Location: Stewartstown, PA
Partners Involved: Project was done through Farm Service Agency by property owners
Type of Buffer: Agricultural
Submitted by: Ann English
This 4 acre buffer was the first Multi-Functional Riparian Forested Buffer (MFRFB) installed in Pennsylvania (2011). It converted land that had been in corn/soy ag for the past century on a property has three headwater springs; the buffer is around the largest. It was awarded the PA Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award in 2018.
The full award write up can be seen here. “Happy Hollow Farm: Riparian Buffer Project—The English family have applied their agricultural skills to installing riparian buffers along a creek on four acres of their farm. They’ve planted more than 80 species of native trees and shrubs, becoming a model for other landowners. The riparian buffer filters pollutants; provides food and habitat for wildlife; and produces nuts, berries, and syrup, which can provide $6,000 per acre in economic opportunities annually.”
We have given many tours to groups such as PASA, PA-DNR, & Horn Farm Center to show what a plant community based buffer looks like and to discuss successes and challenges with low chemical inputs and mainly manual labor done on weekends.
The project used a much more complex plant list than most buffer plantings, with the land broken into plant community types. This project also speaks to the challenge of soil rebuilding and the sequential nature of invasive species management. From the beginning, this buffer was intended to provide multiple benefits in addition to water quality. After a decade, the young forest is becoming visibly apparent and species diversity of wildlife has been increasing in response to the diverse vegetation communities.
This post Is part of the first annual CCLC Riparian Buffer Month.
For more information check out our page
If you would like to support professional training of landscape professionals in the design, instillation, and maintenance of riparian buffers, please donate today to the CBLP-Buffers scholarship fund. We believe that landscape professionals have a unique ability to directly affect the health of our landscapes- and your donation will directly assist a professional in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to pursue training.