Save It! What's New


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.


Litter Letter Project: Street Cleanup

Volunteers needed for litter pick up!

Lancaster Unity is partnering with Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches to clean up the trash from the sidewalks of our beautiful city! The litter will be used to fill the letters for “Let’s RETHINK Litter in Lancaster”, a Litter Letter Project sponsored by Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority.

Meet at Tellus360 at 10AM on Saturday, August 22, 2015.

This event is welcome to all ages! Children under the age of 13 should have an adult with them.Vests, gloves and trash bags will be available.

Litter Question


Rain Gardens along W James St

As construction begins along Mulberry and West James Streets you should notice an immediate (and green) difference when you reach a corner crosswalk.  Beginning last fall City contractors started to install these vegetated curb extensions / rain gardens and this spring they were planted.  West James Street will soon be paved and Mulberry Street will begin its conversion to a complete green street soon after.  The first of its kind in Lancaster City, Mulberry Street will go back to a two way street (instead of one) and will boast bike lanes, permeable paving, vegetated curb extensions / rain gardens, newly planted trees and much more.
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Plum and Walnut Intersection wins another award

Stormwater Solutions has recognized the green infrastructure project located at the intersection Plum and E Walnut Street.  This is another award for a project that has been recognized for numerous innovations including traffic calming, pedestrian safety, stormwater capture, public art, and public / private partnership.  This location has become a gateway for people entering the City.  To read the article click here.


Contractor Workshop

The City of Lancaster, in cooperation with the Lancaster County Conservancy and the Lancaster County Conservation District will be offering a two-hour workshop for contractors to discuss the City’s green infrastructure program and the role small stormwater projects have in helping meet regulatory requirements.

During this workshop, the City will provide an overview of the stormwater management program and review recent updates to the City Stormwater Management Ordinance and Small Stormwater Project Permit Application.

The slides from the presentation can be found here


To register click here

Attendees will learn how the stormwater permitting process works, review an application from a City property and learn the step-by-step process to obtaining your permits quickly and efficiently.

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.

Green Infrastructure Implementation and Small Stormwater Project Permitting
Registration 8:00am
Program 8:30am – 10:30am
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Lancaster City Hall
120 North Duke Street, Lancaster, PA
(Snow date Wednesday March 4)

Reservations are requested for this FREE workshop.

Please RSVP by following this link;
for questions please contact
Fritz Schroeder,
717-392-7891 x 207.



Central Market Streetscape Project

Work on the long-delayed and much-anticipated Lancaster Central Market streetscape project is underway.  To read an article about the project click here.

The new streetscape project includes bio-retention / rain gardens as pictured below.

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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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Curb Side Gardens

A number of Curbside gardens have popped up surrounding other green infrastructure projects throughout Lancaster City.  They often extend from the curb or intersection, serving to both capture stormwater, while also slowing traffic and making these areas safer for pedestrians.
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Lancaster is one of many City’s undertaking such projects.  Here is an article recently published in the New York Times New York Plants Curbside Gardens to Soak Up Storm-Water Runoff – NYTimes com.

Examples from the City of Lancaster:
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 Other examples can be found here



Impact of a Drop of Water

Impact of water drops on the surface of granular particles

Abstract: When a granular material is impacted by a sphere, its surface deforms like a liquid yet it preserves a circular crater like a solid. Although the mechanism of granular impact cratering by solid spheres is well understood, our knowledge on granular impact cratering by liquid drops is still very limited. Using high-speed photography, we investigate liquid-drop impact dynamics on granular media. Surprisingly, we find that granular impact cratering by liquid drops follows the same energy scaling as that of asteroid impact cratering. Inspired by this similarity, we develop a simple model that quantitatively describes the observed crater morphologies. Our study sheds light on the mechanisms governing raindrop impacts on granular surfaces and reveals an interesting analogy between familiar phenomena of raining and catastrophic asteroid strikes.

journal article: