Monday, November 22, 2021

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

On a crisp October day, about eighty Northeastern High School students planted 1,200 trees along Hartman Run, a tributary to the Susquehanna River in York County. 

This was part of a twenty-acre riparian buffer project being planted to help reduce nitrogen inputs into York County’s waterways.

Riparian buffers are the vegetated areas next to streams, rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. These buffers are made up of grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees and are very effective at protecting the health of our waterways. 

Grass buffers are good, but forested riparian buffers provide the maximum benefits. 

The trees and other vegetation in the buffer intercept stormwater runoff, filter pollutants, help stabilize stream banks preventing erosion, provide shade, increase groundwater recharge, help control flooding, and provide wildlife habitat in and around the stream. 

Benefits are vast!

The project was the idea of Northeastern School District teacher and Master Watershed Steward, Mark Lentz. 

The project was made possible through a partnership with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Master Watershed Stewards and was fully funded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

It will contribute to both York County's and the state's sediment and nutrient reduction goals for local streams and rivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. 

It sets an example for other school districts and other landowners such as businesses, hospitals, college campuses, etc. who collectively own large amounts of land suitable for similar efforts. 

In addition, the project has created endless educational opportunities.

Involving students in this project was paramount. They worked diligently digging holes, planting trees, pounding stakes, and securing shelters. 

The camaraderie among the students was contagious. They demonstrated great teamwork and made a direct connection to the earth, most importantly understanding the connection between trees and water quality. 

It was very rewarding to see their joy and excitement. For some, it was their best day of school – ever! 

Together, they planted a forest which will reap many rewards for years to come.

[Visit the York 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:

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

-- 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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