ClearWater Conservancy recently completed a unique stream buffer planting on a farm in Warriors Mark, PA. The new style of stream buffer, known as a multi-functional riparian forest buffer, is one of the region’s first to feature cash crops in addition to the native plants and shrubs planted on a typical stream buffer.
Like all stream buffers, the goal of a multi-functional buffer is to filter surface run-off before it enters the stream, stabilize the stream bank, maintain healthy water temperatures and many other benefits. Multi-functional buffers include the added benefit of providing landowners with potential cash crops like apples, chestnuts
, elderberry, blueberry, blackberry, persimmon, hazelnut, and paw paw. At harvest time, landowners can choose to use the crops for personal use or take the products to market.
DCNR has taken the lead on multi-functional buffers in PA by providing grants for this innovative idea. ClearWater has been awarded a number of these grants in order to help landowners be good stream stewards and enjoy/benefit from their buffer planting in additional ways. Providing this balance for landowners is important to DCNR, ClearWater and many of our partners. For many landowners, this unique type of stream buffer is more appealing and exciting than a traditional buffer planting.
Numerous partners were involved in the planting of this multi-functional riparian forest buffer including ClearWater Conservancy, Huntingdon County Conservation District, Native Creations Landscape Services, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources , PENNVEST, Chesapeake Conservancy, The WHM Group, Bud Snyder Excavating, and Warriors Mark Fencing.