Planting suitable trees and shrubs in areas bordering streams is an important step for improving water quality, according to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Alysha Trexler, a watershed project manager with the conservancy, will discuss the benefits of such riparian buffer plantings during a Thursday presentation in Hempfield at the J. Roy Houston Conservation Center, otherwise known as the Westmoreland Conservation District barn.
Sponsored by the Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association, the program begins at 6:30 p.m. behind the Donohoe Center, 218 Donohoe Road. Light refreshments will be served starting at 6 p.m.
The public presentation is free for association members and those with current student ID. There is a $5 fee for all others.
Registration is requested by calling Sandy at 724-837-5271 by Monday.
Buffers along streams improve water quality by filtering pollutants and sediments that originate on roads and in lawns and farm fields. Buffers also can increase wildlife habitat.
Trexler will discuss how to engage all community members on the topic of riparian buffers, as well as community planners.
“If they don’t know about riparian areas, planners can’t make good decisions about them or support the community members who do protect them,” she said.
With the help of its members, partners and volunteers, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has planted more than 40,000 riparian trees since 2001.
Trexler, who raises grass-fed beef, holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. She has more than 15 years of experience with water quality and biological monitoring and a range of related work — including stream habitat assessment, abandoned-mine drainage remediation and riparian habitat improvement design and installation.