Why should we plant buffers?

Planting and protecting wooded areas along streams and rivers is one of the most significant actions we can take to ensure our waterways stay clean and healthy. Tree and shrub planting on river banks creates forested buffers that have many benefits:

Provides additional root mass for absorbing floodwaters

Reduces soil erosion (soil erosion loads sediments into streams and property is “lost”)

Filters oil from roads, fertilizer from fields/lawns and other pollutants and keeps them out of streams and lakes

  • Provides shade that keeps stream water cool – necessary for wild trout and other fish
  • Provides food and cover for a wide range of wildlife along rivers

Do you have open land up to the river?

Whether a large floodplain field or a small backyard next to a brook, streams still need woody vegetation.  We can help!  Our Trees for Stream program provides grants to landowners in Caledonia County to help design, plan and coordinate the planting of a stream buffer on your property.  We’ll pick up the tab for everything but request cost sharing of 20% on the cost of the trees and shrubs.  We use local student volunteers for plantings, and select site appropriate species.

What size/width should a buffer be?

We recommend a buffer width of at least 35-feet, starting at the top of the bank.  If there are unique concerns on your property, or habitat considerations, our program would support a larger buffer project as well, 50-100′.  We have also planted smaller buffers where we can still achieve benefits.

Call us for more information! 802-748-3885 x110