Green Infrastructure Program takes root in the City of Lancaster!
The Alliance kicked off a new partnership with the City of Lancaster in the midst of a pandemic. While the impact and implications of COVID-19 moved through local communities we geared up for operating in a remote world. Passionate people who care deeply about the Lancaster community and our environment see opportunities to leverage and expand our work – even in the midst of uncertainties.
Like many partners we took this time to reflect and strengthen our partnership in alignment with the Alliance and the City’s new green infrastructure plans. While no one expected a virus to shake up the world, this period provided ideal timing to assess the past, plan for the present, and build a strong foundation for the future. The City mirrored one of our most important core values aligned with our mission – engaging diverse communities to improve lands and waters in the City, for the Conestoga River, and downstream to the Bay. Honoring the ways we work together to serve in community is essential to meaningful and lasting actions where we live, work, and play.
For newbies learning about the City of Lancaster here’s a snapshot of our partner’s accomplishments!
- In 2011 the City adopted their first Green Infrastructure Plan, a state and nationally recognized model for implementing green infrastructure practices.
- By 2019 the City released its update, Green It! Lancaster sharing positive progress on 57 projects capturing more than 36 million gallons of stormwater annually.
- Successful programs like the City’s Save It and Lancaster Tree Tenders have paved the way for engagement with numerous residents, volunteers, community partners, and neighborhoods.
As a result of our new partnership with the City we are excited to expand onto that strong foundation and help people understand the benefits and rewards of green infrastructure like planting trees, creating rain gardens, using porous paving, and replacing lawns with conservation landscaping. These tried and true practices offer numerous solutions to reducing our stormwater footprint and address growing challenges due to a changing climate. Behind the scenes as we work with the City, meet new partners, and mobilize for our local work we encourage every person to take individual action. With large group activities limited, be creative with your time. Look around outdoors to see how you can help a loved one, a neighbor, or take care of your local neighborhood. Invite your family or a few friends to safely tag along and give back.
Share your story with us; we would love to hear from you!
My top 5 environmental recommendations include:
- Clean up your neighborhood block, a local trail or park: Give back outdoors! Grab gloves, a trash bag, and pick up visible litter especially harmful plastics.
- Plant a native tree for clean air, clean water and to save wildlife!
- When you hear “trees are the lungs of the planet” it’s true, because they release oxygen that all livings things need to live.
- Not only that trees act like sponges that filter water helping to make it clean and keep pollutants out of local streams.
- Trees, like native oaks are host to over 540 different kinds of caterpillars that are bird food plus trees offer food, shelter, and nesting sites for a variety of wildlife.
- Conduct an outdoor house or property check at your home or for a neighbor in need. Remove litter from storm drains and keep gutters clean (standing water attracts mosquitoes)
- Replace your lawn with a diversity of native plants. Check out the Native Plant Center, a resource between the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and our partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This fall is a great time to share extra native plants with family, friends and neighbors!
- Learn more by signing up for the Alliance e-newsletter and follow us on social media. Our staff expertise and experience brings a myriad of environment focused topics to your doorstep: native plants, pollinators, rain gardens, trees, riparian buffers, forest, wildlife and more!
With nearly 50 years of experience activating communities, conservationists, and companies to improve lands and waters in our watershed the Alliance is excited to partner with the City of Lancaster in new and creative ways to reach shared goals. Together we will continue to build resilient landscapes for a healthy and sustainable environment in the City, Lancaster County and across Pennsylvania.
Diverse voices in the City and across the watershed are critical to restoring the balance needed between people and nature. Collaborative work for our community and our environment equates to actions one resident, one neighborhood, and one community at a time. Stay tuned, new adventures in the City of Lancaster await!