Watershed Conservation

Riparian Trees and Backyard Buffers

The Conservancy’s watershed conservation staff provides technical expertise in identifying and treating all forms of non-point source pollution, such as excess nutrients and fertilizers from agricultural operations and sediment from eroding streambanks. This type of pollution is the leading cause of water quality issues impacting our region’s waterways.

A riparian tree planted near a stream.Our trained watershed staff provides technical assistance for water quality and riparian area monitoring, macroinvertebrate sampling, habitat evaluations and monitoring protocol development, among other areas of specialty. Our staff is also available to serve on project steering and technical committees, and advisory boards at the local, state or federal level.

Why Riparian Trees and Backyard Buffers Are Needed

Having a vegetated riparian buffer on any size stream, whether it is one that a person can step across or several feet wide, is essential for good water quality and the health of wildlife. The watershed conservation program offers site inspections to landowners of large tracts or small yards that want to make improvements to their stream riparian areas through the planting of trees and shrubs.

How We Can Help

Conservancy staff can work closely with landowners to design custom riparian restoration plans that include mapped planting areas and a list of plants and trees that would thrive at a particular site. We have tree-planting funds available for certain areas within Western Pennsylvania. Farmers and landowners can contact us, at 724-471-7202 or water@paconserve.org, for more details and information about planting riparian buffers.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) provides eligible area farmers with financial and technical assistance to help them address conservation issues through the voluntary establishment of wetlands, hardwood trees and riparian buffer practices. Interested landowners can contact their local Farm Service Agency for enrollment information and details.

For More Information:

Watershed Conservation Program
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
1067 Philadelphia Street, Suite 101
Indiana, PA 15701