Ritchey, Maggie, Chesapeake Conservancy, 716 Giddings Ave, Suite 42, Annapolis, MD 21401, email@example.com, Thomas, Shannon, Chesapeake Conservancy, 716 Giddings Ave, Suite 42, Annapolis, MD 21401.
Planting trees along streams is a great way to improve stream health, but the success of a tree planting–or buffer–depends on much more than getting trees in the ground. A commitment to follow-up maintenance is necessary to ensure the buffer can reach its full potential of stream health benefits. Our goal at Chesapeake Conservancy (CC) is to address unhealthy streams, and buffer maintenance is one key step of this. We employ three maintenance strategies, catering to varying levels of capacity, with the goal of engaging the community within the watershed. The first is contracted maintenance, CC raises funds to include maintenance practices in tree planting contracts that we oversee. This ensures that maintenance can be paid for before the trees even go into the ground. The second is our volunteer program, Riparian Rangers, which performs maintenance on local Union county buffers. The success of this program was documented into a scalable format for communities to utilize to conduct crucial streamside maintenance. The third is our internship program that partners with Susquehanna University to give students real-world conservation experience, including the training and certification necessary to maintain buffers throughout the central PA area. In order to address the lack of buffer maintenance capacity throughout the Bay watershed, local communities can adopt one or more of these maintenance approaches to make a difference.
Buffer Maintenance, Volunteer, Partnership, Chesapeake Bay