Over 100 people in Lancaster came out to enjoy a fun walk - even during a pandemic! IPC delivered our very first event in Lancaster in August as a self-guided walking tour of 7 local congregations that have already installed stormwater management projects or pollinator gardens. We are incredibly grateful for the host sites that made their properties available for this educational program!

Grace Lutheran Church
Moshav Derekh Shalom
Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster
Wolf Museum of Music & Art
Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster
Saint James Episcopal Church
East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church

The tour was designed to show attendees what such projects look like in real life -- how beautiful they can be! The tour showcased stormwater management projects such as rain gardens and native plantings, but also solar projects such as bike racks and electric vehicle charging stations. At each stop, attendees learned about the project and its impact, and also how the project was funded. Many of the projects were paid for with donations by the congregation members, which was inspiring to see so much commitment to watershed stewardship. The walking tour was held as part of Lancaster Water Week, a week-long extravaganza of events to raise awareness and engage citizens in clean water efforts. The event was co-hosted with the Lancaster Interfaith Coalition. 

During Covid restrictions, IPC had to be creative in how it engages people while not risking the spread of the virus. To do this, the self-guided walking tour utilized audio tour software that attendees accessed on their smartphones. Attendees were sent a link to the audio tour that depicted the route, directions to the next stop, and an audio description of the project at each stop. Over 100 people registered for the tour, which they could take at their leisure at any time during Lancaster Water Week, which occurred August 7-15. Then, a Zoom discussion was offered one evening to offer more information and inspiration, while answering questions about the stops on the tour. Click here to watch the Zoom recording. IPC also shared an online packet of Menu for Action and important contacts, which can be viewed by clicking here. The audio tour is still available if you would like to learn about these projects online, but please do not walk onto private property without permission. Click here to listen to the audio tour

We were thrilled with the turnout and grateful for all the participation from local volunteers and organizations. A small - but might! - task force of volunteers helped put the event together and we'd like to thank them for all their time and dedication! 

Laura Cattell Noll - IPC Board member and Local Leadership Workgroup Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Program
Marcy Hostletter - Volunteer Scholar with the Watershed Leadership Academy in Lancaster
Rev. Steve Verkouw - Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Lancaster
Allison Zechman - Volunteer with Lancaster Conservancy Sacred Grounds Committee
Jeremy Graeff - Volunteer with the Lancaster Interfaith Coalition

In addition, the following people spoke at the Zoom discussion or assisted with creating the Menu for Action:

Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck, Associate Pastor at Community Mennonite Church and Co-Founder of Lancaster Against Pipelines (among other roles!)
Sallie Gregory, Lancaster County Conservation District
Ryan Davis and Lydia Martin, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

It was a very successful inaugural event and excitement is building among the faith community in Lancaster around this movement. The task force continues to meet and is looking to plan another event this fall. If you live in Lancaster and would like to join our task force, please email Jodi Rose at Jodi@InterfaithChesapeake.org.