Over 329 volunteers have participated so far, with another 140 volunteers committed through March, to plant over 3,500 native trees and shrubs as part of the 9th Annual Riparian Project! Through the leadership of IRWP Board members Scott Carney and Robyn Reed, we have established TWO tree farms for Fall 2016 riparian projects – Flint Creek Power Plant Tree Farm and Boston Mountain Solid Waste District Tree Farm.
Thanks to the Cities of Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Prairie Grove, and Siloam Springs for their support and participation in this year’s Riparian Project. Rogers’ Mayor Greg Hines and Springdale’s Mayor Doug Sprouse both helped plant trees and helped clean out trash from nearby creeks in Rogers and Springdale on Saturday!
We also want to recognize and thank these team leaders at the following riparian sites and creek/river cleanups:
Becky Roark, IRWP – Osage Creek tributary, Rogers
Chas McCoy, IRWP – Spring Creek/Lake Springdale, Springdale
Tracie Ashley, IRWP – Illinois River, Prairie Grove
Ralph Weber – McKisic Creek, Bentonville
Lauren Ray – Townbranch Creek, Fayetteville
Kelly Escarcega, JBU – Sager Creek, Siloam Springs
John Chapman, TNC – Healing Springs
Ed Fite – Todd Public Access, Tahlequah, OK
Cities and Groups participating in 2016 Riparian Project:
City of Springdale
City of Rogers
City of Bentonville
City of Fayetteville
City of Siloam Springs
Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission
The Nature Conservancy
Keith & Elise Bostian – Landowners on the Illinois River
Prairie Grove E.A.S.T.
Arvest Bank, Springdale Downtown
Arvest Bank, Westville
Westwood Elementary, Springdale
NWA Young Marines
Camp War Eagle
Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints
Teen Action Support Center
Just Serve Volunteers
Helen Tyson Middle School E.A.S.T.
University of Arkansas Greek Life: Alpha Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi, SIA, Kappa Delta, Phi Delta Theta
Cave Springs 4-H Club
West Fork volunteers
US Fish & Wildlife Service
John Brown University Students & Faculty
American Heritage Girls – Siloam Springs
Rogers High School Outdoor CARE students and teacher Jeff Belk
Mercy Hospital volunteers
NWA Master Naturalists
Arkansas Forestry Commission
McKee Foods for snacks
Keep Arkansas Beautiful for supplies
What is a “Riparian” Project?
A riparian buffer zone is the area of land next to a creek, stream, river, or lake. That area of land is very important to water quality. A healthy riparian buffer has lots of trees, grasses and shrubs that help improve water quality as they:
- Decrease streambank erosion
- Filter sediments and pollutants commonly found in runoff
- Provide stormwater storage,
- Increase wildlife habitat
- Provide cooler water and air temperatures which are good for fish
- Increase groundwater infiltration
Why does the IRWP have an annual Riparian Project? It’s one of the best ways we can help improve, protect and restore the Illinois River Watershed! Riparian buffers provide environmental and recreational benefits to creeks, streams, and rivers, and improve water quality and downstream land areas. Everyone can help plant a tree and protect our watershed!
Youngest Riparian Tree Volunteer!
Check out more photos from the 9th Annual Riparian Project on our IRWP Facebook page!