New Street Park Ecological Restoration

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What is polluted runoff?

Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides.  This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.

Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways.  This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!

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before image
Eroding banks of Santo Domingo Creek before restoration. Credit: LandStudies, Inc.
after image
Restored Santo Domingo Creek. Credit: LandStudies, Inc.


Project Location: Lancaster, PA

Problem: The portions of Santo Domingo Creek that flowed through New Street Park, a community park in Lititz Borough, were severely degraded. The straightened stream banks were steep and eroded, and the channel cut down deep into legacy sediment. Flooding was a frequent problem in the adjoining, heavily populated areas.

Solution: A multi-phased ecological restoration improved water quality, increased flood storage and provided protection to downstream bridges from flood damage and debris. The first phase included removing sediments and nutrients from the stream system, creating fully functional wetland areas, and incorporating native plants along the restored portions of the stream. The second phase improved park amenities and restored downstream areas. Restoring the losing reach also increased aquifer recharge and pollutant removal performance. This project served as a pilot project that helped establish nutrient pollution trading parameters in the Conestoga Watershed.

Economic benefits: The primary benefits that resulted from the estimated 281% Return on Investment included increased land and home values, flood reduction mitigation, reduced damage to infrastructure, and MS4 permit compliance.

Scale: 750-ft straightened section of stream was restored to 950-ft of meandering stream channel

Pollutants Removed:

  • 15.6 million lbs. sediment
  • 8,900 lbs. phosphorous
  • 26,000 lbs. nitrogen

Cost: $732,521

Collaborators: Pfizer, Lititz Borough, LandStudies, Inc.

Contact Information
Kelly Gutshall, RLA | LandStudies, Inc. |
Key project facts
Project Type
Floodplain Restoration
Project Scale
$750,000 - $999,999
Story Focus
Cost Efficiency
Environmental Benefits
Stormwater Funds
Problem Addressed
Flooding / Drainage
Year Installed
Before 2013
State Legislative District
Federal Legislative District
PA 97th