ReThink Litter in Lancaster–Zero Waste Station

Zero Waste Station (1)

The Zero Waste Station at Celebrate Lancaster on Friday showed how we can move the city towards being waste free and empowered residents to rethink, reinvent, reduce, reuse, re-purpose and recycle trash. The station staffed by volunteers, gave instruction on what could be composted, what could be recycled, what could be re-purposed and what was trash. Through more outreach like this, the city and the SaveIt! Campaign hope to develop a network of folks who can be called on as Zero-Waste Helpers throughout the city.

Zero Waste Station (2)

Zero Waste Station ReThink


Construction & Progress on Mulberry St.


Storm-water piping installation beneath Mulberry St.

Storm-water piping installation beneath Mulberry St.

Mulberry’s transformation into a completely green street is underway! Mulberry will become a two-way street (instead of a one-way), with bike lanes, permeable pavement, vegetated curb extensions / rain gardens, newly planted trees and much more.

Rendering of finished Mulberry St. view

Artistic rendering of finished Mulberry St. view


GI Clean-up with F&M

Last week F&M interns with the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement learned about the green infrastructure installations in the city and the Save It! campaign from the city’s Department of Public Works and Solid Waste and Recycling Bureau. They spent the morning cleaning up trash in the installations and on the streets near E. Mifflin St. in the Southeast part of Lancaster City and then got to see the GI systems working in action once a big storm hit!



Innovative Ideas – Nashville

Green Infrastructure Plan for Nashville

Visit the Conservation Fund to learn more about this project.


Innovative Ideas – Chicago

Chicago Wilderness Vision

An ambitious agenda to create a vibrant green infrastructure of protected and restored lands and waters in the four-state region surrounding Chicago has been the centerpiece of The Conservation Fund’s work in the Chicago Wilderness Region.

Chicago Wilderness, a regional alliance with more than 300 member organizations representing government, foundation, education, arts and business interests, has been our lead partner, with key support provided by two of the region’s metropolitan planning organizations: the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Council (NIRPC). From big landscapes to individual neighborhoods, we’re helping Chicago Wilderness envision, map and implement plans for a network of more than two million acres of protected and restored lands and waters. Their conservation vision encompasses four states, 38 counties and more than 500 municipalities.

Visit the Conservation Fund to learn more about this project


Winterizing Your Rain Barrel

The City Stormwater Bureau and SaveIt! would like to remind residents to winterize their rain barrels.

It’s that time of year again! As we approach December, and the winter chill settles in for good, it is time to winterize your rain barrel.


Freezing temperatures can damage rain barrels, their diverters and faucets, and other parts and accessories. So, we recommend property owners winterize their rain barrels. Here a few tips:

Be careful! Full rain barrels are heavy! A gallon of water weighs over 8 lbs., so a full rain barrel can weigh more than 400lbs.

  • Start by draining the rain barrel. Turn on the spigot and let the water slowly drain out.
  • Once the rain barrel spigot has stopped flowing, disconnect the rain barrel, remove the lid and tip the barrel to empty any remaining water.
  • After emptying the rain barrel, we recommend a quick cleaning before storage.
    • To clean the inside of the rain barrel, prepare a solution of 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon of a mild soap (e.g., castile soap) to 1 gallon of warm water. Pour the solution into the rain barrel and swish is around with a sponge or brush, then rinse with clean water or hose thoroughly. This solution can be safely poured out on lawn or grassed areas..
    • After cleaning, allow the rain barrel to dry.
    • Store rain barrels indoors, in a basement or garage, if possible. If rain barrels must be stored outside, place them upside down on an elevated surface so it will stay dry and empty.
    • During winter, downspouts should be reconnected and positioned to drain any roof runoff and snow melt away from the building foundation.

If you’ve purchased a rain barrel through the Lancaster County Conservancy Rain Barrel program over the last several years then you most likely have the DIY diverter kit.  Winterizing this system (or any diverter system) takes a few simple steps to insure a functional rain barrel for years to come.

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– Disconnect the rain barrel from the gutter downspout – Disconnet the black hose that runs from the barrel to the downspout (image above), save and store in dry place over winter.

-Gently remove rubber insert from downspout and replace with cover (image below), save and store rubber insert in dry place over winter.

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Green Infrastructure Contractor Workshop

Tuesday November 17, 2015

The City of Lancaster, in cooperation with the Lancaster County Conservancy, will be offering a two-hour workshop for contractors to discuss the City’s green infrastructure program and the role the recently updated stormwater management fee credit program will play in helping meet regulatory requirements.

During the workshop, the City will provide an overview of the stormwater management fee credit program, review recent updates to the City Stormwater Management Fee Policy and Procedures Manual and the Stormwater Management Fee Credit program.

Attendees will learn how the stormwater management fee credit program works and how they can utilize it to help their clients achieve their project goals.

Note: Although the City cannot endorse specific contractors attendees to this workshop will be added to a workshop attendance list that may be provided to property owners upon request.

>Reservations are requested for this FREE workshop

>Please RSVP by following this link:

>For questions please contact Fritz Schroeder:,
717-392-7891 x 207

Registration 8:30am
Program 9:00am – 11:00am
Tuesday Nov 17, 2015
Lancaster City Hall
City Council Chambers
120 N. Duke St.
Lancaster, PA 17602


Transforming Empty Lot into Green Parking

Coming up with the right idea for an empty lot was like pulling teeth for members of the neighboring church that owned the lot.

On Sept. 30, Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster unveiled the result: an ecologically responsible parking lot and garden area that looks good and draws water from the city’s overtaxed stormwater system.

Read full article here

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Residential Rain Garden Takes Shape

A City resident transforms her front yard from grass to a rain garden full of native plants, that now capture all of the runoff from her front roof, porch roof, and sidewalk. The installation was completed by Susquehanna EcoDesign who described the plant selection as Wildscaping, a native wildlife garden that is pollinator friendly.

Many residents in the City have small postage stamp front planting or grass areas and this application is ideal for those who want more color and less mowing.  In this case the yard had a slight slope to the sidewalk so a small retaining wall was installed to hold the soil and level the garden. (click on the images to enlarge)

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Grass was removed to create the rain garden area and stones were added to support the far end of the garden where the new soil was placed.  The square footage of the area excavated was calculated to insure it will capture at least 1″ of run-off from the front of the house.  Overflow water from the rain garden is piped back into the combined sewer pipe as shown below.

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To view other residential projects click here.


Mulberry Art Studios

Upgrades completed this past fall at Mulberry Art Studios parking lot, accessed from West King Street, will allow infiltration of approximately 150,000 gallons of stormwater off of adjoining buildings, as well as sheet flow from the parking lot.

For more information on other Commercial properties click here.

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