Mifflintown, PA — To help mark Earth Week, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer today joined partners to plant a streamside forest buffer at the Walker Access in Mifflintown to improve the water quality of the Juniata River, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.
“As we approach Earth Day on Thursday, now is the time to think about the difference each of us can make protecting our land and water. Planting trees, especially along streams, helps improve the quality of our water nearby, and downstream,” Dunn said. “This joint project with the Fish and Boat Commission makes so much sense since forest buffers prevent sediments and nutrients from the land from entering the water, and provide shade to help keep water temperatures cooler for fish and other stream life.”
Partners include the Fish and Boat Commission, which manages the access area, the Juniata County Conservation District, Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, and volunteers from the Juniata Watershed Alliance.
About 7.5 acres of buffers will be planted over several days at three Fish and Boat access areas along the Juniata.
About 1,500 native trees and shrubs will be planted, including Swamp White Oak, River Birch, American Sycamore, Silky Dogwood, and Winterberry.
The Juniata River flows into the Susquehanna River, which ends at the Chesapeake Bay.
Statewide, Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres of streamside, or riparian, forest buffers.
DCNR Bureau of Forestry service foresters, located in each of the 20 forest districts statewide, can assist landowners with information about planting streamside forest buffers.
Dunn said there are actions that we all can take this Earth Day:
- Plant a native tree in your yard or community
- Make a donation to the Keystone Tree Fund, which supports tree planting along streams and in communities
- Volunteer to assist with cleanups or trail maintenance at a state park or forest or near where you live
- Take a child outdoors