley Creek habitat restoration project.
2005 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Samuel R. Slaymaker Memorial Award for Best Chapter Newsletter, Ken Terry, editor.
2005 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Best Chapter Website
2006 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Edward J. Urbus Award for best chapter in the state.
2006 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Best Membership Award for the greatest net increase in membership
2008 – Trout Unlimited Bollinger Award for best TU newsletter in the nation, Tom Prusak, editor.
2010 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Best Chapter Project for work on Crabby Creek.
2018 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Best Chapter Website
2018 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Highest Growth in Membership
2019 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Award for Top Conservationist (Al Renzi)
2019 – Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited Best Chapter