Farms, streets, and abandoned mine land: multiple targets for Partnership plantings.
According to Maryland studies, dense stands of trees alongside rivers and streams, called riparian forest buffers, can significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen by nearly 90 percent and phosphorus by 80 percent from runoff. Trees improve soil health by keeping it on the land instead of in the water.
Research has shown that streams with forested buffers are able to degrade and attenuate pollution that gets into them far greater than streams without a forested buffer.
Forested buffers also are critical sources of food and habitat for fish and critters in and along rivers and streams.
With this in mind, the Partnership will emphasize and encourage accelerating the number of buffers alongside streams, particularly alongside farmland.
Partners are focusing on neighborhood streets and parks. In urban and suburban settings, a single deciduous tree can intercept from 500 to 750 gallons of water per year. They provide shade for people and buildings and help cleanse the air of pollution. They even increase the overall attractiveness of communities.
Many abandoned mine land areas, because of the toxic soils, are often devoid of ecologically beneficial plants, including trees. When restoring the soils and landscapes, trees help bring back these areas to support wildlife and reduce toxic runoff.
On a farm, in the cities and suburbs, trees improve our quality of life. The Partnership's blend of target areas for trees has a direct link to human health, strong communities, vibrant farms, and the legacy of clean water for all.
The role of trees cannot be overstated.