Brandywine Conservancy Receives Grant to Plant Trees Along Streams to Improve Water Quality

Mark Hostutler
By
Image of the Brandywine River via the Chester County Planning Commission.

The Chadds Ford-based Brandywine Conservancy has been awarded a grant of $57,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to plant eight acres of buffers along waterways in the Lower Delaware watershed.

The Conservancy was one of several organizations throughout the state to receive these funds.

The Conservancy will utilize the DCNR funding to assist Pennsylvania landowners and farmers to reforest streams that flow to the White Clay Creek, as well as portions of southwestern Chester County and southeastern Lancaster County in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The reforested stream segments will have a tremendously positive effect at the sources of these two important waterbodies, helping to improve water quality as well as many other benefits.

Forested buffers — areas of trees, shrubs, and grasses that form buffer zones along the banks of rivers and streams — do all of the following:

  • filter the runoff of sediments and fertilizers that are applied to lawns and crops
  • control erosion
  • slow stormwater runoff
  • cool stream temperatures
  • improve habitats
  • beautify the natural landscape of communities and watersheds

The new buffers will be a mix of traditional native species buffers and multi-functional buffers, which include a mix of native species that produce tree and shrub “crops” — fruits, nuts, or berries — that may provide an economic return for the landowners.

“The reforestation efforts are a continuation of the Conservancy’s land conservation and municipal assistance work to preserve our natural areas and promote awareness of the critical roles of trees and shrubs alongside streams and rivers,” said Ellen M. Ferretti, Director of the Brandywine Conservancy.

“The Brandywine Conservancy was founded 50 years ago based on the connection between land conservation and clean water, and that focus continues to drive our mission and work to this day. We are grateful for these funds in support of our mission.”

This spring, the Conservancy will plant its 50,000th tree in the Brandywine Watershed, an ambitious achievement reached through the help of more than 4,500 volunteers and many supportive partners.

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