A new partnership has sprouted up with the goal of planting more trees in Lancaster City and engaging residents in the process. A collaborative effort, Lancaster Tree Tenders is an initiative of the Lancaster County Conservancy Urban Greening program with partners Lancaster City Alliance and the City of Lancaster. Their purpose is “To increase and enhance Lancaster’s urban forest by engaging and empowering neighborhoods to plant and care for trees”. Together, they are working to increase Lancaster City’s tree canopy cover from 28% to 40% within twenty-five years; this goal is part of the City’s Green Infrastructure Plan to help manage stormwater and create a more sustainable community.
“Have you ever planted a tree before?” asks the newly formed Lancaster Tree Tenders. And to that they respond, “We have!” In the last 18 months, the Lancaster Tree Tenders have helped plant 100 street trees and 350 saplings, identified over 500 planting locations, and mailed 1,000 letters offering free trees. In the process, they have engaged hundreds of volunteers who have received training and hands-on experience with planting trees. All of this work is being accomplished in close partnership with the City Stormwater Bureau and the City Arborist, Jim Bower.
It’s no secret that urban trees provide a multitude of benefits for people, the environment, and even businesses. Trees help reduce stormwater pollution, save on energy by reducing cooling costs, reduce air pollution, increase biodiversity, and beautify neighborhoods. The group also points to studies that have shown trees increase pedestrian traffic in shopping areas, reduce crime, and help instill a sense of community pride.
They encourage people to support their mission by donating to their crowdfunding campaign kicking off the first day of spring, March 20th. Go to www.saveitlancaster.org to find out how to donate and get involved. They encourage other kinds of involvement too, such as sharing their information via social media, personally inviting friends to donate, joining one of their planting events, and planting a tree. Each contribution insures that more trees get planted in the City of Lancaster.
Douglas Smith, the city’s sustainability coordinator and Philip Johnson a city geographic information systems staffer
The City of Lancaster has made available an online searchable database of some 9,000 trees along streets and in public parks. The database represents a huge step in our ability to manage the health and resiliency of our urban forest.
Green dots indicate individual trees. Click on one to find what species it is, its health and, if known, when it was planted. Purple and lavender squares represent existing and potential tree planting sites. Some kinks are still being worked out and more search functions will eventually be added.
To read more about how and why the new database is causing a buzz check out the article in the Lancaster Newspaper here.
PSSI students work to clear invasive plants from Franklin Terrace. Photo Courtesy of Deb Grove, Office of Communications, Franklin & Marshall College.
On Wednesday morning, F&M students, along with Lancaster County Conservancy Volunteer and Master Naturalist, Linda Ferich, helped remove invasive plant species from the riparian buffer along the Conestoga Greenway Trail.
Residents of Franklin Terrace and other community members helped plant 120 native trees along the Greenway Trail back in 2013 to create a riparian buffer that collects storm-water runoff and helps keep our Conestoga clean!
Photo courtesy of Deb Grove, Office of Communications, Franklin & Marshall College.
The Public Service Summer Interns with F&M’s Ware Institute for Civic Engagement were just the most recent of many volunteers that have helped create and maintain this beautiful and important installation along our precious waterway.
Work is always needed to help maintain the Franklin Terrace buffer. If you or an organization you are apart of would like to volunteer some time to this cause please contact Fritz Schroeder, Direct of Urban Greening at the Lancaster County Conservancy at email@example.com
Photo courtesy of Deb Grove, Office of Communications, Franklin & Marshall College.
Photo courtesy of Deb Grove, Office of Communications, Franklin & Marshall College
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.
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.
Rain garden at intersection of Chestnut and Mulberry
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!
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.
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.
– 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.