Lancaster Clean Water Fund

2020 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.

2020 Clean Water Fund Projects

Stormwater management education for pre-service student teachers

Millersville University Watershed Education Training Institute (WETi) has been awarded funds to provide pre-service student teachers with a meaningful watershed education experience, focusing on issues that impact local watersheds. As part of the project, students will have formal classroom instruction, site visits to impaired streams, and discussions with organizations about failed and successful conservation projects.

This project will unite students from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, and provide them with the knowledge and tools to share with their future K-12 students so they too  can protect our waterways and diverse aquatic ecosystems for generations to come.

“We’re very excited to receive this grant from the Partners,” says John Wallace, professor at Millersville University and project coordinator. “The grant will fund a novel, multi-scaled approach to train our pre-service student teachers to participate in a national certification stormwater management program, visit stormwater BMPs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and experience the construction of a stormwater rain garden at MU WETi – all with the objective of disseminating this information across geographic and socio-economic boundaries for future generations to strive for the improvement of clean waters through effective stormwater management strategies.”

Willow Street Park rain garden installation

West Lampeter Township has been awarded funding to install a bioretention rain garden in the Willow Street Township Park. Currently a 15.5 acre tributary drainage area of untreated, urbanized area within the Mill Creek watershed flows through the park carrying pollutants, sediment, asphalt oils, and debris into downstream infrastructure. The project will remedy this by installing a rain garden with 18″ of amended soil media and native plants.

The rain garden installation provides a valuable opportunity to educate the public while providing an aesthetically pleasing and naturalistic example of the benefits that rain gardens provide.

“West Lampeter Township is honored to have received this grant funding from the Clean Water Fund and excited to break ground on this project,” says Amanda Hickman, community development director at West Lampeter Township. “This rain garden project not only compliments our recreational facilities but serves as a catalyst for the long term integration of our public education and conservation strategies moving forward.”

* Turkey Hill Water Partnership conservation installments

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, in partnership with the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership, will install a number of conservation practices on six farms. Conservation practices include manure storage facilities, riparian forest buffers, heavy use area stabilization, grassed waterways, and on-farm stormwater management. These practices will decrease pollutant loads entering local streams and rivers. They will also educate audiences on the importance of supporting farmers in protecting water quality.

* Paradise Township vegetated swale

Paradise Township was awarded funding to install a vegetated swale on Vernon Stoltzfus-Kinzers land to reduce stormwater pollution. Vernon Stoltzfus-Kinzers Property Holdings, LLC, owns a 13-acre property within the urbanized area of Paradise Township in the Pequea Creek Watershed. To reduce stormwater pollution, the township will partner with Mr. Stoltzfus to retrofit the concrete-lined swale to a vegetated swale. The swale will include amended soils and be planted with a variety of native perennial flowers and grasses. These improvements will reduce stormwater rates and volumes, and increase biodiversity and habitat for native wildlife species.

Read more about the Paradise Township vegetated swale project.

* Murry Ridge Park green infrastructure improvements

Murry Ridge Park, located in West Hempfield Township, is in the West Branch Little Conestoga Creek Watershed surrounded by suburban residential development. West Hempfield Township will implement green infrastructure improvements to reduce stormwater pollution. The township plans to divert stormwater into a vegetated swale, construct a bioretention basin, plant a riparian buffer, install landscaping to attract pollinators and songbirds, retrofit the dry detention basin to a dry extended basin, add a natural trail, and incorporate educational signage. These improvements will reduce stormwater pollutants, increase biodiversity and habitat for native wildlife species, and educate the public on the benefits of these projects.

Read more about the Murry Ridge Park Green Infrastructure Improvements.

* Lancaster City green infrastructure renovation

The Culliton Park Renovation Project includes the implementation of green infrastructure that will greatly increase the aesthetics and improve water quality. Two rain gardens/bioretention areas and a subsurface infiltration bed will be installed to collectively manage stormwater from 1.48 acres. Annually, the green infrastructure implemented is expected to capture 1,324,337 gallons of stormwater and result in the reduction of 5216.87 lbs of sediment, 14.80 lbs of phosphorus, and 5.97 lbs of nitrogen.

Culliton Park (formerly Farnum Park) is one of the city’s largest public parks and the most prominent park in the SouthWest neighborhood. This project has been several years in the making. After extensive input from neighborhood residents, the design was completed with artist involvement and construction commenced in February of 2020 and will be completed in November 2020.

* Farm prioritizes conservation in East Lampeter

Lancaster Farmland Trust was awarded funding for the implementation of BMPs on a farm located in East Lampeter Township with significant need for stream corridors and livestock management. Along with project partner TeamAg, Inc., Lancaster Farmland Trust has developed a list of site-specific BMPs for the farm that will result in significant nutrient and sediment reductions in the Lower Conestoga Watershed. This impactful project, located in a visible and significant area, will serve as an outstanding example of the Lancaster farming community’s growing commitment to environmental restoration.

Read more about the conservation implementation in East Lampeter. 

* Fishing Creek stream tributary restoration and buffer installation

The Donegal Chapter of Trout Unlimited was awarded funds for a restoration and buffer installation project in the Fishing Creek Stream. With these funds, they will restore stream banks and plant buffers to reduce the stream’s nutrient and sediment pollution. This project serves as an essential improvement for the farm and completes its conservation plan requirements, which supports the family’s business, culture, and ultimately the local water quality.

* Lancaster City Alliance tree plantings

The Lancaster City Alliance and Lancaster Tree Tenders will use the awarded funding to purchase 20 trees that will be planted in several locations along West King Street/Columbia Avenue and South Prince/South Queen Streets. Lancaster City staff will prep the sites, plant, mulch, and stake the trees. Lancaster Tree Tenders will provide tree care details in English and Spanish and species information to the property owners. The trees will benefit the target areas through energy savings, lower temperatures, reduced air pollution, enhanced property values, wildlife habitat, social and educational opportunities, and aesthetics.

*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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