April 25, 2011
As part of our Trees for Streams Program, the WRP planted 3,000 native trees along the White River in 5 locations this spring with students and community volunteers. Visit our Facebook page to see pictures of WRP tree planting volunteers in action!
Although 84% of the White River watershed is forested today, much of the land adjacent to streams and rivers has actually been deforested over the past 200 years to accommodate the development of roads and railways, housing, and farms. The loss of streamside trees and shrubs – also called riparian buffers – has resulted in lasting ecological and economical impacts throughout the White River watershed. Healthy, well-vegetated riparian buffers are essential to good water quality and aquatic habitat.
Riparian buffers filter pollutants from run-off, reduce erosion, provide shade to keep water temperatures cool for fish, ward off non-native invasive plant species, and create corridors for wildlife. Buffers also serve as the first line of defense against flood events and can safeguard property from erosion. The re-establishment of buffers through planting trees is one of the most effective and efficient ways to improve water quality, reduce erosion and flood damage, and maintain healthy fisheries in our watershed.
Every year hundreds of students plant trees along the White River as a hands-on component of their science classes. Students from five watershed schools are planting over 1,500 native trees this year:
~ Friday, April 22: 500 trees in Sharon village with Vermont Technical College students
~ Monday, April 25: 150 trees at Fat Rooster Farm with Braintree Elementary School students
~ Friday, April 29: 750 trees in South Royalton village with South Royalton School students
~ Tuesday, May 3: 50 trees in Brookfield with Vermont Technical Career Center students
~ Thursday, May 5: 150 trees in Stockbridge with Bethel Elementary School students
Community volunteers are invited to join us at two plantings in 2011:
~ Saturday, April 30: 1,000 trees at Fat Rooster Farm (354 Morse Rd, Royalton) from 9-11am.
~ Saturday, May 14: 400 trees at Timberhawk Meadows (VT Rte 100 N between Rte 107 and the White River bridge, Stockbridge) from 9am-12pm.
Both plantings are to the public; gloves, shovels, and light refreshments will be provided.