A $640,947.00 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through the Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener Watershed Protection Program) has allowed Lancaster Farmland Trust (LFT) to expand their previous work in helping farmers to create cleaner water in the Lower Conestoga watershed in East Lampeter Township.
This work had begun in 2015 when LFT was awarded a Technical Capacity Grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to conduct assessments on all 148 farms within East Lampeter Township. Until this technical capacity project, agricultural conservation practices and operations data were never collected on East Lampeter Township farms. With agricultural data collected and cataloged, LFT and partners completed a “MapShed” modeling program that highlighted agricultural conservation practices as the most advantageous and cost-effective ways to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution.
In 2017, LFT was awarded another NFWF grant to implement those conservation practices on several strategic farms within the township. Work on several of those farms is now complete – critical conservation practices like buffers, fencing, animal crossings, stabilized walkways, increased manure storage, and barnyard improvements are in the ground and improving Lancaster County’s water quality.
The generous grant from DEP in 2021 will allow several more properties in the township that lacked funding to complete these projects on their own to join the growing numbers of farms in Lancaster County committed to the fight for clean and clear water.
This story was provided by Lancaster Farmland Trust