It Takes a Community (to plant a buffer)!

Julie Slavet
Nov 3, 2014

On two sunny October days, lots of little and big hands planted a 25,000 square foot riparian buffer, the first phase of our Jenkintown Creek Restoration Project at Abington Friends School (AFS).


The AFS school and community planted 350 trees and shrubs along the Jenkintown Creek. On Friday, October 17, over 200 students helped prepare the planting area by removing debris and trash, organizing plants along the stream, and pounding in fence posts to keep deer from feasting on the newly planted buffer. They also planted a number of trees and 5“These will be great for our tree identification studies and water testing,” said AFS Science teacher Jim Pierson. Along with tree identification, the trees were given names including “Rose, and Mr. Tree,” by 3rd graders.

On Saturday, over 50 students returned along with their parents and teachers, as well as community members to complete the planting effort. The day featured a press conference/tree planting ceremony to recognize funders and an environmental fair. This project is funded through a Delaware River Restoration Fund grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Treevitalize, and Washington Gas Energy Services through the Carbon Fund.

IMG_2190The program featured a welcome from Rosanne Mistretta, Lower School Science Teacher, AFS and Julie Slavet, Executive Director, TTF and comments from Commissioner Lawrence F. Jones, Jr. Ward 3, Abington TownshipState Representative Madeleine Dean, 153rd Legislative District, Montgomery County; Emma Melvin, Plant One Million Regional Project Manager, TreeVitalize, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS); Alicia LaRoche, Senior Specialist, Green Products, Washington Gas Energy Services, Carbon Fund Partner; and Patrick Starr, Executive Vice President, Pennsylvania Environmental Council.UntitledChildren had fun making buttons, playing with meal worms, and learning about their community and water through the interactive, engaging displays presented by TTF, Sustainable Choices, PHS Meadowbrook Farm, and Briar Bush Nature Center. Our work was fueled by bagels donated by Fill A Bagel & Bread. In addition, we were joined by a team from KIND Snacks, who brought along bars to share and planted a lot of trees!


What’s the buffer all about? The trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials planted along the stream will filter out the pollution running from the adjacent parking lot, school, and sports fields.The plants will also help to create a shady, cool creek (the kind fish enjoy) and wildlife habitat. The diverese mix of plants are the kind you would naturally find in a forest in our region. This buffer will restore provide canopy and roots to absorb rain water and runoff.
Watch for for news on this effort. The next step in protecting the Jenkintown Creek headwaters will be the installation of a rain garden and swale, which will take place next summer.
Any questions? Give us a call at 215-744-1853!

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