Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program

Green Infrastructure in the City of Lancaster

Reducing Polluted Runoff for Clean Water

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay works in partnership with the City of Lancaster to educate and engage residents and community to use green infrastructure to reduce polluted stormwater runoff entering the Conestoga River, downstream waterways, and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Alliance launched a new partnership with the City of Lancaster in 2020. Our work with the City and community of Lancaster leverages our technical skills, partnerships, and resources to empower people to take action to implement green infrastructure practices for clean water, air and a healthy environment.

Our work helps the City of Lancaster educate and engage the diverse community of Lancaster to reduce polluted runoff coming off of streets, homes, and paved surfaces from entering the City’s Combined Sewer System (CSS). Lancaster’s CSS includes raw sewage and rainwater flow in one system. The City of Lancaster is responsible for an estimated 508 million gallons of polluted water flowing into the Conestoga River and downstream to the Chesapeake Bay. This combination of sewage and rainwater creates what is called a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) that flows directly into local rivers. These polluted overflows impact water quality by increasing harmful bacteria, potentially making fish and wildlife sick, and pose health risks to people who fish and recreate along the river.

Residents and property owners play a critical role helping to address this significant problem by using green infrastructure practices like rain gardens, urban tree canopy, and conservation landscaping at homes, schools, parks, churches, and businesses to keep polluted water from entering waterways. These practices mimic nature by slowing down runoff, improving water quality, and supporting needed habitat for birds, pollinators, and wildlife especially in urbanized areas.

Save It! Lancaster

Save It! Your Water. Your Money. Your City. This program includes the Save It! website, social media, and outreach that is intended to serve as a community resource to help educate residents and property owners to conserve water, reduce stormwater pollution and encourage efforts to use various forms of green infrastructure like rain gardens, pervious pavers, and conservation landscaping to slow runoff into the Conestoga River and downstream waterways. Everyone can do something to “save it.”

Residential Stormwater Grant Program

Lancaster Tree Tenders

The Alliance manages the Lancaster Tree Tenders as a collaborative partnership with the City of Lancaster, Lancaster City Alliance and community partners. The goal of Tree Tenders is to increase and enhance Lancaster’s urban forest by engaging and empowering neighborhoods to plant and care for trees. This collaborative effort helps us increase and sustain urban tree canopy in the Lancaster community. Read the City of Lancaster’s new Trees for People Plan.