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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In Pennsylvania

10 Million Trees Project Launches

Monday, May 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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LANCASTER COUNTY - A partnership of national, regional, state, and local agencies, conservation organizations, outdoors enthusiasts, businesses, and citizens launched a project to plant 10 million trees in Pennsylvania by 2025.

About 100 conservationists, including three state cabinet secretaries and the Region III Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), met on the Garber Farm in Manheim for the official launch of the Partnership and a tree-planting in a streamside buffer along Little Chiques Creek.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Leads Project

The project is being led by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), but involves the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture(PDA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Local watershed groups will provide much of the labor to plant the trees.

PLNA Member Octoraro Donates Trees

PLNA member Octoraro Native Plant Nursery donated 100 trees to the April 24 kickoff.

“We are pleased that Octoraro was able to donate these 100 trees to help launch this exciting project,” said Jim MacKenzie, president of Octoraro Native Plant Nursery. “This is an ambitious effort to improve water quality in Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams. We commend CBF, DCNR and PDA for their vison and foresight in launching this program.

The Octoraro donated trees were a variety of native species. Octoraro specializes in growing mid-Atlantic native trees and shrubs from regional seed sources.

31,000 Trees Planted in April

By the end of April 2018, the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership had already planted more than 31,000 trees at over 50 locations throughout Pennsylvania. The Partnership is a collaborative effort, coordinated by the CBF, of national, regional, state, and local agencies, conservation organizations, watershed groups, conservancies, outdoors enthusiasts, businesses, and individuals. The goal is to plant 10 million trees by the end of 2025.

Ultimate Goal: Clean Water

Roughly 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania's rivers and streams are impaired by polluted runoff and the legacy of coal mining. Trees are the most cost-effective tools for cleaning and protecting waterways by filtering and absorbing polluted runoff, stabilizing streambanks, and improving soil quality.

The Commonwealth's Clean Water Blueprint calls for about 95,000 acres of forested buffers to be planted in Pennsylvania's portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Adding 10 million new trees alongside streams, streets, and other priority landscapes would accelerate the Keystone State toward its clean water goals, achieving as much as two-thirds of the 95,000-acre goal.

"A farm is the perfect place to kick off this initiative," Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. "Prosperous farms and a safe, abundant food supply depend on clean water, and a clean water supply depends on strategic farm management practices like forested buffers. Pennsylvania's farmers are key to clean water for our region and we are pleased to support them as stewards of our resources."

The Partnership is placing special emphasis on plantings in five counties in southcentral Pennsylvania because of large contributions of nitrogen, and that local stream impairment and overall loss of trees along streams and streets, is where greatest need meets greatest opportunity. The Partnership can jumpstart the Commonwealth's efforts with concentrated plantings in those counties.

Trees placed in parks, municipal properties and other urban and suburban settings absorb and clean stormwater, reduce flooding, and help restore abandoned mine land.

Growers Meeting

PLNA is coordinating an informational meeting with the CBF and DCNR on June 27 in Harrisburg specifically for Pennsylvania growers who wish to supply trees to this effort. The CBF plans to issue a request for proposals this summer to contract-grow native species trees in a variety of sizes.

The meeting is scheduled for 11:00 AM Wednesday June 27, 2018, Room 309 Department of Agriculture Building, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg. To register for the meeting, please click here. There is no cost to attend. For more information call (717) 238-2033 or email Gregg Robertson at PLNA.

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