Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Donegal Trout Unlimited Climber's Run Stream Restoration Preserves Magic Of Retreat Center In Lancaster County

This article first appeared in the
Lancaster County Conservation District Spring newsletter--

The owners of the House at Climber’s Run, a retreat center and rental space, used to dread heavy rain because it meant that the stream on their property would flood, causing significant land erosion, safety concerns, and increased pollution. 

Because the property is in a valley, the water could rise four- to five-feet in a single rainfall. The owners recall watching their land “eaten away” during these events. 

But in summer 2019, Donegal Trout Unlimited (DTU) offered a solution – stream restoration and riparian buffer plantings to strengthen the streambanks, reduce erosion, and provide a lush forested area with clean water for their guests.

DTU came to the Lancaster Clean Water Partners with the idea for the stream restoration and riparian buffer planting along Climber’s Run. 

This project not only reduces streambank erosion, but connects four contiguous projects along the stream in southern Lancaster County. 

With dollars from the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s Clean Water Fund, the Partners were able to grant DTU enough support to restore 1,530 linear feet of stream and plant 2.45 acres of riparian buffers. 

Restoring the stream and planting native trees and shrubs has already proved successful, with the property owners reporting less flooding during heavy rain and loss of land along the stream. 

Now guests, and in particular the families with children, who stay at the House at Climber’s Run can enjoy a lush, green space that is safe to be in the water and perfect to reconnect with nature. 

And the property owners are comforted that the streambanks will remain in place so they can continue to share “the magic that is living in the country” with their guests.  

The Lancaster Clean Water Fund helps projects like this go from concept to implementation. 

Since 2019, the fund has provided $272,000 to eight nonprofits and municipalities working on stream restoration, riparian buffer plantings, agricultural BMPs, education, and Stormwater Management projects. 

The fund addresses the immense need for clean water work throughout the county, and provides financial support to bring action ideas to life.

Climber’s Run is a healthy stretch of stream and preserving that is essential to our collective success. 

Unfortunately, though, over half the streams in Lancaster County are considered impaired, which means the levels of nutrient and sediment pollution have made the water unsafe for drinking and recreation. 

It also means critical fish and critter populations cannot survive. 

With the goal of clean and clear water by 2040, the Partners focus on getting multiple landowners with contiguous stretches of stream to implement conservation practices, setting the stage to begin restoring water quality and delisting streams. 

When a stream is delisted, the nutrient and sediment pollution levels have decreased enough for critter and fish populations to live and thrive in the stream again.

We’re grateful for the District’s watershed team plus the agriculture technicians because their expertise connecting landowners and projects that support delisting streams are what move us towards clean and clear water!

Reach out to the Lancaster County Conservation District or the Lancaster Clean Water Partners and we’ll connect you with a local partner organization who can help get your stream the TLC it needs to be part of Lancaster’s clean water success story! 

If you’re a landowner with a stream on your property, consider applying to the Lancaster Clean Water Fund!

Other News

-- Lancaster Conservation District Tree Seedling Sale March 1

-- MS4 Stormwater Lunch & Learn Webinars

-- Penn State: Snowfall Is Recharging Our Groundwater

-- Partner Spotlight: Conestoga River Club

-- Sign Up To Be A Partner Organization

Click Here to read the entire Lancaster Partners newsletter.

For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and more, visit the Lancaster Clean Water Partners website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates.  Follow them on Facebook.

[How Clean Is Your Stream?

[DEP’s Interactive Report Viewer allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.]

(Reprinted from Lancaster Clean Water Partners newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

Related Article:

-- Lancaster Clean Water Partners Clean Water Grant Round Opens March 3; Webinar March 3

[Posted: February 24, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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