Photo: Trees for Tribs
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Buffer program provides free seedlings for property owners

Qualifying private and public landowners may now apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting near streams, rivers, or lakes from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Trees for Tribs’ Buffer in a Bag program is aimed at helping property owners stabilize banks, protect water quality, combat climate change, and improve wildlife habitat.

“Small-scale streamside plantings help decrease erosion, slow floodwaters, sequester carbon, and protect fish and wildlife habitat,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a written statement. “I encourage New York landowners with waterside properties to participate in DEC’s ‘Buffer in a Bag’ program to bolster the state’s efforts to protect water quality and help safeguard communities from flooding.”

To qualify, landowners must have property in New York State with at least 50 feet bordering 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 riparian buffers. 

Applicants are eligible for one bag of 25 seedlings and recipients are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. A total of 350 bags will be available statewide for this round of applications, which are due by 3 p.m. on April 7.

Click here for more information on the Trees for Tribs program.

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