Well, friends, fall is almost upon us.  As the Illinois River Watershed undergoes magnificent seasonal transformations in weather and color, it is a perfect time to get outside and do something to help preserve, protect, and restore our waterways.  “How do I do that?” you might ask.

The answer:  It’s as simple as planting a tree.

Fall Color At Sanctuary

 

We often hear about the positive effects that trees have on air quality, but seldom do we hear about their benefits for water quality.  Trees help to reduce stream bank erosion by stabilizing soil with their roots.  By keeping excess soil out of our waterways, trees moderate the influx of nutrients that can cause oxygen deficiency, algal blooms, and sedimentation, or that “murky” appearance that we sometimes associate with poor water quality.

 

Tree Sapling
Not only do trees’ roots hold our stream banks in place, but they also filter out contaminants and pollutants by allowing storm water runoff to infiltrate into the soil rather than wash directly into our rivers, lakes, and streams.

This means that flood impacts are diminished and our groundwater supply is replenished.  In fact, research has shown that 100 mature trees can intercept nearly 100,000 gallons of rainfall per year (Urban Forestry Network).

Can you imagine what we could do if everybody in the Illinois River Watershed planted a single tree?

Tree Planting
Here’s your opportunity to help.  On Saturday, September 13, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership and volunteers will plant trees at sites in Siloam Springs and Bentonville.  Click here for more information!

By planting a tree, you can make it easier for both terrestrial and aquatic creatures to breathe.  You can help protect our land and our water.  You can beautify our watershed.  We hope you will join us!

Happy fall (almost)!

 

Related Posts:

Are You Willing to Take the Challenge?

Water Proof:  4 Ways to Protect Your Groundwater

 

Related Links:

2014 Fall Riparian Project

IRWP Tree Corps Brochure

IRWP Native Plants and Trees Brochure

CREP and EQIP Programs

Urban Forestry Network