The Allegheny Watershed Alliance (AWA), in partnership with the Allegheny County Conservation District and Tree Pittsburgh, has been awarded A $90,000 grant as a part of the DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program. The purpose of this program is to help the Commonwealth of PA to meet the goal of planting 95,000 acres of streamside trees by 2025.
Streamside buffers, or the strip of vegetation that runs alongside a stream, are essential for stabilizing stream banks, slowing runoff, improving water quality, aiding in flood control, providing shade to cool stream temperatures for trout, and adding value to properties.
The AWA will be administering the grant to groups in five select watersheds around the county: Montour Run, Peters Creek, Plum Creek, Turtle Creek, and Lower Chartiers Creek.
These watersheds were chosen due to the presence of an active watershed group and/or strong intermunicipal cooperation. Two acres of land in each watershed will be planted with native trees and shrubs provided by Tree Pittsburgh.
Streamside buffer plantings that take place on municipal property will help municipalities to meet MS4 Stormwater Permit requirements by reducing sediment and nutrient loading in streams and engaging local volunteers in planting days.
Watershed groups play an essential role in protecting and enhancing water quality and land resources. This grant will empower watershed groups to continue completing invaluable work in our region by providing funding, tools, and partnerships to improve local water quality by planting 2,000 trees over the next five years. Tree planting days will provide the perfect opportunity for local citizens to contribute as volunteers and learn more about the importance of trees to stream health, drinking water, recreation, fish, and wildlife in their own backyards. Each volunteer day is a learning opportunity and a path to contribute to enhancing our region!