Monday, December 19, 2022

Master Watershed Stewards Complete Live Stake Nurseries Across Pennsylvania

By Amber Stilwell, Master Watershed Steward Coordinator

Live stake nurseries consist of native shrubs that can be trimmed annually to supply future watershed restoration projects with locally sourced species. 

Live stakes are branch cuttings of native trees and shrubs that, when planted along streambanks, grow into mature species. They are an effective, low-cost way to establish root networks along streambanks and prevent erosion.  

These nurseries are designed to support the efforts of conservation projects locally and regionally, and have potential to become a focal point for conservation education by serving as prime locations for live stake and native plant workshops for each region. 

Maintained in collaboration with the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards and the landowners, several nurseries were established under a 20-year land agreement through the Department of Environmental Protection Growing Greener program helping to commit the land to conservation efforts for the future. 

Additional funding sources have included PA American Water, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Penn State Extension MWS program funds.

Locations for the nurseries were collectively determined by Penn State Extension, Stewards, and partner organizations. 

Important considerations were accessibility, ease of future maintenance and harvesting, and proximity to conservation partners who can 'keep an eye' on the live stake shrubs as they grow. 

Native species included in many nurseries were buttonbush, ninebark, pussy willow, red osier and silky dogwood, and elderberry. 

Native species not only provide future cuttings for restoration projects but also a source of food, habitat, and shelter for other native creatures sharing the ecosystem.

See all the Master Watershed Steward Live Stake Nursery projects through this Map generated by Erie County Master Watershed Steward Marty Drabic!

[Become A Master Watershed Steward

[Visit the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward webpage for information on becoming a Watershed Steward or attend one of the upcoming Watershed Steward Information Sessions.]

(Photos: Live stake nurseries in Top- Adams County, Delaware County; Bottom- Allegheny County, York County. Click Here for all locations.)

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

Related Extension Articles:

-- York Master Watershed Stewards Participate In Vernal Pool Monitoring At Gifford Pinchot State Park [PaEN]

-- York County Watershed Organizations Remove 50,000 Pounds Of Trash From Waterways In 50K Trash Challenge In 2022  [PaEN]

-- Christmas Trees: A Gift For The Fish

-- Winterization Tips For Your Water Well

-- Environmental Hazards Of Road Salt

[Posted: December 19, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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