Lancaster Clean Water Fund Announces Grantees for Countywide Water Restoration Initiatives

Lancaster Clean Water Fund Announces Grantees for Countywide Water Restoration Initiatives

Lancaster Clean Water Fund Announces Grantees for Countywide Water Restoration Initiatives

February 28, 2023 

Lancaster, PA – The Lancaster Clean Water Fund, managed by the Lancaster Clean Water Partners (Partners) and the Lancaster County Conservation District, awards $1,535,493 to six restoration projects in Lancaster County. For this round of grants, the collaborative will partner with organizations to  implement best practices within agricultural conservation, stream restoration, and innovative stormwater treatment systems. Funding for these projects is provided by an Implementation grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Countywide Action Plan.

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 to improve the efficiency 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 $5 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 25,879.30 lbs of nitrogen from local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay annually. Reducing nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus is a primary goal of the CAP.  The collective’s mission is to significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment for clear and healthy water in Lancaster by 2040. 

The six grantees include the following restoration projects in Lancaster:


Agricultural Conservation Enhanced: Planting Trees in Rotationally-Grazed Pastures

Lancaster Farmland Trust is working in partnership with Trees for Graziers to implement strategic silvopasture plantings on farms in Lancaster County. Silvopasture is the practice of integrating trees and forage with healthy livestock grazing practices. Ecological benefits include reducing nitrogen in streams, sequestering carbon, infiltrating water, reducing erosion and providing habitat for wildlife.Local economic benefits include providing shade, improving the health of livestock, and diversifying farm incomes through the sale of products like chestnuts or walnuts. This project will serve as an example of agroforestry at work – a model that can demonstrate the ability of our farmers to earn good incomes from small pieces of land, while still being responsible stewards of our water and environment.

Silage Leachate System
The Cocalico Creek Watershed Association will be leading a project directly adjacent to Middle Creek, which was identified as a high priority project during outreach with Clay Township. This project will divert clean stormwater to a pipe system instead of flowing through an open feed-storage area. Runoff from feed bunks will pass through screens in the pipes to retain solids at each high-flow/low-flow separator. Nutrients collected will be applied to vegetation during drier times.

Implementation of Best Management Practices on a Farm in the Octoraro

The Octoraro Watershed Association is partnering with a beef operation and crop farm (i.e. corn silage, alfalfa, tobacco) in Bart Township. The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) will be installed: grassed waterways, a plow skip, and a diversion to repair existing erosion gullies, underground outlets and a water & sediment control basin to control runoff from the fields and farmstead, as well as manure storage, fencing, access road, and waste transfer. 

Long’s Park Water Quality Improvement Project

The City of Lancaster’s Long’s Park Project will utilize a Natural Treatment System (NTS) and a pump station to convey water from Long’s Pond through a treatment train consisting of a Floating Wetland Island Forebay Pond, an Iron-Enhanced Sand Filter, and two Emergent Aquatic Vegetation Marshes, with discharge to Long’s Pond. The NTS will provide an attractive resting, nesting, and feeding habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, and aquatic wildlife. In addition, the design will be a valuable addition to the community for both passive recreation and educational benefit. 

Bioswale Meadows Project
East Petersburg will complete the project on borough-owned property, known as “The Meadows,” surrounded by commercial and residential properties. The Bioswale Meadows Project will correct drainage issues in the area while meeting the goals of clean water, natural vegetation, and flood control. To do so, East Petersburg Borough will be removing the existing pipe and creating a bioswale.

Whole Farm Conservation to Help Restore a Wild Brown Trout Fishery in the Upper Chiques

The Conservation Foundation of Lancaster County is partnering with the PSU Agriculture and Environment Center to achieve comprehensive whole farm conservation implementation at a dairy farm in the Shearers Creek watershed. Although the creek currently reports high quality water, impaired wild brown trout fisheries have continued to struggle in the upper Chiques Creek watershed. Extensive best management practices will be implemented to provide safe and adequate manure storage and to  eliminate a pasture’s impacts through existing barnyard, road, and feeding area runoff areas to an unnamed tributary of Shearers Creek. To minimize erosion and sedimentation, and add in-stream fish habitat for wild brown trout, the project will plant approximately 15 acres of forest riparian buffers and stream restoration to restore unstable, eroding stream banks.

In addition to CAP’s implementation funds that were provided to East Earl Township, $500,000 went to support the design and implementation of the stream delisting strategy in the Cedar Creek catchment, within the Conestoga River watershed.  Also, an additional $1 million was allocated for implementation of agricultural best management practices in designated communities throughout Lancaster County.

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.


Media Contact: Elvira, Felix,


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.