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Announcements, News and Notes


DCNR announces PENNVEST-funded grants for planting riparian buffers

Oct 03, 2017
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has announced that $1 million in PENNVEST-funded grants are being made available to assist landowners with planting trees

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has announced that $1 million in PENNVEST-funded grants are being made available to assist landowners with planting trees along streams in Pennsylvania to improve water quality. Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres of streamside buffers by 2025. “Simply put, we can improve the water quality in our rivers and streams by planting trees along them to slow down runoff and filter sediments and fertilizers we apply to the land,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said.

To expand on the existing streamside buffer options for landowners, DCNR is piloting a multi-functional buffer option that is eligible for these grant dollars to provide greater flexibility in landowner eligibility, buffer designs, widths, plant species and offer the option of planting some income-producing crops in the buffer zone. For the PENNVEST-funded grants, multi-functional buffers are preferred but not required.

“PENNVEST is pleased to be a part of this effort to expand multi-use buffers, as we believe it is imperative that we develop a sustainable funding source to support the streamside buffer goal for 2025 and beyond,” said PENNVEST Executive Director Brion Johnson.

The DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Program grant round opened on October 2 and closes December 20 for these grants. 

Individual landowners; businesses; non-profit organizations; local governments; and educational institutions are all eligible for the buffer grants, but must be prequalified. Information about how to prequalify is available online on the DCNR grant portal. 

Dunn noted that DCNR Bureau of Forestry service foresters located in each of the 20 forest districts statewide can assist landowners with information about planting forest buffers .Forest buffers along stream banks provide critical barriers between polluting landscapes and receiving waterways. Properly planted and maintained, streamside tree and shrub plantings filter the runoff of sediments and the fertilizers that are applied to lawns and crops; control erosion; improve water quality; reduce flooding; cool stream temperatures; and improve fish habitat.

Interested applicants should visit the DCNR grant portal.

Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101