LGA staff member Jill Trunko plants a new eastern hemlock in a new vegetative buffer along English Brook in Lake George. 

English Brook Benefits from Trees for Tributaries

Lake George, NY – October 26, 2012    This October, the LGA joined several partners to plant dozens of native plants and shrubs along English Brook near its mouth at Lake George.

“When the subdivision at Lochlea was created,” said Tom Jarrett, one of the LGA members involved in the project, “a 50 ft. vegetative buffer was designated along the brook.  This buffer requirement is being honored during construction of Dan Dwyer’s property on the brook, but we thought we could do more.”

“The existing buffer on the property benefited greatly from some supplemental planting,” said LGA Education Director Emily DeBolt. “The existing understory was pretty sparse, and since English Brook is one of the larger tributaries to the lake, we wanted to help improve the buffer to protect the stream, and ultimately the lake. We decided to see if we could get some funding from a DEC program called Trees for Tribs, and we were successful,” she said.

LGA staff members Jill Trunko (left) and Emily DeBolt stand in the new vegetative buffer. The buffer includes 120 plants, funded through the DEC’s Trees for Tribs program.

The Trees for Tribs program is run by the DEC’s State Tree Nursery at Saratoga, which supplies the plants for the program. Trees for Tribs is part of a DEC initiative to restore and protect streamside forests in the Lake Champlain Watershed.  The program offers free native trees and shrubs for qualifying riparian buffer projects.

The LGA, Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board, Jarrett Engineers PLLC, and local property owners at the Lochlea estate worked together on the project. Along English Brook and the Dwyer’s property, 120 native plants and shrubs were planted, including arrowwood, red twig dogwood, red oak, high bush cranberry, eastern hemlock and more.

The LGA strongly recommends that homeowners create and maintain natural vegetative buffers near the lake shore and along streams, as opposed to clear cutting the land and installing a lawn.   Traditional lawns near a lake shore can create a variety of problems, including: excessive plant growth in the water and algal blooms; shoreline erosion and sedimentation; a loss of wildlife habitat; and an increase in nuisance animals.  Alternatively, buffers provide food and shelter for local wildlife, stabilize soil, reduce erosion, filter pollutants in sediment, and absorb nutrients.  The LGA offers a list of recommended plants for buffers, available here or by calling 518-668-3558.
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