Native trees and plants play a huge role in keeping our streams and rivers healthy! They prevent runoff, protect the quality of our water, provide habitat for wildlife, and so much more! Whether you plant a tree, create a rain garden, or fill a window box with native flowers, you help keep our waterways clean!
June 2-10, 2023
Water Week Action Steps
Dive in and take Action during Water Week!
Clean up litter in your community to keep it from polluting local rivers and streams!
Water is essential to life. Our waterways do more than just provide us water to drink — they are also home to a complex web of plant and animal life. Help keep our water clean by picking up litter or pet waste, educating yourself about where your water goes after it disappears down the drain, or learning ways to change how you use water at home to improve the health of our rivers and streams!
- Help keep combined sewer and storm drain systems from overflowing into our waterways by conserving water use during rainstorms. That load of laundry can wait!
- Remove leaves and litter from storm drains before a rainstorm or snow melt.
- Rethink your routines that use water. Wash your car at the carwash to keep soap from running off into streams and harming the aquatic life.
- Ditch the lawn fertilizers and pesticides that make our streams and rivers inhabitable to many of the fish and insects that call them home. Hint: native plants are better adapted to our soils and climate and don’t need the extra help!
- Get to know your farmer! Buy produce from local farmers who practice organic or no till farming, which helps keep our waterways clean.
Hike, paddle, fish, and explore the beautiful waterways and natural lands of Lancaster County!
Spending time in nature has an amazing impact on our physical and mental health! Explore the Lancaster Conservancy’s nature preserves and the streams and rivers they protect. Even as little as 20 minutes outdoors can reduce your stress and reconnect you with the beautiful waterways you pledge to help!
Climbers Run Nature Center
Home to the Conservancy’s Nature Center, this preserve beckons visitors to enjoy a picnic lunch by the historic barn, explore the hiking trails meandering through shady woodlands along an eastern brook trout stream, or watch for birds and other wildlife in the open meadows. Keep your eyes open for bluebirds, toads, painted turtles, skunk cabbage, wild turkey, and a diversity of wildlife and plants in every season.
Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve
Shenks Ferry is renowned as one of the most impressive wildflower sanctuaries in the eastern United States. Tucked into the river hills of southern Lancaster County, over 70 species of wildflowers and 50 species of birds make their home in this sheltered ravine cut by Grub Creek. This preserve has a relatively flat and smooth one-mile trail that makes it welcome to visitors not familiar with hiking.
Conoy Wetlands Nature Preserve
You can hike or bike the Northwest River Trail to reach this unique preserve situated along the Susquehanna River. The wetland and forest habitat make this a great place for bird watching. You can also visit what is thought to be the first publicly accessible forest garden in Pennsylvania! Discover how a farm field was restored to more natural floodplain habitat using native species that both produce food for wildlife and humans (if there is any left)!
Clark Nature Preserve
From the main parking area, you can begin a short hike out and back to a rocky cliff with an incredible view of the Susquehanna or a 2.4-mile loop hike named in honor of the late Ralph Goodno, former Lancaster Conservancy president. The hike through both preserves features pristine streams, beautiful wildflowers, and great opportunities for bird watching in two restored meadows.
Fishing Creek Nature Preserve
A public gravel road travels along and through (in three places) Fishing Creek, making this preserve easy to hike, bike, or even drive through! With towering hemlocks lining the steep-sided valley and shady pools for fishing, this is a great place to explore as a family!