DEC opens second round of seedling giveaways to protect waterways

New York News
plant sapling

A Minnesota Conservation Corps member loosens the dirt from a white pine seedling before planting it in the Moose Creek watershed near Schroeder, Minn in June 2019. (Evan Frost/Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Last Friday, the Department of Environmental Conservation started accepting applications for its Buffer in a Bag initiative, which grows plant buffers alongside waterways statewide.

Landowners can apply for a free bag of seedlings to plant near streams, rivers, or lakes to stabilize banks, preserve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitats.

Streamside plantings are critically important for decreasing erosion, slowing flood waters, and protecting fish and wildlife.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos

Qualifying properties must be in-state, with 50 feet of land bordering water. Applications must include photos and map coordinates of potential planting locations. Applications are due by 3 p.m. April 10.

The Department says that prior applicants can apply for another buffer bag, but that they’re distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. They have 500 bags, each with 25 native nursery plants.

This is the second round of applications for Buffer in a Bag, which is part of the Department’s Trees for Tribs program. That project, from the Saratoga Tree Nursery, began planting trees around tributaries to protect bodies of water in 2007.

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