Save It! What's New


Brewery Alley

Most City homes boarder an alley way and a majority of those are Common Alley’s where each property owner shares ownership and responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance.  It’s with this in mind that the City has piloted a project to work with property owners to help with upgrades to their alley’s while also increasing capacity to capture stormwater.  The Brewery Alley is located along E Walnut Street.  When completed this alley will capture nearly 150,000 gallons annually.

To learn more about similar projects click here.

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Snavely and Dosch Makeover

The Snavely and Dosch property runs along Water Street and Linear Park.  With a particular focus on addressing rain water run-off from commercial properties along Linear Park work was recently completed that includes several bio-retention (rain gardens), bio-swales, and an infiltration trench (stone basin underneath the parking lot) that will help capture approximately 675,000 gallons annually.

For more information on other commercial projects click here.

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Adopt-A-Rain Garden

The City of Lancaster hosted our first Adopt-A-Rain Garden event Saturday morning, October 25 at Brandon Park with volunteers from the Junior League of Lancaster.  For more information about how you can get involved contact us here.

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Demonstration Stormwater Planters

A Stormwater Planter is typically a wooden planter that captures, filters, and temporarily stores runoff diverted from a downspout.  Some of the captured runoff is removed by plants and the remaining water is filtered through soil media and stored at the planter’s base.

Many residences in the city have downspouts tied directly into the City’s combined storm / sewer system and therefore contribute to combined sewer overflows that pollute our local waterways.  Retrofitting residences with Stormwater Planters can reduce local flooding and protect water quality by capturing, treating and storing runoff before it leaves the property.  They also provide low maintenance aesthetically-pleasing “green space” in urbanized areas.

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Green Infrastructure Garden Tour

Green Infrastructure Garden Tour at the Wolf Museum

Wednesday September 17; 5:00-7:00pm

Join us in the garden for light refreshments and live music

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The Lancaster County Conservancy in partnership with the Wolf Museum are hosting a green infrastructure garden tour of the recently completed residential demonstration project located in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Lancaster City.

-In the spring Conservancy staff and volunteers from the Wolf Museum and neighborhood spent two days transforming a portion of the native plant garden to include a rain garden and dry creek.

-These two landscape features, along with rain barrels will help capture over 40,000 gallons annually keeping the stormwater flow from the City’s combined sewer system.

-The open house will feature a garden tour by local plant and green infrastructure experts. Learn about the green infrastructure planning process and how you can duplicate this on your own property.

-Light refreshments (food, beer, and wine). Plus live music in the garden

Green Infrastructure Garden Tour at the Wolf Museum
423 W Chestnut Street (corner of Lancaster Ave and W Chestnut St.)
Wednesday September 17; 5-7pm
Suggested donation of $10; everyone is welcome
To register click here
(Rain date is September 18th)


A parking lot that manages stormwater !

Several local property owners, including the property that houses The Fridge (pictured below) and Mulberry Art Studios are improving their parking lots with enhancements that include stormwater capture off of the paved surface and surrounding buildings into large infiltration beds (underneath the parking areas) that are engineered to capture and slowly infiltrate water.  Additional enhancements at The Fridge include trees to beautify the area and reduce heat island effect.
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The diverter in the image below will capture rain water from the Arts Hotel further reducing run-off from neighboring properties.  To learn about other commercial installations click here.
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Through the Upstream/Downstream program led by the Lancaster County Conservancy two middle school classes (Martic Middle School in Manor Township and Wheatland Middle School in the School District of Lancaster) spent a half day touring green infrastructure projects in Lancaster City during the spring of 2014.  Pictured above are Wheatland students journaling on the green roof at Tellus 360.  Below are students from Martic Middle School at the Wolf Museum Residential Demonstration project.

The green infrastructure tour was one component of the program that involved in school education along with a full day stream study at Climbers Run Nature Preserve and a full day on the bay with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

By seeing the downstream impact of stormwater and other pollution firsthand, the students gained a more tangible understanding of their own actions upstream as well as the purpose of Lancaster’s green infrastructure plan.

For more information on how your school can tour green infrastructure in the City of Lancaster please contact Fritz Schroeder with the Lancaster County Conservancy.

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Public Art Takes Center Stage

Public art takes center stage at Rodney and Crystal Park’s.  In addition to numerous stormwater enhancements at both parks public art has been incorporated helping to make each park experience unique.  Crystal Park includes a cistern pump which indicates how much water was recently collected during a rain event.  To learn more about City wide park projects click here.
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Rodney Park includes arches which are meant to be interactive for all local visitors.  The image was taken as they were being installed in May 2014.
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Lancaster City Wins a BUBBA

Hosted by the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, the Best Urban BMP in the Bay Awards (BUBBAs) recognizes the best urban stormwater management practices (techniques, measures or structural controls used to manage the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff) that have been installed in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The reconstruction of the intersection at Plum and Walnut Streets was nominated for the BUBBA as an Ultra-urban BMP. Ultra-urban BMPs are stormwater practices built in infill or redevelopment projects in urban areas with more than 75% site impervious cover.


To put it simply, the old intersection was dangerous and uninspiring. Now, the same intersection is safer, with a 5 MPH reduction in average traffic speed, and features rain gardens, a new porous patio for the Lancaster Brewing Company, and a multi-tasking public art project. Best of all, this entire project manages 1.7 million gallons annually and keeps it out of the city’s over burdened combined sewer system.

All of the new elements of the intersection keep excess stormwater from reaching the sewer system. The rain gardens are full of native shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses and new tree species, and the patio is made of permeable pavers. These components allow stormwater, which would otherwise flow into the Conestoga River and all the way to the Chesapeake Bay, to soak into the ground and be treated by the natural filtration and microbial action within the soils below the area. The public art installation, the Lancaster Gateway Bundle, includes a 700 gallon cistern that collects stormwater runoff from the roof of the Lancaster Brewing Company. This cistern serves both as public art and as irrigation for planters where the brewery grows some of their own produce.

After the project was named Best Ultra-Urban BMP, it went up against projects that placed first place in other categories, like Best Innovative BMP and Best Homeowner BMP. Online voting took place to name the “ultimate” first place winner, and 1851 votes were cast. The reconstruction of the intersection of Plum and Walnut Streets received over 800 of those votes, making the City of Lancaster the grand prize winner of $5,000!