(Leesport, PA) – Berks County Conservation District (BCCD) was recently awarded $3,000 to work with landowners to prevent pollution in our local streams, lakes, and rivers. A Showcase event will be held on April 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm at the Forested Riparian Buffer located at the Berks County 4H Center, 1206 County Welfare Road, Leesport, PA 19533. Please join us for a presentation, self-guided tour and refreshments.
The mini-grant was provided through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Outreach Program Office (administered by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts). The CREP program pays farmers and other landowners to conserve and enhance their land. Over 12,500 landowners in Pennsylvania have received payments since the program began.
Thanks to funding from this grant, a 0.5 acre demonstration Forested Riparian Buffer was established near the Berks County 4-H Center. BCCD partnered with Berks County Master Watershed Stewards, Berks County 4H, County of Berks, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Stroud Water Research Center to establish the Forested Riparian Buffer by planting 65 trees and 10 shrubs in a 50-foot-wide strip next to the stream. The species planted include: Silver Maple, Allegheny Serviceberry, River Birch, Redbud, Persimmon, Eastern Red Cedar, Common Ninebark, Sycamore, White Oak, Pin Oak, Red Oak, Black Locust, and Black Willow. This planting will filter nutrients from runoff, trap sediment, cool water temperatures and stabilize the stream bank.
BCCD is using these grant funds and demonstration Forested Riparian Buffer to promote the CREP Program and its environmental benefits.
“With this funding, anyone who owns land next to a waterway will be invited to find out if they are a candidate to get paid to conserve and enhance their land,” said Dean Druckenmiller, Berks County Conservation District Manager. “Over the next three months, we plan to educate landowners on the CREP Program and to help those already enrolled in the program with maintenance issues.”
Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.
For more information about Berks County Conservation District visit www.berkscd.com or call 610-372-4657. For more information about CREP, visit www.creppa.org. The Berks County Conservation is a local agency, authorized by the Commonwealth, to serve the community in protecting natural resources.