BELLEFONTE, PA – The Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited (PATU) has joined an ambitious statewide effort to plant 10 million trees throughout Pennsylvania by the end of 2025.
The Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, coordinated by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, brings together a broad array of agencies, conservation groups, outdoors enthusiasts, businesses, and individuals to address a critical threat to Pennsylvania communities: polluted water.
Over 25,000 miles of Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams are impaired by polluted runoff and the legacy of coal mining, including many of the Commonwealth’s coldwater streams that are home to populations of native and wild trout.
Trees are a key part of the solution. They filter and absorb polluted runoff from the land, stabilize streambanks, improve soil quality, reduce flooding, and provide habitat for wildlife.
“Council is excited to announce that we have joined this important initiative to plant more trees across the state that will benefit local water quality, wild and native trout populations, and thus the over 15,000 Trout Unlimited members statewide who enjoy angling for those trout,” says Rachel Kester, Program Director. “It’s been said that ‘trout grow on trees’, and we believe this to be true. Healthy streamside forests protect water quality and form the basis of a stream’s food web, leading to healthy and robust trout populations.”
“Trees, especially when alongside streams and streets, are one of the most cost-effective ways to restore and protect stream health, help keep nutrients and soils on the land, and cleanse drinking water sources,” said Shannon Gority, CBF Executive Director in Pennsylvania. “More trees benefit our farmers, our communities, and our health and welfare.”
The partnership will help achieve Pennsylvania’s commitment to reduce pollution in local streams and rivers. The Commonwealth’s Clean Water Blueprint calls for planting 95,000 acres of forest in the Bay watershed by the end of 2025.
“Clean rivers and streams are essential to our wellbeing,” said Brenda Sieglitz, CBF Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership Manager. “By working together to plant 10 million trees, we can ensure our waterways are a vibrant part of our communities for years to come.”
Find out about local projects and get involved by contacting your local Trout Unlimited chapter: https://patrout.org/index.php/about-us/chapters/ or by contacting PATU’s Program Director, Rachel Kester at [email protected] To learn more about the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership visit www.TenMillionTrees.org.