The Brandywine Conservancy and Stroud Water Research Center joined forces for a joint tree planting on October 13, 2017, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of both organizations.

Together, staff and dozens of volunteers planted 1,000 trees on farmland in Coatesville along Buck Run, a tributary of Brandywine Creek. Known locally as Buck and Doe Run Valley Farms, Inc., the land was once the northern operations base of the historic King Ranch of Texas and is now permanently protected from development through conservation easements with Brandywine Conservancy. The farm is located in East Fallowfield Township within the Brandywine-Christina Watershed, which provides drinking water to the city of Wilmington, Delaware.

“In planting these trees together in celebration of our joint 50th anniversaries, we are helping to further protect the quality of the Brandywine-Christina Watershed,” commented Ellen Ferretti, director of the Conservancy. “We look forward to the next fifty years and beyond of continued collaboration and partnership with our friends at Stroud Water Research Center.”

The trees planted will reestablish a riparian forest buffer along Buck Run to protect it by filtering out contaminants from agriculture and other land uses before they can enter the stream; stabilize the stream bank; and provide food, shade, and habitat for fish and wildlife. A forest buffer provides a first line of defense (keeping sediment and nutrients out) as well as a secondary line of defense (keeping sediment and nutrients from moving downstream) for maintaining clean water in our streams and rivers.

Scientists at the Stroud Center have been studying the important effects of forested buffers over the past 50 years, and each tree planting is another opportunity to learn more about the relationship between trees and clean fresh water for all. “The strategic placement of trees along streams and rivers is a simple but very effective way of reducing flooding and improving their water quality” said Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., distinguished scientist and president of Stroud Water Research Center.

Funding and supplies for this project were provided by Wilmington Trust and TreeVitalize. “Wilmington Trust has been a longtime and proud supporter of the missions of both the Stroud Center and Brandywine,” said Bill LaFond, president of the Wilmington Trust Family Wealth division. “Their important work on water conservation benefits both our local and global communities. We appreciate the opportunity to directly participate in the impactful work they are doing.”