The application period for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Trees for Tribs’ Buffer in a Bag Program is now open.
Private and public landowners who qualify may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting near streams, rivers or lakes to help stabilize banks, protect water quality and improve wildlife habitat.
“The goal of the Buffer in a Bag program is to increase forested riparian buffers across the state by encouraging landowners to undertake small-scale plantings,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Streamside plantings help decrease erosion, slow floodwaters, and protect fish and wildlife habitat.”
He added that every landowner participating in this program is bolstering DEC’s efforts to protect water quality and safeguard our communities from flooding.
To qualify, landowners must have property in New York State with at least 50 feet that borders a stream, river or lake and provide photos or a map of the planting location. Previous recipients are encouraged to reapply to continue to build their riparian buffer.
Applicants are eligible for one bag of 25 seedlings and recipients are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. A total of 500 bags will be available statewide for this round of applications.
Landowners in the Hudson River Estuary watershed may be eligible for additional assistance with streamside planting projects.
Visit DEC’s website at dec.ny.gov for more information about the Buffer in a Bag application process and requirements. Applications are due April 12 at 3 p.m.