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One Mile of Riparian Buffer Installed in this Shade your Stream Season!

The 2023/2024 Shade your Stream season is coming to a close and we are proud to announce we revegetated and stabilized over 5000 linear feet of streambank! We took on 12 projects this year, each having a unique set of constraints and needs. Check out some highlights of the season:

Last summer we planted a native grass buffer at a site where powerlines restricted plant height. The photo on the right shows the first year's growth. The photo on the left shows this year's growth as of May:

In cases where erosion is severe, additional stabilization may be needed. Check out these before and after photos:

Live stakes were a hit this year! We installed over 4,500 live stakes including a variety of dogwoods and willows, elderberry, ninebark, viburnum, and buttonbush. The photo on the left shows stakes soon after planting, still dormant. The photo on the right shows live stakes budding this April:

Collaboration with Madison and Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation Districts resulted in 2000 ft of farm-side streams being stabilized. This pasture-side stabilization (right) and cattle exclusion + live staking project (left) will significantly reduce sediment and fecal contamination:

Reminder! Plant native this year!

The Black-throated Blue Warbler is one of many birds and small mammals that rely on native plants, such as American Beautyberry. Photo: Will Stuart via Audubon Society of North Carolina

Spring has arrived and as gardening season takes off, we want to remind you to plant native! Here are some tips for successfully cultivating native plants on your land...

  1. Pick a planting space wisely. Consider water needs and accessibility, sun exposure, soil characteristics, and spacing requirements.

  2. Protect your plants. Out-competition from invasive plants and weeds can put your plants at risk. Remain on top of invasive maintenance while it is still possible. Use mulch to prevent encroachment. Consider methods to protect your plants from animals, such as tree tubes, but be wary of netting or fencing that could trap animals.

  3. Maintain your plants. Water heavily right after planting and conduct supplemental watering during the first few months. Each native plant may have unique needs, but overall trying to replicate rain in a 'good year' should keep your them happy. Research pruning recommendations for your plants or conduct an annual mowing on native grasses.

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