Native Tree and Shrub Plantings Help Restore Habitat and Reduce Flooding
Application Deadline is March 1, 2020
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC's Hudson River Estuary "Trees for Tribs" program is accepting applications for spring streamside planting projects. New Yorkers who own or manage property near a stream in the Hudson River Estuary watershed (PDF) are eligible to apply for free native trees and shrubs by March 1.
"Trees for Tribs' streamside plantings stabilize streambanks, reduce erosion, slow flood waters, and provide habitat for fish and wildlife," said Commissioner Seggos. "Under Governor Cuomo's proposed $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, DEC will build on programs like Trees for Tribs to restore habitat and reduce flooding, and help to establish riparian buffers for long-term flood protection. In addition, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making them a powerful tool in New York's nation-leading fight against climate change."
Now celebrating its twelfth year, an estimated 7,300 Trees for Tribs volunteers have planted approximately 54,000 shrubs and trees on 109 acres at 324 streamside sites.
The program's spring streamside planting application deadline is March 1. Early applications are encouraged, particularly for large sites (more than 60 plants) or if requesting specific plant species. To download an application for the Hudson River Estuary Trees for Tribs, visit DEC's website. To learn more, click here for a video about Trees for Tribs on YouTube or visit DEC's Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs website.
If the project is selected, the applicant must recruit volunteers for planting and maintain the site after the planting is complete. DEC staff may be able to assist with plant selection and designing a planting plan, as well as provide technical assistance to help projects succeed. DEC's Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery provides the native, New York seed-sourced riparian plant species, ideal for flood- and erosion-prone areas.
Governor Cuomo's proposed 2020-21 Executive Budget includes record funding for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) at $300 million - the highest sustained level of funding in the program's 25-year history. As part of the Governor's new $33 billion five-year plan to combat climate change (leaves DEC's website), which includes the EPF and the proposed $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, these major investments continue New York's national environmental leadership, advance essential projects to protect the state's water, air and natural resources, prevent damages from flooding and help communities capitalize on the economic returns of environmental funding.
A list of New York Trees for Tribs Programs in other watersheds is available on the DEC website. For small projects, applicants can receive a bag of 25 or 50 free native plants in the mail through DEC's Buffer in a Bag program. Through this initiative, the Saratoga Tree Nursery provides landowners with a free bag of bare-root tree and shrub seedlings to enhance the streamside area on their property. Each bag of seedlings includes a variety of native trees and shrubs chosen specifically to improve streamside areas in New York.