The Catskill Interpretive Center Riparian Buffer Demonstration Project Planted!

Posted on: November 15th, 2016 by Caroline Stupple

Set­ting the stage to plant all of the native plant mate­r­ial at the Catskill Inter­pre­tive Center.

In Sep­tem­ber 2016, a group of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, together with the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) and the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI) team, got together to remove some of the inva­sive species that had taken over the ripar­ian (stream­side) areas and out-competed native plants at the Mau­rice D. Hinchey Catskill Inter­pre­tive Cen­ter (CIC). The CIC received fund­ing from AWSMP and CSBI to cre­ate a Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion project.  The main objec­tives for this project are removal of inva­sive species, plant­ing of native plant mate­r­ial, and plac­ing inter­pre­tive sig­nage around the project area to pro­vide edu­ca­tion on the role of ripar­ian buffers in main­tain­ing habi­tat and stream health.


The team (from left to right), Bobby Tay­lor, Alli­son Lent, Jake Wede­meyer, and Tiffany Runge of Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict, removed a whole lot of inva­sive plant material!



Upstream of the Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion area. The under story is cov­ered in inva­sive species. This under story com­po­si­tion extended towards the demon­stra­tion area.


Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion project area cleared of inva­sive plants!


Ear­lier this fall the CSBI team removed the last of the inva­sive plant mate­r­ial and planted the ripar­ian buffer with native plants.  Inva­sive species are fast grow­ing, espe­cially in dis­turbed areas, as such, as much plant mate­r­ial as pos­si­ble was removed to give the native plants the best chance to estab­lish them­selves. Native ripar­ian tree and shrub species form dense root sys­tems that pro­vide excel­lent bank sta­bi­liza­tion in ripar­ian zones, an area that is prone to ero­sion. This com­plex root sys­tem con­trasts sharply to the shal­low and fast-growing root sys­tems that inva­sive species have, that are part of their abil­ity to rapidly col­o­nize an area. A restored ripar­ian buffer pro­vides nat­ural habi­tat for native species and enhances water qual­ity, an impor­tant resource for humans, native fish and macro-invertebrates.



Ripar­ian buffer area cleared of inva­sive plants.


The native trees and shrubs are planted!
























The CIC Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion is a col­lab­o­ra­tive project between The Catskill Cen­ter, the NYS Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster County, and the Ulster County Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion District.

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