The Brandywine Conservancy is seeking volunteers to help plant 1,200 native hardwood trees in an area behind Nottingham Elementary School, 763 Garfield Street, Oxford. The planting will take place on April 26 beginning at 9 a.m.

Volunteers are asked to wear warm, layered clothing, sturdy shoes or boots, and to bring water and a shovel, if possible.

The tree planting, part of the Brandywine Conservancy’s 50 by 50 Reforestation Campaign, is sponsored by Conservancy grants through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Plus program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF.) The trees will be planted at a “fallow” 3.87-acre site to the rear of Nottingham School. 

Through the Reforestation Campaign, the Conservancy set a five-year goal of planting 25,000 trees in the Brandywine and nearby watersheds by the end of 2014. With the help of community volunteers, the Conservancy has exceeded that goal.

Reforestation focuses on enhancing water quality and improving plant and animal habitats.  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. 

Wes Horner, the Brandywine Conservancy’s Senior Advisor for Water Resources, said the East Nottingham Township area drains into a small tributary classified by the state as impaired, and eventually into the degraded Chesapeake Bay. Reforestation will help to improve overall water quality, among many other environmental benefits.

“We are getting more than $20,000 from Growing Greener and NFWF which will be used toward the tree planting, benefitting the Oxford Area School District and the community at large,” he said. “We’d like to have as many volunteers at the tree planting site as possible, especially adults and high school students. These projects tend to have a very positive effect on participants.”

For more information about the tree planting event, call Wes Horner at 610-388-8124.