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York County Master Watershed Stewards Recognize Ryan Davis, Chesapeake Bay Forests; Northeastern Schools As 2019 Outstanding Partners

By Jodi Sulpizio, Master Watershed Steward Coordinator York County

The Penn State Master Watershed Stewards in York County proudly recognized Ryan Davis, Chesapeake Forests Program Manager for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Northeastern School District as their 2019 Outstanding Partners.

The Master Watershed Stewards collaborated with Ryan and Northeastern School District staff, primarily Superintendent Dr. Stacey Sidle and Director of Operations Brian Gellar, to plant a riparian forest buffer on school district property.

This twenty acre project borders Hartman Run in the Susquehanna River Watershed and will help improve the health of our streams, the mighty Susquehanna River and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

After much planning and preparation, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Master Watershed Stewards, conservation partners, students and community volunteers rallied together and planted hundreds of trees and secured tree shelters spanning over ten acres.

The energy, enthusiasm and comradery among the volunteers was remarkable. We are looking forward to planting the remaining ten acres this spring.

When it’s all said and done, over 2,500 native trees and shrubs will be planted, converting a vast amount of mowed lawn to riparian forest buffer.

The buffer of trees and shrubs will protect the stream from land use impacts by intercepting stormwater runoff and filtering pollutants.

The buffer will help control flooding, stabilize the streambanks, create better habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and will reduce mowing costs.

It will also provide an amazing outdoor classroom for the teachers and students. Opportunities for learning will be endless!

Restoring riparian buffers like this is one of the essential best management practices that will contribute to both York County’s and the state’s sediment and reduction goals for local streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

Partnerships are the keystone to building a successful Master Watershed Steward Program. Fortunately, Northeastern School District was a willing landowner for such a vast project.

Ryan Davis enthusiastically shared his expertise to properly plan the project. He willingly trained the Master Watershed Stewards, so they could, in turn, teach the students about riparian buffers and proper tree planting techniques.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources funded the project through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for riparian forest buffers.

This project was a terrific success for everyone involved, but most notably, it was a win for cleaner water!

[The Master Watershed Steward Program is active in a growing number of counties, including-- Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Wyoming and York counties.

[Contact them to find out more through your local Penn State Extension Office or learn more by visiting the Master Watershed Steward webpage.  Questions can be directed to Erin Frederick at 610-391-9840 or send email to:]

(Photo: Mark Lentz, Jodi Sulpizio, Dr. Stacey Sidle, Margie Walker, Brian Geller, Commissioner Doug Hoke and Ryan Davis.)

(Reprinted from Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)


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[Posted: February 21, 2020]


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