Lancaster Clean Water Fund

2019 Lancaster Clean Water Fund Projects

Clean water is a priority across all of Lancaster County, especially since more than half of our streams and much of our groundwater are unhealthy.

The Lancaster Clean Water Fund serves as a catalyst for increased collaboration to efficiently achieve clean and clear water in Lancaster County by 2040 in accordance with the Lancaster Countywide Action Plan (CAP). The fund addresses the immense need for clean water work throughout the county, and provides financial support to bring ideas to life.

Since 2019

The Lancaster Clean Water fund has provided $6,005,395 to 29 nonprofits and municipalities working on stream restoration, riparian buffer plantings, agricultural practices, education, and stormwater management projects.

2019 Clean Water Fund Projects

Climbers Run stream restoration

The owners of the House at Climbers Run, a retreat center and rental space, used to dread heavy rain because it meant that the stream on their property would flood, causing significant land erosion, safety concerns, and increased pollution.

Donegal Chapter of Trout Unlimited worked with the property owners to restore 1530 linear feet along the stream and planted 2.45 acres of riparian buffer.


Chiques Creek greenway and pollutant reduction plan

The project will implement floodplain restoration work, riparian buffers, educational signage, and over 1,500 feet of new ADA accessible walking trails along the creek.  A small dam will also be removed as a part of this project, which will be included in the overall permitting process for the project (which is currently underway). This project will also reduce the amount of sediment and pollutants entering the Chiques Creek, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, by over 130,000 pound each year, which will result in significant water quality improvement for this critical watershed.

Drager Road streambank stabilization and riparian buffer

Rapho Township made streambank improvements to a 0.4-acre flooding-prone property on Drager Road in Columbia, Pa. The streambanks were severely eroded, only stabilized by rotting railroad ties. The township saw this vacant, graded lot as an opportunity for a clean water demonstration project. With the assistance of the Penn State Agriculture and Environmental Center staff and volunteers from the Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance, the township stabilized 175 linear feet of streambank using dump rock and planted 50 native trees on the property. The stabilization and plantings will greatly reduce erosion, preserving the land and stream. The property is owned by the township and will remain as open space in perpetuity.  

“This is another project that demonstrates the ongoing water quality improvement projects within Rapho Township. Dump Rock stabilization is one option that can be used by property owners to stabilize stream banks on their property,” says John Haldeman, public works director at Rapho Township.

The project was completed in October 2020.

Stony Run streambank stabilization and livestake nursery

East Cocalico Township recently stabilized 265 feet of streambanks and planted 75 feet of riparian buffer along a section of Stony Run, a small stream adjacent to the township building. With lack of adequate vegetation along the stream, the streambanks became severely eroded. In most areas, the vertical bank height ranged from three to four feet. It is estimated the project will prevent 30,475 pounds of sediment from entering the stream each year.

With the project so close to the township building, countless residents can see, enjoy, and learn about the work. When the trees planted are sufficiently established, they will be used to cut live stakes suitable for other streambank stabilization projects elsewhere in the township. 

The project will count towards Lancaster’s efforts to accomplish Lancaster’s Countywide Action Plan

Watson Run stream restoration and barnyard improvement

This project consists of two parts:

  1. Outreach and building commitment for water quality improvements with Leacock Township farmers
  2. Demonstrate several agricultural water quality improvement BMPs at a Leacock Township farm (1110 feet of stream restoration (minimal), barnyard improvements, and 3.6 acres riparian forested buffer).

Most of Watson Run at the farm is already fenced keeping animals out of the stream with good vegetation and little streambank erosion. The landowners have agreed to install riparian forested buffer. Those areas where there is streambank erosion will be restored by cutting back the banks.

*Funding for these projects is from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Countywide Action Plan Implementation grant to Lancaster.

These grants are possible thanks to the support of groups such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Lancaster’s Water Week. Lead partners include: The Lancaster Clean Water Partners, Lancaster County Community Foundation, Conservation Foundation of Lancaster County, and Lancaster Conservancy. These organizations work with countless trusted experts in the field, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, Lancaster County Conservation District, Lancaster Farmland Trust, local municipalities, and Penn State’s Agriculture and Environment Center.

If you’re interested in contributing to Lancaster’s Clean Water Fund, click here for more details. 

The Clean Water Fund helps projects go from concept to implementation.


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