'Turtle Lady' at the Helm of a New Organization
Cindy Pierson has started the Watchdogs of the Watersheds, an environmental group focusing on the lower region of the Pompeston Creek.
Cindy Pierson wants folks to know that she’s still in the area, and ever concerned about the Pompeston Creek—she’s just traveled downstream a bit, where her stalwart vigilance of the waterway will continue.
Pierson for the last 12 years had been a formidable member of the Pompeston Creek Watershed Association (PCWA). The grassroots organization was started in 1963 by locals, the late Ruth Allen and the late Sybil Taylor.
But in November 2012, Pierson, who was president, resigned from the PCWA’s board, mainly because she wants to concentrate specifically on the areas of the creek located from Route 130 to the Delaware River, a region that has “been the most neglected, but needs the most attention.”
Recently, Pierson and a small band of followers launched Watchdogs of the Watersheds, another organization of-the-people, paralleling many of PCWA's beliefs, but with a stronger focus on the stream in Cinnaminson and Riverton.
“Although we’re based in Cinnaminson, we’ll be taking care of more than just the creek. We’ll also monitor the lower areas of the Pennsauken Creek, as well as Swedes Run in Delran,” Pierson declared. “Focus on areas in Moorestown still will be included, but we want to apply ourselves to more of the region that’s been overlooked.”
Through membership drives and contributions, the PCWA safeguards the Pompeston, which flows through Cinnaminson, Delran, Moorestown and Riverton, as well as protects its banks, plants and the animal life along the stream.
In particular, the waterway is home to snapping turtles, which also lay eggs along the Pompeston’s banks during early summer; that was the initial linchpin for Pierson joining the PCWA in the first place. Pierson’s affection for turtles is local legend, garnering her the nickname “Turtle Lady.”
On occasion, she can be seen retrieving buried eggs from homes nearby the creek. She incubates the turtle eggs in large aquariums until they are “predator proof," big and hearty enough to survive in the waterway.
During her tenure with the PCWA, Pierson said she agreed with the monitoring of the cleanliness of the creek, as well as the educational workshops offered for residents to help safeguard and keep the stream clean. But she feels that her new direction and focus is imperative.
Pierson also reiterated the two nonprofit groups will collaborate and work together on environmental issues.
Watchdogs of the Watersheds is looking for members and contributions. Cleanups and work sessions will be held monthly. And like PCWA, forums and seminars will be held on topics like rain gardens, landscaping with native plants, storm water management information, bird watching and local history.
“I’m a child of the '60s,” Pierson said succinctly. “I'll always be an advocate of the environment.
Visit Cindy Pierson’s blogs on Cinnaminson Patch for more information on Watchdogs of the Watershed.