March 1st, 2022 – Neahwa Park & Catella Park, Oneonta

Report by Art and Peggy Palmer.  Our original goal (SUCO College Camp) was canceled because of poor conditions. Instead we substituted the familiar hike around Neahwa Park plus a visit to neighboring Catella Park to view the wells that provide most of Oneonta’s water.  Twenty ADKers came out on this brisk morning for a walk of nearly two miles.  After walking through a portion of Neahwa Park, we went to Catella Park where Art showed us and explained the pumping station and pipeline where Oneonta Creek enters the diversion channel that borders the two parks.  We continued on toward the wells. He explained that groundwater is pumped from a well that was installed in the mid-1990s to augment the city’s dwindling water supply. The favorable sites were located by gravity and seismic surveys run by Art’s SUNY geophysics and hydrology students. A second well nearby has an even greater capacity and can augment the existing system as demand grows. From the water treatment plant on East Street, purified water is pumped at night through underground pipes to storage tanks at high elevations, from where it’s distributed to nearby areas.  Neahwa and Catella Parks provide a nice level area to walk which can total about 2.5 miles when completed around the perimeters and along the Mill Race.

Photos by Janice Downie.

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