Celebrating the Completion of Long’s Park Wetlands Project

Sep 15, 2023 | Feature Article, News

On September 15, representatives from the City of Lancaster, members of the conservation community and local media gathered in Lancaster’s Long’s Park to officially celebrate the completion of the wetlands restoration project that began 6 years ago.

Long’s Park has long had a problem with flooding from both Route 30 and the park itself, including Long’s Pond.  The project to resolve the issue began 6 years ago and was completed in July.  It consists of five components;  the forebay, an iron-enhanced sand filter, an upper marsh, a lower marsh, and Long’s Pond itself. 

The system filters the runoff into the marsh and wetlands area and gravity takes it downhill to the pond.  Pumps in the pond direct the water underground and back uphill to complete the loop.  This loop allows an average of 44,000 gallons to process through the system but in a rare storm, up to a million gallons of water to be contained at a time.

“The reason that the wetlands here at Long’s Park is so important is that it manages a significant amount of stormwater that goes into the Conestoga River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay,” Stephen Campbell, the Director of Public Works for the City of Lancaster said. “We have the type of soil and sub-surface geological structure that creates flooding.  This project addresses that issue in a beautiful and natural way.”

The project also solves issues addressed in the Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan, which calls for a reduction in phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment levels by 2025.  Lancaster City Water Resources Engineer, Angie Brackbill spoke about the ecological good the project accomplishes.

“From a water quality perspective, this wetland project will reduce sediment by approximately 95%, phosphorus by 50% and nitrogen by 32%.  This system receives about an acre of stormwater runoff from Route 30 and about 37 acres of runoff from Long’s Park,” Brackbill said.  “By increasing the quantity and quality of water entering Long’s Park, we can increase the habilitative value and appearance of the pond by increasing water clarity of the pond by 20% or more”

 Lancaster City Mayor, Danene Sorace praised the project and its impact of Lancaster residents. 

“The completion of this project is another huge step forward for the City of Lancaster that we are taking to protect our waterways and being good stewards of the land for future generations.”


The celebration concluded with a ribbon-cutting followed by a guided tour of the system by Brackbill.