Land-use webinar to focus on economic ecology of healthy watersheds

September 08, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- How a community in Lancaster County has improved water quality and economic vitality while addressing the impact of stormwater runoff and flooding through an innovative restoration approach will be the topic of a Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar at noon on Sept. 16 will be two land-use planning professionals from Lititz-based LandStudies Inc., which specializes in creating functional, natural landscapes: Kelly Gutshall, registered landscape architect and owner/president, and Michael LaSala, business development specialist.

They will be joined by Dan Zimmerman, Warwick Township manager, who has taken a proactive, regional-scale approach to solving water issues and maximizing the economic and environmental returns in his region.

"Flooding and stormwater runoff threaten many communities. And planners and elected officials are being held accountable for compliance with regulations requiring separate municipal storm sewer systems and total maximum daily loads, which focus on improvements to streamside areas in their communities," Gutshall said.

"A focus of the webinar is the cost-effective restoration of underutilized floodplains as the answer to many of today's regulatory and environmental challenges and their costs."

This webinar will showcase several case studies of pollutant removal and flood reduction that have addressed the sources of these local environmental challenges within the greater regional watershed. Discussions will emphasize incentive-based approaches for future funding.

"The webinar will provide an understanding of how our municipality leads by example and has encouraged landowners and developers to implement projects that have resulted in significant nutrient and sediment reductions with wide-ranging benefits to the community," said Zimmerman.

The presentation will address issues that public and private professional planners, elected officials, citizen planners and township managers may face when dealing with flooding, stormwater, regulations mandating separate municipal storm sewer systems and total maximum daily loads, trails, recreation and the environment.

This webinar is part of Penn State Extension's summer/fall 2015 Land-Use Webinar Series. Other future topics and dates in the series include:

--Oct. 21: "Bees, Chickens and Goats, Oh My!"

--Nov. 18: "Community Economic Development: What Is It, and What Is Your Role in Its Use in Your Communities?"

All future webinars will be offered from noon to 1:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Time. Two previous webinars in the series were recorded and are available to registered viewers.

The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for all five webinars for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $35.

To register, visit Penn State Extension's Economic and Community Development Team website.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at


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Last Updated September 10, 2015