New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced a new Trees for Tribs Program initiative, “Buffer in a Bag,” designed to help increase riparian buffers throughout New York State. Qualifying public and private landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting along streams, rivers, or lakes to help stabilize banks, decrease erosion, protect water quality, and improve wildlife habitat.
“DEC’s Trees for Tribs program and our many partners have significantly improved the ecological health and resiliency of New York’s watersheds through streamside planting and maintenance,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s continued record funding through the State’s Environmental Protection Fund, new programs like Buffer in a Bag will continue to bolster and sustain these efforts into the future.”
To qualify, landowners must have property in New York State that borders at least 50 feet of a stream, river, or lake, and provide photos and map coordinates of the planting location. Landowners with 100 feet or more may apply for up to two bags of seedlings per year. The species provided will vary depending on planting location (Long Island, Capital Region/Lower Hudson, North Country, and Central/Western NY). A total of 350 bags will be available statewide for this first round of applications and recipients will be chosen on a first come, first served basis.
New York’s Trees for Tribs is a program of the Saratoga Tree Nursery and has been working to reforest the state’s tributaries, small creeks, and streams that flow into and feed larger rivers and lakes. Since 2007, Trees for Tribs has engaged more than 8,751 volunteers in planting more than 101,416 trees and shrubs at 614 sites across the state.
Trees for Tribs is supported by funding from the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). In the Governor’s 2019-20 Executive Budget Proposal, Governor Cuomo sustained the record-high EPF at $300 million for the fourth year in a row, providing funding for open space conservation, parkland stewardship, and other environmental protection projects.
Visit DEC’s website for more information about the Buffer in a Bag application process and requirements. Applications are due by 3:00 p.m. on April 3, 2019. General questions about Buffer in a Bag may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Trees for Tribs Program and its tree planting activities, visit DEC’s website.