Thursday, September 22, 2022

Celebrate Riparian Buffer Month In October With Penn State Extension, Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, Local Groups

Riparian buffers, or streamside forests, are one of the best ways to protect and improve our local streams. They prevent erosion, reduce flooding, provide habitat for wildlife in and near the water, create recreational opportunities, and filter pollutants. 

They deserve to be celebrated!

Penn State Extension and the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center will once again be partnering with the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council to celebrate October as Riparian Buffer Month. 

This is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to build awareness and familiarity of forested riparian buffers while sharing the applicability of these sustainable practices in a variety of settings. 

If you care about our streams, native plants, pollinators, the Chesapeake Bay, or love taking a walk in the woods, you are encouraged to take part in some way and participate in this month-long, focused effort to spread the word about the importance of trees planted along streams.

Special Events

Check out these upcoming Extension events focused on riparian buffers taking place during October-- 

-- Backyard Stream Repair Webinar Series – Various Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 p.m.: Join this virtual series to learn simple and affordable techniques to help repair your stream including planting riparian buffers.

-- Community Science Tool - First Investigation of Stream Health Webinar - October 4, 10:00 a.m.: Learn to use FISH online tools for monitoring stream health and stream changes. A great tool for seeing improvement following the planting of a riparian buffer.

-- Volunteer Riparian Buffer Planting - October 22, 9:00 a.m.: Help plant tree seedlings as part of a riparian buffer along a local waterway in Hummelstown, Dauphin County.

-- Water Cooler Talks: Experiences Planting Trees with Volunteers - October 26, Noon: Registration coming soon for this webinar that is part of a monthly series that features invited speakers talking about water resources around the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Other Ways To Celebrate

If you can't attend one of the above events, there are lots of other ways you can help celebrate Riparian Buffer Month--

-- Look for #BufferBanter and #RiparianBufferMonth posts from your favorite conservation organizations on social media. Like, Share, Comment, etc.

-- Donate to organizations that are planting and maintaining riparian buffers in your area like your local watershed association

-- Attend a buffer focused volunteer planting, maintenance day, or educational event

-- If you have a stream, think about planting or improving the buffer on your property.


Check out these great resources from Penn State on riparian buffers and learn all you can. Share what you learn with family and friends!

-- Roadside Guide to Clean Water: Riparian Buffers: A riparian buffer involves planting or retaining trees, shrubs, or tall grasses along the banks of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. Learn how to identify them with this factsheet.

-- Riparian Buffers: Pennsylvania's Best Solution for Protecting Its Waters: This article explains the benefits of using riparian buffers to protect the health of waterways, livestock, adjacent property, and all who drink and use water downstream.

-- The Role of Trees and Forests in Healthy Watersheds: Trees and forests are important for managing stormwater, reducing flooding, and improving water quality.

-- Riparian Buffers for Wildlife: Riparian buffers have lots of benefits and can be designed to benefit many types of wildlife.

-- Multifunctional Riparian Forest Buffers – More than Just Trees: Thoughtful selection of streamside trees and shrubs can have the added bonus of producing fruit, nuts, berries, or woody florals for profit or personal enjoyment.

-- Riparian Stabilization on an Acre or Less: This article discusses controlling water's edge erosion problems on small riparian sites.

-- Public Demand for Forest Conservation and Water Protection in PA: This article presents estimated economic values for forest/water protection programs in Pennsylvania using meta-analysis and benefit transfer techniques.

-- Growing Great Buffers: Growing Great Buffers is a series of short, helpful videos that describe step-by-step maintenance tasks needed for newly planted riparian buffers.

[For more on support for buffer planning and installation, visit DCNR’s Forest Buffers Along Waterways webpage or Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership website.]

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

Related Articles - Penn State Extension:

-- Fall Is For Planting: Rain Garden Resources from Penn State Extension

-- Master Watershed Stewards Program Expands Across Pennsylvania Wilds

-- Master Watershed Stewards Complete 5th Annual Storm Drain Art Contest In York

-- Growing Great Buffers - Video

-- Volunteers Worked Together To Remove 600 Pounds Of Trash From Lake Erie Watershed

-- Unpacking The Plastics Pollution Problem

[Posted: September 22, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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