Looking to volunteer in your community? The Lehigh County Conservation District and Wildlands Conservancy are carrying out light maintenance at the Colonial Crest Apartments riparian buffer this Friday, June 21st at 9am.

What is a riparian buffer and why do we need your help? Riparian buffers are the vegetated areas next to streams, rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. These buffers protect water quality by intercepting sediment and other pollutants before they enter the water. Good quality buffers include grasses, perennials, shrubs, and trees rather than just cool season turf grass.

Riparian buffers need regular maintenance to ensure their long-term success. Maintenance needs vary by design, but here are some common tasks you can perform:

  • Watering: Water newly planted trees and shrubs weekly during their first growing season and during droughts. After heavy rains, check that the plants aren’t damaged.
  • Weeding: Weed around the base of trees and shrubs as soon as possible to prevent weeds from competing with plants for water and nutrients.
  • Mowing: Mow Zone 3 once or twice a year to prevent overgrowth with shrubs.
  • Pruning: Prune dead, dying, or diseased branches from trees and shrubs.
  • Replanting: Replant or reseed areas where plants have died or been washed away.
  • Protecting from wildlife: Use tree tubes or fencing to protect plantings from deer browse and rub. You may also need to temporarily exclude livestock and wildlife until the vegetation is established. Grazing management is important for maintaining healthy buffers, especially during migration periods, calving, nesting, or spawning.
  • Inspecting: Visually inspect the buffer annually and after major storm events. Regularly inspect tree tubes.

Please visit the following link for details: https://engage.wildlandspa.org/component/events/event/73