WAY: Making York’s Water Cleaner and Healthier for All

Writer Rachel Curry
Photographer Eric Forberger

How Watershed Alliance of York Plays a Major Role in Our County’s Environment
When you make a positive difference in your community, the impact often ripples out beyond the immediate border. The folks at Watershed Alliance of York (WAY) know this firsthand. York’s six main watersheds are interconnected with other counties, other states, and the ecosystem at large.

Rachel Stahlman, York Countywide Action Plan Coordinator, says WAY’s mission is “making York’s water cleaner and healthier for all.” It’s that simple, yet the initiatives that make it happen are anything but.

Those initiatives include working with residents to resolve destructive habits, like overusing pesticides or fertilizers. They also want to help landowners transition from rolling hills of mowed grass to meadows, plant native plants in stormwater basins, and build fences to keep cows out of streams. These efforts are just the start.

“It’s a variety of different things, but the goal of all of those things is making the water of our community better,” says Stahlman.

WAY is made up of a team of steadfast team members working tirelessly t o bring awareness to and improve the health of York’s watersheds. There’s Emily Neideigh, Watershed Specialist for York County Conservation District, who helped to rejuvenate WAY into the growing organization it is today.

Then there’s Master Watershed Steward Cindy Pizziketti, who recently received an award for 1,000 hours of volunteer work, all for water quality.

Jodi Sulpizio, Master Watershed Steward Coordinator for Penn State Extension, championed a watershed forestry subcommittee.

Her efforts will help plant buffers and convert lawns to meadows all across the county.

And Lettice Brown, MS4 Coordinator for the City of York, is another person who “really lives her life with water quality in mind,” as Stahlman puts it.

From the Greener Codorus Initiative to Watershed Week, there’s no end to the impact that WAY and York’s other eco-minded organizations can have. There are plenty of avenues for locals to get involved as a committee member or volunteer, but people can always join WAY’s mailing list or follow them on social if they just want to get acquainted.

With WAY in mind, Stahlman reminds us that York is teeming with people who appreciate the environment. Moreover, it’s brimming with opportunities to put that awareness into something that will make a lasting change in York—and well beyond the county bounds.

YRK Perspectives

What is your hope for York County in the next five years? “Our hope for York County in the next five years is improved water quality and a better community understanding of how our actions impact our water.” – Rachel Stahlman, Coordinator, York Countywide Action Plan

Watershed Alliance of York
  • 2401 PLEASANT VALLEY RD. YORK, PA 17402
  • 717.840.7430
Watershed Alliance of York
  • 2401 PLEASANT VALLEY RD. YORK, PA 17402
  • 717.840.7430