Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Riparian Buffer Professionals Available + New Training Opportunities In PA; DCNR Buffer Workforce Survey

Organizations across Pennsylvania are working hard to educate stream landowners on the benefits of trees, the resources available for planting trees, and the skills needed to establish riparian buffers.

Trees planted along streams, known as riparian buffers, are important in many ways. They help to reduce pollution entering our streams, increase habitat for fish and other wildlife, stabilize stream banks, and more. 

In fact, they are so important that Pennsylvania has a goal to plant 95,000 acres of riparian buffers across the state by 2025. 

This plan will help meet water quality improvement goals for local streams and the Chesapeake Bay, and it is a huge task!

Organizations across Pennsylvania are working hard to educate stream landowners on the benefits of trees, the resources available for planting trees, and the skills needed to establish riparian buffers. 

Acres of trees are planted along streams each year with the help of willing landowners and volunteer programs such as Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards and the Penn State Agriculture & Environment Center’s Greening the Lower Susquehanna program

Although Penn State and many other organizations are focusing on getting riparian buffers planted each year, more help is needed to meet the state’s large goal.

Need Employees For Your Business?

If you own or work for a business that provides lawn care, tree care, or other landscape services, several opportunities focused on riparian buffers are available to you.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and other partners, have developed a Correctional Conservation Collaborative (CCC) program to train incarcerated individuals on conservation and tree care practices. 

Some of these individuals may be interested in related employment when they return to their communities, and employers often seek trained workers. 

By increasing the number of people trained in how to plant and maintain riparian buffers, we all benefit from the proverb “many hands make light work.”

For the Correctional Conservation Collaborative program to be a success, these newly trained individuals will need to find employment where they can put their skills to work. 

Workforce Needs Survey

DCNR is seeking input from landscape contractors using a short survey on workforce needs and willingness to connect with graduates of this program, upon their release. 

If you have a business that does lawn care, plants or cares for trees, installs green infrastructure, manages invasive plants, or supports these activities in any way, consider filling out this survey and helping guide the future of this program.

Bay Landscape Professionals

Here’s another great opportunity: a limited number of scholarships are being offered for Pennsylvania practitioners to attend the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) Buffers Certificate course

This certificate course will provide the knowledge and skills needed for landscape professionals to confidently plan, install, and maintain riparian buffers; joining the effort to reach Pennsylvania’s large implementation goal. 

This comprehensive riparian buffer training program includes 6 classes combining online webinars and in-person field workshops. Participants will learn about site assessment, project planning, tree planting skills, and how to maintain riparian buffers. 

The in-person field workshops will be offered in Lancaster, PA (and at additional sites in Virginia.) 

The scholarships are being made possible thanks to the Penn State Agriculture & Environment Center, a partner in this new training program.

Introduction To Buffers

And if it is just an introduction to buffers that you need, Penn State Extension has multiple resources available to guide private landowners and municipalities on how to plan and implement tree plantings. 

One of the newest resources, the Growing Great Buffers how-to video series, addresses the most common questions regarding buffer maintenance. View these videos to learn when to remove tree tubes, how to manage pests in riparian buffers, options for controlling weeds, and more.

Whether you are looking to become a fully trained riparian buffer contractor, are hiring new staff to assist with landscape projects, have a stream on your property that you should consider buffering with a few more trees, or want to support your neighbors, now is a great time to take advantage of exciting new training opportunities and resources focused on streamside trees.

[How Clean Is Your Stream?

[DEP’s Interactive Report Viewer allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.]

-- Master Watershed Steward Program Invites You To Support A Local Watershed Steward Now And During Dec. 1 Giving Tuesday

(Reprinted from the Nov. 24 Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

Related Articles - Extension:

-- New Watershed-Friendly Property Certification Now Available From Penn State Extension

-- Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program Accepting Applications For 2021; Jan. 20 Open House

-- Master Watershed Stewards In York County Plant Riparian Forest Buffer In Park

-- Storm Drain Art Brings Awareness To Stormwater Pollution In The City Of York

-- Master Watershed Stewards From 4 Counties Help Purge Plastic From The Susquehanna River

-- Water Tests For Households Using Public Water Supplies

Related Articles - Water:

-- DCNR Highlights $400,000 Investment To Improve Recreation, Help Restore Codorus Creek In York County; New Grant Round Opening Soon 

-- Trout Unlimited: Protecting Streams From Assessment Through Regulation

-- PA Park Maintenance Institute Hosts Online Benefits Of Including Green Stormwater Infrastructure Into Parks & Recreation Facilities Shop Talk Dec. 3

-- Trout Unlimited Offers Online STREAM Girls Outdoor Ed For COVID Times Training For Girl Scouts Program Dec. 3

-- PAEE: Meaningful Watershed Education Experience In PA Accepting Nominations For 2 Award Programs

-- EPA Awards PA $4.8 Million For Section 319 Grants To Cleanup Water Quality Across The State

-- Bay Journal: EPA Fights Lawsuit Forcing It To Act On Pennsylvania, NY Cleanup Plans

[Posted: November 24, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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