DCNR Highlights Many Benefits Of Streamside Buffers

Streamside BufferImage by Albrecht Fietz

​DANVILLE, PA — Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Deputy Secretary Lauren Imgrund, State Forester Ellen Shultzabarger, and officials from Geisinger Health System this week toured a streamside buffer at Geisinger Woodbine Lane in Danville that demonstrates how property owners can include pollinator habit and recreation opportunities in projects that help reduce water pollution.

The two-acre streamside buffer of native shrubs and trees was planted near a portion of Sechler Run to improve water quality in the tributary of the Mahoning Creek, and downstream in the Chesapeake Bay.

“We are pleased to see the results of a streamside buffer and to have Geisinger’s commitment to helping protect our environment,” Imgrund said. “What makes this project really great is how the buffer was included in a larger stream restoration and has plantings for pollinators and a path with interpretation so that visitors can enjoy and connect to the project.”

The streamside buffer features a quarter-mile walking path for Geisinger staff and visitors, and a 1,000-foot-long wildflower planting for pollinators running parallel to the trail.

A DCNR grant supported by PennVEST funded the buffer planting, with additional resource provided by Geisinger.

In addition to DCNR and Geisinger’s partnership on the project, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, Native Creations, and Montour County Soil and Water Conservation contributed to improving this stretch of Sechler Run.

“Across Pennsylvania we are seeing growing understanding and interest in planting trees as a natural solution to many issues including for climate resilience, improving water and air quality, reducing flooding, and the impact forests and trees have in improving human health,” Shultzabarger said. “DCNR is hopeful that we see many more projects of this kind all over the commonwealth.”

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Streamside buffers are critical in reducing erosion of streambanks, helping improve water quality, providing more favorable conditions for wildlife and enriching the landscape near a stream.

Property owners interested in streamside buffers should visit the Buffer My Stream page on the DCNR website.

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