Monday, November 22, 2021

Allegheny County Conservation District Plants 3,000 Trees To Reduce Flooding; Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Allegheny County Conservation District accomplished its goal of planting its 3,000th tree during its 75th anniversary year. These trees will help reduce flooding and water pollution.

Since 2016, ACCD has established more than 17 acres of riparian buffers, or young streamside forests of native trees and shrubs, across 11 municipalities to protect water resources, stabilize streambanks and provide wildlife habitat.

Every year, these trees intercept more than 60,000 gallons of stormwater, equal to the runoff of approximately 50 average-sized homes, to reduce the effects of flooding from a typical storm event. 

Water runs off the roofs of our homes, gathering pollutants and sometimes eroding soil. This can cause water pollution. As trees mature, benefits will continue to increase, including improved air quality and carbon capture.  

“Partnerships are a critical piece to ecosystem stabilization and improvement projects such as these. Our natural resources, including trees, are critical infrastructure,” Executive Director Heather Manzo said. “The ability to have tree cover, stable streambanks and ground that can soak up rainwater all play a role in keeping our communities safe and livable as climate shifts and impacts such as flooding or landslides are experienced. ACCD is committed to being a valued partner in this work far into the future.”

ACCD planted additional trees at Round Hill Park, Montour Run Trail and Valley Park in Monroeville this fall to strengthen existing riparian buffer zones.  

Partners and supporters include the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Allegheny County Parks Department, Allegheny County Parks Foundation, Hollow Oak Land Trust, Allegheny Land Trust, Penn State Master Watershed Stewards, 13 Allegheny County municipalities and more than 500 volunteers.  

“Tree canopy loss is a serious problem in Allegheny County. Adding trees along streams will replace some of the canopy. At the same time, these trees will improve human health, increase property values, sequester carbon, improve air quality, as well as soak up stormwater and prevent soil loss,” Assistant Director Erin Copeland said.  

The services provided by these trees will carry downstream and contribute to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s goal of planting 95,000 acres of forested buffers by 2025.

ACCD celebrates 75 years of contributions to the county, including preserving farmland, restoring local land and waterways and protecting natural resources through the enforcement of state regulations.  

ACCD was formed by county resolution in 1946 in response to the devastation of the 1930s Dust Bowl. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt recommended the Standard State Soil Conservation Districts Act be signed into law by all state governors.

A new three-year strategic plan approved in 2021 includes priorities to focus on talent and capacity, programs, financial stability, and outreach and relationships. Click here to view the executive summary.  

Visit the Allegheny County Conservation District website for more information.


-- Allegheny County Conservation District: 500 Volunteers Planted 17 Acres Of Native Trees In 11 Municipalities To Improve Water Quality; Now It’s Your Turn

Related Articles:

-- Northeastern High School Students Plant 1,200 Trees Along Hartman Run In York County 

-- Armstrong, Indiana & Westmoreland Master Watershed Stewards Plant Live Stake Nursery In Indiana County Park 

[Posted: November 22, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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