Monday, June 6, 2016

AEC: A Busy Spring For Greening The Lower Susquehanna

Greening the Lower Susquehanna Volunteer Corps, an initiative of the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, has been busy this spring with many exciting volunteer events!
Spring is one of the busiest times of year for the volunteer group, as tree plantings and rescues, live staking, and litter pickups are best done in the spring months, and volunteers are eager to get out after a long winter inside.
On March 21, several volunteers came out to harvest live stakes at the State Game Lands 145. The group cut over 500 ‘live stakes’, or cuttings from trees that can be used in stream bank restoration projects, in only a few hours!
The live stakes, in addition to other live stakes gathered at Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge with another group of volunteers, were used in two stream bank restoration projects, one at Logan Park in Manheim and the other at the Penn State Harrisburg campus.
The Penn State campus has a severely eroded stream that will benefit greatly from the 500+ live stakes that volunteers planted.
Volunteers included Penn State Campus Maintenance Operations, various student clubs and organizations, and Greening the Lower Susquehanna staff. Participants learned how to harvest and plant live stakes, as well as the benefits of such practices in improving local water quality.
Another way that Greening the Lower Susquehanna works to improve local water quality is by coordinating litter pickups near local waterways.
To celebrate Earth Day this year, GLS partnered with Tri-County Conewago Creek Association to host a litter pickup at Aberdeen Mills before their annual Earth Day celebration.
Over 20 volunteers helped remove a variety of litter including: tires, bottles and cans, trash bags, and household debris.
The diversity of the GLS volunteer base was really evident at the litter pickup, as a variety of ages, from young children to older adults, joined together to combat litter in our local streams.
Following the litter pickup, TCCCA hosted a great family friendly Earth Day celebration at the Mill.
In addition to live staking and litter pickups, GLS operates a tree nursery which provides tree seedlings to homeowners and municipalities interested in planting large projects, such as turf-to-forest conversion or riparian buffers, that will help improve their local water quality.
One of the many ways that GLS obtains trees for their nursery is through events called ‘tree rescues.’  A tree rescue consists of a willing landowner in the lower Susquehanna region who has a significant number of native tree seedlings sprout up in an unwanted place, such as a garden or lawn.
The landowner contacts GLS and a group of volunteers will go to the landowner’s home and ‘rescue’ the seedlings. GLS then nurses the seedlings throughout the summer so they are ready for permanent homes in the fall. It’s a very fun experience, that volunteers enjoy being a part of!
GLS has many more volunteer events planned throughout the coming months!
To be added to the volunteer email list contact Jenn Fetter by sending email to: We look forward to you joining us!
(Reprinted from the latest Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center quarterly newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

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