Climber’s Run Stream Restoration

Climber’s Run Stream Restoration

Climber’s Run Stream Restoration Preserves “Magic” of Retreat Center
Article in Lancaster County Conservation District’s Spring Newsletter (page 3)

The owners of the House at Climber’s 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. Because the property is in a valley, the water could rise four- to five-feet in a single rainfall. The owners recall watching their land “eaten away” during these events. But in summer 2019, Donegal Trout Unlimited (DTU) offered a solution – stream restoration and riparian buffer plantings to strengthen the streambanks, reduce erosion, and provide a lush forested area with clean water for their guests.

DTU came to the Lancaster Clean Water Partners with the idea for the stream restoration and riparian buffer planting along Climber’s Run. This project not only reduces streambank erosion, but connects four contiguous projects along the stream in southern Lancaster County. With dollars from the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s Clean Water Fund, the Partners were able to grant DTU enough support to restore 1,530 linear feet of stream and plant 2.45 acres of riparian buffers. Restoring the stream and planting native trees and shrubs has already proved successful, with the property owners reporting less flooding during heavy rain and loss of land along the stream. Now guests, and in particular the families with children, who stay at the House at Climber’s Run can enjoy a lush, green space that is safe to be in the water and perfect to reconnect with nature. And the property owners are comforted that the streambanks will remain in place so they can continue to share “the magic that is living in the country” with their guests.  

The Lancaster Clean Water Fund helps projects like this go from concept to implementation. Since 2019, the fund has provided $272,000 to eight nonprofits and municipalities working on stream restoration, riparian buffer plantings, agricultural BMPs, education, and Stormwater Management projects. The fund addresses the immense need for clean water work throughout the county, and provides financial support to bring action ideas to life.

The 2021 Clean Water Fund grant round opens on March 3.

Since 2019, the fund has provided $272,000 to eight nonprofits and municipalities working on stream restoration, riparian buffer plantings, agricultural BMPs, education, and Stormwater Management projects.

Climber’s Run is a healthy stretch of stream and preserving that is essential to our collective success. Unfortunately, though, over half the streams in Lancaster County are considered impaired, which means the levels of nutrient and sediment pollution have made the water unsafe for drinking and recreation. It also means critical fish and critter populations cannot survive. With the goal of clean and clear water by 2040, the Partners focus on getting multiple landowners with contiguous stretches of stream to implement conservation practices, setting the stage to begin restoring water quality and delisting streams. When a stream is delisted, the nutrient and sediment pollution levels have decreased enough for critter and fish populations to live and thrive in the stream again.

We’re grateful for the District’s watershed team plus the agriculture technicians because their expertise connecting landowners and projects that support delisting streams are what move us towards clean and clear water!

Reach out to the Lancaster County Conservation District or the Lancaster Clean Water Partners and we’ll connect you with a local partner organization who can help get your stream the TLC it needs to be part of Lancaster’s clean water success story! If you’re a landowner with a stream on your property, consider applying to the Lancaster Clean Water Fund! More information is available at www.lancastercleanwaterpartners.com/clean-water-fund