A creek restored on a farm.

It may seem like a small project, but the Big Beaver Creek restoration on an Amish farm in Lancaster County, PA will make a big difference in the local and regional environment.

The restoration project won the 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence this Spring, awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Kara Kalupson, left, standing with Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Patrick McDonnell

Coordinated by RETTEW’s Kara Kalupson, director of the Pequea Creek Watershed Association, and Matt Kofroth, watershed specialist with the Lancaster County Conservation District, the work involved improving the banks of the stream. Project partners included the Conservation Fund, Strasburg, West Lampeter, and Providence Townships, Solanco High School Future Farmers of America students as well as students from the Lancaster Academy, staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and members of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

To improve the stream, the groups installed structures within the streambed to slow down the water flow and planted more than 800 native trees. They also put in 3,500 shrubs on the banks to prevent erosion and improve wildlife habitats. The project included new bridges and fencing to keep cows from harming the banks and manure out of the stream. About a half-mile of stream is now restored because of the project partnerships.

Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Greg Hostetter recently toured the site, speaking about the reduced pollution in the creek and the environmental benefits.

Check out the video of the project here: