Monday, November 22, 2021

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

By Cindy Rogers, Master Watershed Steward Volunteer,
Armstrong, Indiana & Westmoreland Counties

Nearly a dozen members of the Westmoreland, Indiana and Armstrong County Master Watershed Stewards group got together on the rainy day of October 16, at Getty Heights Park in Indiana, PA to plant a live stake nursery. 

The nursery includes six different varieties of trees and shrubs and totals 90 plants. 

Funding for the nursery came from a PA American Water Grant that the statewide Master Watershed Steward program received to establish multiple live stake nurseries across the state.

There are a variety of things we can do to help protect and stabilize stream banks and improve the health of the streams. 

One thing is to plant a "riparian buffer" which is the planting of native trees and bushes along the sides of streams and up to 30 meters on either side of the stream to prevent erosion and help improve water quality. 

These trees not only help hold soil in place, but also soak up nutrients, absorb rainwater, and provide habitat for wildlife.

Live Staking is one way to put plants directly in the places that need them most along the stream banks. 

Using live stakes can be a much lower cost than buying trees and plants for the plantings. Stem cuttings taken from trees during their dormant season (before the trees bud out in the spring) are put directly into stream banks. 

These cuttings, referred to as "live stakes," will eventually grow into new trees and are an easy way to establish a root network in the stream banks and help prevent further soil erosion.

This newly planted live stake nursery will be maintained by local Master Watershed Stewards who will help with watering and weeding the area. 

A partnership with White Township allowed the Watershed Stewards to use a part of Getty Heights Park for the project, and the township assisted with digging the initial holes for the plantings. 

The trees and bushes for the nursery were planted in the holes, ground cloth was used to prevent weed growth, and wire cages were installed to protect new trees from deer browsing. 

The plantings were placed at a distance apart that would allow easy mowing between the trees.

In a year or more, Master Watershed Stewards will be able to harvest twig cuttings for future plantings of riparian buffer zones in Westmoreland, Indiana, and Armstrong counties.

Click Here for more information on live stakes from Penn State Extension.

[Visit the Westmoreland, Indiana and Armstrong County Master Watershed Steward webpage to learn more about upcoming events and activities.

[Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program is now accepting applications for 2022.

[Training will be offered in Allegheny, Armstrong/Indiana/Westmoreland, Berks/ Schuylkill, Cameron/Elk/McKean/Potter, Chester/Delaware, Cumberland/ Franklin/Adams, Dauphin/Lebanon/Lancaster, Erie/Crawford/Warren, Lackawanna/Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Susquehanna, and York.]

[Learn more about buffers by visiting DCNR’s Riparian Buffers webpage.]

(Reprinted from the Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletterClick Here to sign up for your own copy.)

Upcoming Extension Events:

-- November 24: Webinar Linking Surface And Ground Water In Cities

-- December 14: Webinar On Tips For A Healthier Pond Or Lake In 2022

Related Articles:

-- Master Watershed Stewards In Berks & Schuylkill Counties To Unveil Live Stake Nursery At Cacoosing Park, Berks County Nov. 17 

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

-- Penn State Extension: Slow The Flow - Reduce Stormwater Running Off Your Property

-- Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program Now Accepting Applications For 2022 Training

-- Nov. 24 Penn State Extension Water Cooler Talk Webinar: Linking Surface And Ground Water In Cities

-- Penn State Extension: How Concentrated Water Flow Paths From Agricultural Fields Impact Land And The Environment

-- Penn State Extension: Keeping Plastics Out Of Our Waters Is Pivotal To Improving The Health Of Our Waterways

[Posted: November 22, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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