Green Infrastructure Improvements at Murry Ridge Park
West Hempfield Township was awarded funding to install green infrastructure improvements at Murry Ridge Park.
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.
“The project grew from a concern I had as a Public Works staff member. I asked myself why we were putting stormwater runoff directly into the headwaters of a stream?” says Dwayne Steager, zoning and stormwater officer with West Hempfield Township. “As I became more involved with the MS4 responsibilities of the township, the idea began to grow and take shape. By treating that runoff, we would be able to enhance the stream, make use of some underutilized property and then add educational and recreational opportunities for township residents to enjoy.”
“This is the first water quality improvement project that the township is implementing and will increase recreational opportunities for the adjacent community. The township will post educational signs throughout the park to describe the environmental benefits,” says Kara Kalupson, project engineer.
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Countywide Action Plan (CAP) Practices Addressed
- Bioretention and rain garden – 6.23 acres
- Urban forest buffer – 2 acres
- Extended dry basins – 6.75 acres
- Vegetated open channel – 6.23 acres
- Stormwater Management Composite – The pollutant reductions achieved by the proposed stormwater BMPs will be credited toward achieving West Hempfield Township’s DEP-approved Pollutant Reduction Plan
- Forested Buffer – 1 acre of native plantings along 900 feet of a small stream
- Education and Outreach – Project signage identifying each stormwater BMP and the benefits achieved will be installed throughout the park
Land Use and Preservation
- Restore natural resources and restore ecological connections
- Increase the number of parks, greenways and trails
- Increase tree canopy
Initial success will be a reduction in flow during rainstorms as well as the removal of excess nutrient and sediment pollution from the stream. Expected reductions include the following:
- 633 lbs of nitrogen reduced per year
- 17 lbs of phosphorus reduced per year
- 18,818 lbs of sediment reduced per year
Connection to Places2040
Taking Care of What We Have: This project preserves large contiguous areas of natural land, improves water quality, and demonstrates how partners can work together on stormwater management.
Creating Great Places: Creating great places to live, work, learn, play, and visit provides quality of life and satisfaction with our surroundings. This project makes the community more vibrant, safe, and attractive.
Thinking Beyond Boundaries: This project fosters partnerships and cultivates leadership through participation in the Lancaster Watershed Leadership Academy. This project also treats water draining to the Little Conestoga Creek, the natural boundary associated with the municipality but not always covered by political boundaries regulated by our MS4 permit.
Growing Responsibly: This project will improve environmental conditions, address historical flooding and pollution issues, and improve existing development in the urban growth areas.
Connecting People, Place, & Opportunity: Enabling people to connect with each other and the places around them strengthens our communities. Through the addition of paved walking trails, this project creates more places to bike, hike, play, and enjoy nature, and connects housing to other destinations.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, Little Conestoga Creek Watershed Alliance, Lancaster Watershed Leadership Academy, and several property owners.