Location: Cochranville, Chester County PA (within CB Watershed)
Partners Involved: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Type of Buffer: Agricultural
Submitted by: Ryan Davis
Elizabeth and Douglas Randolph own and operate an organic vegetable farm, Swallow Hill Farm, in Chester County, PA. They already had an existing riparian forest along most of their stream, a headwater of the East Branch of Big Elk Creek, but were interested in enhancing their buffer as a way to set a stellar example for their community.
Elizabeth first reached out to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in the summer of 2018 because she was working to have her municipality, Upper Oxford Township, adopt a riparian forest buffer ordinance that would require riparian reforestation on farms, with wider buffer requirements for those who did not have updated conservation plans. Elizabeth and Douglas wanted to plant as much riparian forest buffer as possible to demonstrate that establishing the practice is a good idea, even on a working farm.
In autumn of 2019 the Randolphs planted 5.28 acres on their property with assistance from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and many volunteers. Many native fruit and floral species were planted to complement their vegetables at their farmer’s market stand, in addition to trees and shrubs planted solely for their wildlife and ecosystem benefits. Now on its second growing season, the buffer is thriving thanks to the attentiveness and hard work of Douglas and Elizabeth.
This post Is part of the first annual CCLC Riparian Buffer Month.
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