PURCELLVILLE, Va., March 11, 2019 — The Town of Purcellville is gearing up for a second seedling planting to complete the project to help restore the riparian buffer at the Chapman DeMary Trail. This project is funded through a Virginia Trees for Clean Water grant issued by the Virginia Department of Forestry; the Town of Purcellville was one of the recipients of this grant. The planting will be on Saturday, March 16 starting at 1 p.m. Volunteers are asked to bring work gloves, shovels, a hammer, their own drink, and to dress appropriately for working in a wooded area with potentially muddy conditions. Sign up online to volunteer.
The Virginia Department of Forestry website describes a riparian buffer as a “streamside forest” with plants that line waterways to protect them from the impacts of surrounding land use. The functions of riparian buffers include:
- Slowing flood waters and reducing the volume of water through root absorption.
- Improving water quality by filtering runoff and promoting sediment deposition.
- Allowing water storage in plant roots and providing pathways to groundwater layers.
- Providing canopy cover which shades and cools the stream, improving habitat conditions for instream organisms (fish, salamanders, frogs, etc.). This shade also provides relief from extreme heat for terrestrial animals.
- Providing habitat for a variety of birds and small mammals. These buffers also act as corridors to similar habitat, providing food, shelter and nesting sites.
Riparian areas also provide great opportunities for recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, bird-watching, picnicking and camping.
The planting on March 16 will be the second for this project; the first one was held in April 2018. The planting will be led by experts from the Virginia Department of Forestry. Participating in this planting is a great way to get involved in helping our environment, to learn more about native trees and riparian buffers, and—for students and scouts—to get volunteer hours.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is a 10-acre area that runs along the South Fork Catoctin Creek, part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Town of Purcellville holds the conservation easement for this privately-owned property. The Chapman DeMary Trail is located behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road in Purcellville. This nature park is available to the public for environmental education, recreation, and exploration, and open from dusk to dawn. To learn more about this trail, visit PurcellvilleVa.gov on the Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee page and the Chapman DeMary Trail Facebook page.