Flower pots filled with dirt were enclosed in colorful paper along with a package of seeds and a pencil for each of the Towamensing Elementary School sixth graders who walked over to the municipal building to learn what local government does. They were told there was further information at www.towamensingtownship.com.
It is the 11th year Towamensing held a local government day. Included are what goes on in a township and about the township itself.
Dr. Roy Christman said students should know something about where they live. He had some evergreen branches and wanted to see how many recognized them.
The watershed carries water to the Aquashicola Creek to the Lehigh River to the Delaware River and to the ocean. From the northern side of the township it flows to the Pohopoco Creek to the Lehigh, the Delaware and the ocean.
The word Towamensing means "wilderness," and was originally a very large area.
The longest period in prehuman history is the Davonian era, which was before dinosaurs came. Christman passed around a rock with fossils.
The three human periods are Indian with the Lenape living in this area. Some students said they had found arrowheads. The Lenape were here for 10,000 years until the 1700s when they were pushed out and went to Ohio and then Indian territory (Oklahoma).
He brought some artifacts used in the agricultural days of the township such as a file to work on horses teeth and a scraper to scrape hair off a pig before it was butchered. The agricultural era was inhabited by mainly Pennsylvania German people.
Towamensing is considered an exurb with parents that work outside the township. Outside the exurb is the rural areas and inside is suburban, with all centered around a town.
Supervisor Penny Kleintop said the other two supervisors are Tom Newman and Guy Seifert. They look after township money, collect garbage and care for the roads. There is a meeting on the first Thursday of each month, 7 p.m., and residents can come and tell about their concerns.
She was asked what the township is working on now. It is repairing Owl Creek Bridge, building a softball field, paving roads and running a recycling program. There are 72 miles of township roads. The remainder are state or private roads
Connie Bieling said a lot of what happens in the township is done by volunteers. Land is divided into zones which tell what kind of development is permitted. They are residential, light and heavy commercial, rural conservation and industrial. A new zone is being created with comprehensive planning - which means that two townships and two boroughs will work together on some planning and zoning matters. The proposed zone is recreation-conservation.
Mary Beth Beers told about the Towamensing Historic Commission which surveyed and recorded the buildings over 100 years old.
She brought family pictures. The oldest were formal shots and the newest had everyone in a more casual position. Christman said his family attended the Kibler, Greenzweig and Lovett one-room schools. At one time there were nine one-room schools in the township.
Each class received an aerial map and a zoning map of the township to hang in their classrooms. On the way out each student received cookies and a beverage.
Tom Costenbader from the road crew walked them through the recycling program which includes numbers one and two plastic, aluminum, steel cans, and glass. There is a truck provided by LaFarge Cement company which can be filled with tires at which time LaFarge will pick it up and burn the tires in the cement-making process.
Costenbader said some of the steps are in place for recycling newspaper in the near future. The township also collects used oil that can be left in containers near the recycling bins. It is used for heating the building.
Aluminum takes 500 years to decompose in a landfill and glass takes 4,000 years
Baling aluminum, plastic and cardboard was demonstrated. Nearly half a bin of plastic is squeezed down to a bale 4 feet by 4-1/2 feet by 2 feet in size.
How the garbage truck packs garbage was demonstrated. The road crew is also in charge of recycling.