2022 Lancaster Clean Water Fund Grantees Announced
For Immediate Release
April 28, 2022
Lancaster, PA – The Lancaster Clean Water Fund, administered by the Lancaster County Community Foundation and managed by the Lancaster Clean Water Partners (Partners), is awarding $1,731,835 to five Implementation Large Grant projects in the most recent grant round. Each project is not only creative and collaborative, but focuses on ways to accomplish clean and clear water in Lancaster by 2040. Projects include agricultural conservation practice implementation, stream restoration, and wetland restoration. Funding for these projects is from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Countywide Action Plan Implementation grant to Lancaster.
Clean water is a priority for partners across all of Lancaster County, especially since the majority of Lancaster’s streams and much of its groundwater are unhealthy. The Lancaster Clean Water Fund serves as a catalyst for increased collaboration to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current and future clean water projects in accordance with the Lancaster Countywide Action Plan (CAP).
Since 2019, the 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. Since April 2021 alone, more than $4 million has gone directly to nonprofits and municipalities for clean water projects that contribute to the CAP and rapid stream delisting strategy.
These projects will reduce approximately 4,316 lbs of nitrogen, 536 lbs of phosphorus, and 982,035 lbs of total suspended solids from local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay annually.
The fund addresses the immense need for clean water work throughout the county, and provides financial support to bring ideas to life. Applications are now being accepted, through July 22, for the Community Conservation and Small Implementation Grants. More information on the Clean Water Fund is available at https://lancastercleanwaterpartners.com/clean-water-fund/.
Awarded Large Implementation Projects:
Amos Herr Park Wetland Restoration
The project seeks to enhance a segment of the Amos Herr Park property, within the East Hempfield Township Municipal Complex, in an area that is currently either wetlands or is proposed through the Municipalities’ planning initiatives to be naturalized. This segment is on the east side of the Amos Herr Park campus and on the east side of Swarr Run. The project aims to forward this initiative by expanding any existing wetlands, re-grading portions of the area to create a space for increased wetland establishment, installing a system of interconnected trail pathways around the extents of the created wetland area, and naturalizing the remaining lands.
Collaborative Water Quality Improvement in Upper Conestoga River Watershed
Lancaster Farmland Trust’s project aims to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution flowing from a farm in East Earl Township. Best management practices installed will include barnyard improvements, specifically concrete and roofed heavy use areas, a roofed manure stacking structure, roof water controls, underground piping, cattle walkways, and stabilized access roads. It’ll also include 2,400 feet of streambank fencing and the installation of a 1.9-acre buffer.
Conewago Creek Stream Restoration
The Conewago Creek Stream Restoration project, managed by Londonderry Township, includes the implementation of stream restoration, legacy sediment removal, floodplain reconnection, and wetland creation that will lead to quantifiable improvements to water quality, promote enhanced ecosystem resiliency and support the goals of the Lancaster County CAP. Due to the extent of the improvements, the project has been divided into three phases. Funding from the Clean Water Fund is supporting Phase 2 of the project, located in Mount Joy Township, Lancaster County. It will result in 3,213 LF of stream restoration, 5.2 acres of wetland creation and floodplain reconnection, and 52,619 cubic yards of legacy sediment removal.
Eshelman Run Streambank Stabilization
The Eshelman Run streambank stabilization project is a 400 linear feet reach of stream near the headwaters of Eshelman Run, which captures runoff from Strasburg Borough. Sediment deposition from the drainage area, large volumes of water and little connection to the floodplain have all contributed to bank erosion along the project reach. This project aims to stabilize the stream and establish a riparian buffer.
Turtle Hill Streambank Restoration Project
The Turtle Hill Streambank Restoration Project, in West Earl Township, includes implementation of an approximately 1,535 linear feet streambank restoration project along an unnamed tributary to the Conestoga River north of Turtle Hill Road in Ephrata. The project area is agricultural and is directly downstream from a 1,250 linear feet stream restoration project completed by the Township in 2019. The proposed restoration includes grading the existing vertical banks to create a low, flat floodplain bench on each side of the unnamed tributary that allows increased stream flows to access the floodplain, dissipating potentially erosive energy. The proposed project includes 3,245 linear feet of livestock fencing, 8 permanent fence gates, and 196 linear feet of livestock slat crossings.
In addition, Phase 1 of the Little Conestoga Blue/Green Corridor Project, was specifically identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for funding as part of the Countywide Action Plan Implementation grant to Lancaster. Phase 1 will implement the restoration of floodplain wetlands and degraded stream channels to improve water quality and increase stream health and resiliency. The restoration includes establishment of forested riparian buffers on both sides of the stream on adjacent uplands. The riparian buffer totals 1.37 acres in addition to 1,121 linear feet of stream restoration and 2.4 acres of wetlands located within a designated Urban Area. Phase 1 is the first of six restoration reaches for a 2.5-mile corridor project. The highly visible Phase 1 site, which falls in parts of East Hempfield Township; Lancaster City; Lancaster Township; and Manheim Township will inter-municipal cooperation to restore a community resource which will have regional pollution reduction impacts significant to Lancaster County.
Also part of the CAP efforts, the Lancaster County Conservation District was allocated $750,000 for agriculture conservation projects, which have already begun. The District is an integral part of the CAP Coordination Team, in addition to David Miller/Associates, Lancaster Farmland Trust, and LandStudies.
These projects are funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement to PA DEP. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Photo taken at tree and shrub planting at 2020 Clean Water Fund Implementation Large Grant site. Integrating trees and shrubs into the landscape provides both ecological and economic benefits such as sequestering carbon, infiltrating water, reducing erosion and providing habitat for wildlife, while economic benefits include providing shade, reduced heat stress and feed to livestock, and diversifying farm incomes through the sale of products like elderberries or hazelnuts.
About the Lancaster County Community Foundation
At the Community Foundation, we embolden the extraordinary individuals, businesses, and community benefit organizations (CBOs) that help to build our shared future in Lancaster County. Through stewardship of our community’s endowment, making strategic grant investments, and providing philanthropic counsel to organizations and individuals, the community foundation plays a unique role in supporting our shared future for generations to come.
About the Lancaster Clean Water Partners
The Lancaster Clean Water Partners is a collaborative organization that brings together a diverse group of partner organizations – local leaders in business, municipal, public service, higher education, conservation planning, and non-profit management – with a shared vision of clean and clear water in Lancaster County by 2040. The Partners has the opportunity to make unprecedented progress by rapidly accelerating and expanding the ability of its partner organizations to restore and sustain healthy Lancaster County waterways. Its wide-ranging capabilities and common vision can collectively address the urgent nutrient reduction goals set forth by the 2025 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement and those set in the Common Agenda to have clean and clear local streams by 2040.
The Lancaster Clean Water Partners is a program of the Conservation Foundation of Lancaster County (CFLC), an independent 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote, support, and sustain the stewardship, education and conservation activities undertaken by the Lancaster County Conservation District and other local partners.