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Chester County Press

Volunteers plant trees to protect environment

04/28/2017 12:11PM ● By J. Chambless

Volunteers planted trees on April 27 along headwater tributaries of Red Clay Creek.

Stroud Water Research Center celebrated National Volunteer Week on April 27 by restoring 3.8 acres along two headwater tributaries of Red Clay Creek. The streams are a major tributary of Brandywine Creek and then the Christina River.

Volunteers from Exelon Generation, one of the monetary supporters of the planting, were joined by volunteers from BB&T, Cheshire Hunt Conservancy, Colonial Pipeline, Dansko, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, and local community members to plant 1,140 trees and shelters along this forested buffer.

“Exelon supports and encourages our employees to support the organizations that they care about

through volunteer service,” said Vicky Will, Exelon Power’s vice president of operations support and environmental services. “We want to improve quality of life in the communities where we live, work, and serve. This year, we are extremely proud to support Stroud Water Research Center with not only funding but also the opportunity to make a difference through conservation measures that protect our freshwater resources.”

Restoration projects to create forested buffers are used to protect streams by filtering out contaminants from agriculture and other land uses before they can enter streams. A forest buffer provides a first line of defense (keeping sediment and nutrients out) as well as a secondary line of defense (keeping sediment and nutrients from moving downstream) for maintaining clean water in our streams and rivers.

Scientists at the Stroud Center have been studying the effects of forested buffers for more than 50 years. “Trees are the foundation of watershed health,” said Bern Sweeney, a scientist and president of Stroud Water Research Center. “We are so grateful to have the support of the wonderful companies in our community to help us restore our streams through riparian plantings. This one was our largest volunteer-only tree planting to date.”

Funding for this project was provided by Exelon Generation and TreeVitalize. To learn more about upcoming volunteer opportunities, research projects, and Stroud Center events, visit