Broadstreet Hollow Creek

Broadstreet Hollow Creek

Broad­street Hol­low Creek is a small head­wa­ter stream orig­i­nat­ing in the Catskill Moun­tain Town of Lex­ing­ton in Greene Coun­ty, and flow­ing south through a nar­row val­ley, through the Town of Shan­dak­en in Ulster Coun­ty, where it joins Upper Eso­pus Creek just a few hun­dred meters below where the Shan­dak­en Tun­nel dis­charges Schoharie Reser­voir water into the Ashokan Water­shed. Though the stream is small rel­a­tive to oth­er trib­u­taries in the Catskills — its drainage area is approx­i­mate­ly 9.5 square miles, and the main stem along the road is less than 4 miles long — for the res­i­dents of the Broad­street Hol­low val­ley, the stream has an immense impact on qual­i­ty of life, pro­vid­ing great val­ue as well as challenges.

It is believed that Broad­street Hol­low was named after Major John Brad­street, a com­mis­sioned offi­cer in the Eng­lish Army dur­ing the French and Indi­an War, who is best remem­bered for suc­cess­ful­ly attack­ing Fort Fron­tenac in Kingston, Cana­da. Stone quar­ries were scat­tered through­out the Broad­street Hol­low val­ley and oper­at­ed most­ly in the ear­ly 1900s. Most of the blue­stone from the quar­ries was sent to New York City for side­walks. At least two hem­lock tan­ner­ies pro­duc­ing tan­nin for the leather indus­try were locat­ed near Broad­street Hol­low as well as a sawmill, which sup­plied rough lum­ber to the Chich­ester Fur­ni­ture fac­to­ry near the Stony Clove Creek.

The cold head­wa­ters of Broad­street Hol­low Creek pro­vide impor­tant habi­tat for a diverse vari­ety of aquat­ic and ripar­i­an plant and ani­mal species. A joint USGS-DEP study on fish com­mu­ni­ty indices on Broad­street Hol­low Creek found the stream to sup­port a healthy and rich cold water fishery.

In 2000, the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion con­tract­ed with Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict and Greene Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict to devel­op a Stream Man­age­ment Plan and stream restora­tion demon­stra­tion project for Broad­street Hol­low. This was ini­ti­at­ed fol­low­ing the devel­op­ment of a very pro­duc­tive “mud­boil” in the Broad­street Hol­low stream bed just above the Jay Hand Hol­low Creek trib­u­tary. This mud­boil was dri­ven by arte­sian ground­wa­ter flow and a large set of rotat­ing land­slides next to the stream that pumped mud­dy water into the creek bed. This cre­at­ed chron­ic tur­bid­i­ty con­di­tions from the site to the Eso­pus Creek. A diag­nos­tic assess­ment of the stream cor­ri­dor locat­ed sev­er­al land­slides of glacial lake sed­i­ments that were con­tributed acute and chron­ic load­ing of sus­pend­ed sed­i­ment caus­ing turbidity.

Map of Broadstreet Hollow Creek

Click to view larg­er image.

For more infor­ma­tion, please read the Broad­street Hol­low Stream Man­age­ment Plan.