HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS GATHER TO PLANT FORESTED BUFFER WITHIN NWQI WATERSHED
High school students helping a local farmer.
On the morning of Tuesday, October 25, mist lay heavy on the landscape, a slight Autumn chill in the air, and a modest drizzle of precipitation fell amongst the landowner, students, and teachers, who came together to complete a common goal of planting a forested riparian buffer, within our National Water Quality Incentive watershed.
One un-named tributary to the main stem of the Warrior Run in Northumberland County showed a need for better management practice implementation and a large portion of that stream was absent of any riparian buffer. We approached the landowner to gauge his management level and established practices. He was actively applying no-till and crop rotation but was not currently planting cover crops. After discussing the ability to apply for funding to establish a diverse cover crop into his crop rotation he agreed that he would be able to do that. We then asked what other concerns he may have, and if any involved the stream. He expressed his growing concern with the stream’s narrowness from years before due to sediment collection, which then turned to grass growth narrowing the channel. He was not initially receptive to the thought of a riparian buffer, but after knowing the Warrior Run Highschool would be interested in providing this opportunity to their students his demeaner changed to being fully invested.
Around 30 High School students, their teachers, and the high school principal were present to plant 150 native riparian buffer species, provided by Keystone 10 Million Tree Foundation.
The project extends a little over an acre of buffer and was broken into the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 to be planted. WNEP Newswatch 16 was contacted to extend an invitation for coverage, and they were more than happy to oblige. Around 30 High School students, their teachers, and the high school principal were present to plant 150 native riparian buffer species, provided by Keystone 10 Million Tree Foundation. The landowner was involved and interacting with the mass on his gratitude and optimistic outlook on the wildlife and pollinator aspects the buffer added to his property. In the end, the Fall 2022 trees were all planted, students were treated to hot cocoa and doughnuts, WNEP was thoroughly impressed and captured the moment like no one else could, the landowner overjoyed, and NRCS feeling a sense of accomplishment seeing a federal agency, producer, and local school district coming together to complete a successful project. We are hopeful, that for years to come, those students will be able to pass by and see their progress grow amongst the landscape. Click here to view the aired segment through WNEP.
Chantel Shambach, Soil Conservationist, Sunbury Field Office
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