Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Shall Never See a Ditch as Lovely as a Tree

The Illinois River Watershed Partnership is hosting The Riparian Project from 8 a.m. to noon today. Volunteers will plant hundreds of green ash and sycamore seedlings on city-owned property along the bank of Hamestring Creek to create riparian buffers that help preserve and protect water quality. Show up and join in if your can.

Riparian buffers are important because they
decrease streambank erosion, filter sediments and pollutants commonly found in runoff, provide stormwater storage, increase wildlife habitat, provide cooler water and air temperatures, and increase groundwater infiltration, according to information available on the group's website. They provide environmental and recreational benefits to creeks, streams, and rivers, and improve water quality and downstream land areas.

If you'd like more information about planning a riparian buffer on streams on your property or to give as a gift to help educate those who destroyed the buffers at
Aspen Ridge or Kitty Creek, the University of Nebraska Extension Service has numerous publications available. The UA Extension Service has nothing like that, but it offers advice on grazing cattle in riparian zones.

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