Community volunteers are helping the Brandywine Conservancy plant 2,800 trees in Chester County this October. With these plantings, the Conservancy will have planted nearly 24,000 trees in its five-year reforestation campaign to plant 25,000 trees in the Brandywine watershed by the end of 2014.
Reforestation focuses on enhancing water quality, restoring natural flows in the Brandywine, and improving plant and animal habitat. Trees provide food and shelter for life in and around streams, promote absorption of rain into the ground, replenish groundwater supplies, and reduce storm water runoff and downstream flooding. In addition, tree leaves, branches and roots reduce erosion and prevent excess sediment and nutrients from entering streams during storm water runoff. Trees help to slow global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing the carbon, and then releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
On Oct. 12, the Brandywine Conservancy, Pennsbury Land Trust and Unionville-Chadds Ford School District planted trees on the grounds of the Hillendale Elementary School. On Oct. 17, the Brandywine Conservancy, Dansko and Stroud Water Research Center planted trees in Kennett Square, in conjunction with the White Clay Creek Wild and Scenic Program. On Oct. 26 at 9 a.m., the Brandywine Conservancy and Guardians of the Brandywine will plant trees at a location, permanently preserved through conservation easement, in East Fallowfield.
"With generous support from our partners and an increased awareness of the importance of planting trees, we are thrilled that we are so close to exceeding our five year goal a year in advance," said Sherri Evans-Stanton, director of the Environmental Management Center.
The Brandywine and its tributaries are a major source of drinking water for communities in Pennsylvania, and provide surface water for commercial, agricultural, and industrial uses. It also is the source of drinking water to more than 140,000 people in the Greater Wilmington area in Delaware.
Trees for the plantings on Oct. 12 and 26 were provided by TreeVitalize, a public-private partnership created by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to increase public awareness of the importance of community trees, and to reverse the loss of tree cover in the state's metropolitan areas. The program began in southeastern Pennsylvania in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
Trees for the Oct. 17 planting were provided by the White Clay Creek National Wildlife & Scenic Rivers Program Watershed Management Committee, as administered by the United States Department of the Interior's National Park Service.
For more information, visit www.brandywineconservancy.org.