Local Leaders

Introducing the Stormwater Program Manager!

Photograph courtesy of Dan Marschka of LNP

SaveIt! is proud to introduce the City’s Stormwater Program Manager, Ruth Hocker, who leads the City’s nationally recognized green infrastructure program.

Hocker, was recently named chair of American Society of Civil Engineers’ Municipal Water Infrastructure Council. In the position, she will oversee four committees whose research helps municipalities tackle environmental and infrastructure challenges.

Read more about what Ruth does to implement green infrastructure in Lancaster City and protect our watersheds in her feature in the Lancaster Newspaper.


Lancaster city logs its 9,000 public trees in searchable database


Douglas Smith, the city's sustainability coordinator and Philip Johnson a city geographic information systems staffer

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.

Check out the searchable database here.




F&M works on Franklin Terrace Riparian Buffer


PSSI students work to clear invasive plants from Franklin Terrace.

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.

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 fschroeder@lancasterconservancy.org

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Photo courtesy of Deb Grove, Office of Communications, Franklin & Marshall College.

Photo courtesy of Deb Grove, Office of Communications, Franklin & Marshall College.

Photo courtesy of Deb Grove, Office of Communications, Franklin & Marshall College


Tree Tenders Training! 6/23

Wonder how we maintain thousands of trees in the urban environment? Join thousands of other concerned citizens like yourself. Become a Tree Tender and help increase tree canopy cover in your community. Tree Tenders® is a training program that empowers concerned residents to make dramatic strides towards restoring and caring for the tree canopy in their communities. The course is designed for lay people and experts alike. Become one of the Tree Tenders restoring and tending your part of the forest. Instruction is provided by DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry, in partnership with Penn State Extension, PHS, and other local urban forestry experts.

Upcoming Class offered by Penn State Extension:

June 23 – Elizabethtown, PA – 8 AM to 4 PM  (Register online at http://extension.psu.edu/tree-tenders)










Tree Tenders training includes:

-Tree Biology

-Urban Stresses on Trees

-Tree Identification

-Tree Pruning and Root Care

-Tree Planting Techniques

-Community Organizing



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


Water Blues Green Solutions

An interactive documentary project designed to promote awareness of the role that green infrastructure can play in creating a sustainable water future.

Water Blues Green Solutions tells stories from across the country of communities that are adopting new ways of thinking about how to protect, restore, and preserve our rivers and sources of drinking water.



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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