Ivy River Partners, Mountain Valleys RC&D host “Shade Your Stream” workshop March 9

Image courtesy of Ivy River Partners
Image courtesy of Ivy River Partners

From the Ivy River Partners:

Shade your Stream: Backyard Stream Repair Workshop and Livestake Giveaway
March 9 2018, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Madison County Extension Office and Mars Hill Elementary School
Content Adapted from Article by Wendy Patoprsty, Blue Ridge Conservancy

Have you ever wondered how to care for your stream, but weren’t quite sure where to begin? Then this workshop is for you! Learn how to protect your property and improve the natural environment by stabilizing the stream in your backyard. NC Cooperative Extension specialists will provide practical, cost-effective solutions using natural materials and native plants to create a healthy streamside environment. Topics also include invasive species removal and storm water management. In addition, 1 hour of commercial pesticide applicator credit will be available. This will include aquatic, right-of-way, ornamentals and turf, research and demonstration, and agricultural pest plant categories.

Photo courtesy of Ivy River Partners
Photo courtesy of Ivy River Partners

Across Western North Carolina, streambank erosion—and the resulting build-up of sediment in stream channels—is having negative impacts on water quality and habitat for critters, including trout that live in the streams. A regional partnership has developed to address this issue through an initiative called Shade Your Stream. Ivy River Partners with Mountain Valleys RC&D are promoting this initiative in their service area and bringing you this workshop. The workshop will start off at the Madison County Cooperative Extension for some classroom instruction and lunch, and then participants will take part in an actual “hands-on” stream repair exercise at Mars Hill Elementary School. Attendees will have the opportunity to observe, ask questions of experts, and install livestakes for streambank protection.

Live stakes are an effective way to reduce streambank erosion. At this point you may be wondering, “What is a live stake?” It is a long hardwood cutting from a native shrub, adapted to moist conditions, planted outdoors without rooting hormones. In the mountain region, we use silky dogwood, elderberry, ninebark, silky willow and buttonbush.

These woody plants have extensive root systems that stabilize the soil on stream banks during rainfall and high water flow. The shade produced by the shrubs help maintain the cooler temperatures that our mountain fish and aquatic life need to survive, while the leaves help provide habitat and food for insects and fish (Leaves fall into the stream, aquatic insects eat and live in the leaves, trout eat the insects). “Shading our Streams” with vegetation is really important because it acts as a filter to prevent sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria, pathogens, and heavy metals from entering our rivers.SYS logo

At the end of the workshop, participants can take home free livestakes to implement the skills they just learned on their own creek banks and wet areas in the landscape. Funding is being provided by Blue Ridge RC&D through the Partners for Fish & Wildlife grant program. This is a free workshop, lunch will be served, but space is limited, so register soon!

Who Should Attend: HOA officers, homeowners/landowners, local government personnel, landscapers, landscape contractors, RLAs, engineers, utility workers, park managers, students and environmental educators.

Space is limited and you must register: please visit https://www.bae.ncsu.edu/workshops-conferences/bsr/ or contact Mariah Hughes at Mountain Valleys RC&D, (828) 206-6159, mariah@ivyriverparnters.org.

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