Volunteers plant hundreds of trees to protect Valley streams

Published: Nov. 4, 2017 at 5:44 PM EDT
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Dozens of volunteers braved the chilly, damp weather on Saturday to help protect local streams and rivers.

Men and women from James Madison University, Bridgewater College and area organizations planted trees at two separate locations in Broadway — DR Red Angus Farm on South Sunset Drive and land near Linville Creek.

The trees were strategically planted to create a buffer zone to filter and absorb polluted runoff before it reaches waterways which eventually feed into the Chesapeake Bay.

"They can [...] reduce fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, any kind of chemical that could get into the stream and hopefully, in return, reduce sediment as well," said Robert Jennings, a Grassroots Field Specialist.

Kathleen Springler, a student at Bridgewater College, realized after planting a couple trees that the process took a little elbow grease.

"I haven't done a tree planting before and it's a lot tougher than I thought it would be," Springler said. "There's a lot of upper body strength, but I really like it. I'm glad that I can help the environment and work with some other people as well."

The effort was done in partnership with the Shenandoah Valley Soil & Water Conservation District and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

When all was said and done, volunteers had covered about one and a half acres with new trees.