What an exciting season it was for Stream ReLeaf!
This season saw a jump in demand for the ReLeaf program — with three dozen residents planting over 1,300 trees and shrubs. With each of those 1,300 plants that were installed, the environment benefits. How? In immeasurable ways, but let’s start off with some of the biggies:
*Stream buffers help prevent streambank erosion.
*The vegetation traps much of the sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants, preventing them from entering our waterways.
*In addition to stabilizing the soil, the plants utilize most of the trapped nutrients. (Note: An effective buffer will use of to 80% of the phosphorous and nearly 90% of the nitrogen, two of the biggest pollutants of the Chesapeake Bay.)
These environmental benefits are complemented by countless other ones, such as providing habitat and supplying food for wildlife, and carbon sequestration.
The installation of these plants can also be looked at from an economic point of view. At a time when many stormwater management facilities are in need of maintenance or repair, the additional plants can help reduce the velocity of the stormwater, thereby allowing more of the water to be absorbed in to the earth. Any reduction in the volume of water that these facilities need to handle helps from a management and upkeep perspective. And there are other economical benefits, too; for example, a reduction in streambank erosion can help maintain the value of a property.Laura Miller June 2011