East Fallowfield Farmer Earns ‘Buffer Enthusiast’ Moniker Thanks to His Tree-Planting Efforts

Mark Hostutler
Arthur de Leo's farm in East Fallowfield Township.

Arthur de Leo, who has been living on his East Fallowfield Township farm for the last 35 years, has earned the moniker of “buffer enthusiast” for his tree-planting efforts that help boost local water quality, writes Hannah Chinn for WHYY.

At present, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is running a new stream buffer program, with trees and shrubs being planted along waterways to provide nutrients for the native insects and fish. This, in turn, slows the spread of other invasive plant species, stabilizes the bank with their roots, reduces soil erosion, and aids in filtering out various pollutants.

The 80-year-old de Leo began his tree-planting journey nearly three decades ago, with a streamside buffer grant and 800 seedlings. After that, he started buying trees on his own, turning the nearly 25-acre farm that originally only had 20 trees into a natural wonder with almost 10,000 trees.

“I love trees because they’re so magical,” said de Leo. “When you plant one, you’re protecting the climate. For years — well, it’s a lifetime of work. I’m trying to leave a legacy besides trash.”

Read more about Arthur de Leo at WHYY here.

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