The Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District (LSWCD), in partnership with the Loudoun County government, is hosting an informational workshop on a riparian buffer planting project at 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 25, 2017, in the Lovettsville Room at the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E. in Leesburg. Riparian buffers are vegetation zones located between water bodies such as streams and land areas such as pastures or meadows.

Private residential, industrial, commercial, and homeowner association (HOA) landowners in Loudoun are all eligible to apply for funds to plant buffers along perennial (year-round) streams and water bodies.  An effective technique for improving water quality, this program reimburses landowners for planting materials and labor costs.

Urban/Ag Conservationist Chris Van Vlack of LSWCD will brief workshop attendees about the project’s planting options and application deadlines. This project complements the existing agricultural buffer planting program offered through the state Agricultural BMP (Best Management Practices) Cost Share Program.  Funding is limited and anticipated to be very competitive, so interested landowners are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop to enhance their application opportunities.

Last spring, a total of five acres of forested riparian buffers were planted by HOAs and private landowners.   These buffers help filter pollutants from stormwater runoff, which improves water quality for people and wildlife and makes streams, creeks, and rivers safer for recreation.  Forested buffers can also reduce mowing costs and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife. 2017 marks the fifth year of the stream buffer planting partnership between the county and LSWCD.

In addition to Van Vlack, Loudoun County Forester John Zuiker and Laura Edmonds, leader of the county’s Environmental Review Team, will be at the workshop.

For more information, contact Chris Van Vlack of LSWCD at 571-918-4530 or by email.Stream_Buffer_Planting