Farmer Prioritizes Conservation in East Lampeter

Farmer Prioritizes Conservation in East Lampeter

Lancaster Farmland Trust (LFT) was awarded funding to implement barnyard improvements for better livestock management as well as stream corridor upgrades on a farm in East Lampeter Township. Along with project partner TeamAg, Inc., LFT has developed a list of site-specific practices 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.

“We are excited for this project’s capacity to improve water quality locally, and its potential impact on future efforts across agricultural landscapes in Lancaster County, and beyond,” says Amanda Hickle, Lancaster Farmland Trust.

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Existing streambank corridor

Existing manure pit

Existing livestock and equipment crossing

Countywide Action Plan (CAP) Practices Addressed

The project addresses the following CAP priorities:

  • Round Manure Storage – 10’x68’
  • Reception Pit – 12’x84’x8’
  • Barnyard Concrete Heavy Use Area – 3,790 sq. ft.
  • Roofed Concrete Heavy Use Area – 32’x60’
  • Roofed Stacking Structure – 32’ x 44’
  • Animal Walkway – 800 sq. ft.
  • Access Road Surfacing – 17,040 sq. ft.
  • Feed Storage Pad Surfacing – 10,900 sq. ft.
  • Roof Gutters – 166 ft.
  • Stream Bank Fence – 1,840 ft.
  • Slatted Crossing – 1 at 240 sq. ft.
  • Slatted Water Access – 1 at 192 sq. ft.
  • Reinforced Gravel Approached – 576 sq. ft.
  • Buffer Planting – 77 trees and tubes covering 24,350 sq. f t.
  • Seeding and Mulching – 0.52 acres

Expected Reductions

Expected reductions include the following: 

  • 5,625 lbs of reduced nitrogen per year
  • 2,562 lbs of reduced phosphorus per year
  • 2.9 tons of reduced sediment per year

Connection to Places2040

Taking Care of What We Have: No one can dispute that Lancaster County farmland is essential to our quality of life, and distinguishes our landscape from so many others. As mentioned in Places2040, “Stewardship of our heritage should be a priority, not just because we like the view, but because it makes the county more attractive to investment – particularly from visitors and prospective employers.” Providing resources to farmers for conservation and stewardship opportunities on their farms contributes to their sustainability in the future, improves water quality, and helps local businesses grow, – all goals within the county’s comprehensive plan. Additionally, helping farmers thrive protects our open spaces, and forces us to think creatively about responsible growth in residential areas.

Thinking Beyond Boundaries: While the small family farms that dot Lancaster County contribute to our quality of life, they also present challenges in accomplishing large-scale pollutant reductions. With an intense focus on water quality over the past decade, LFT worked to increase the “community conservation” mindset of our farming audiences. This hard work is beginning to pay off, as the benefits to conservation diffuse throughout our Plain Sect and Old Order Amish communities. Places2040 asks us to “approach challenges more collaboratively, cultivate leadership, and take our partnerships to the next level.” BMP implementation projects on farms will contribute to this burgeoning dialogue.

Partners

TeamAg, Inc., East Lampeter Township, and the property owner