Loudoun to Host Stream Buffer Planting Workshop

The Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District (LSWCD), in partnership with the Loudoun County government, is hosting an informational workshop on a riparian buffer planting project beginning at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, January 28, 2016, in the Purcellville Room on the first floor of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E. in Leesburg.

Private residential, industrial, commercial, and homeowner association (HOA) landowners in Loudoun are all eligible to apply for funds to plant buffers along perennial (year-round) streams and water bodies. An effective technique for improving water quality, this program reimburses landowners for planting materials and labor costs. Urban/Ag Conservationist Chris Van Vlack of LSWCD will brief workshop attendees about the project’s planting options and application deadlines. This project complements the existing agricultural buffer planting program offered through the state Agricultural BMP (Best Management Practices) Cost-Share Program. Funding is limited and anticipated to be highly competitive, so interested landowners are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop to enhance their application opportunities.

Last spring, a total of four acres of forested riparian buffers were planted by HOAs and private landowners. These buffers help filter pollutants from stormwater runoff, which improves water quality for people and wildlife and makes streams, creeks, and rivers safer for recreation. Forested buffers can also reduce mowing costs and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. 2016 marks the fourth year of the stream buffer planting partnership between Loudoun County and the LSWCD.

Leading the workshop will be Chris Van Vlack, Urban/Ag Conservationist, LSWCD; John Zuiker, Urban Forester, Loudoun County; and Laura Edmonds, Environmental Review Team Leader, Loudoun County.

More information about the project is available by calling LSWCD at 571-918-4530 or online.