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May 5, 2004

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

Upstate and Downstate Students Enhance Streamside Buffer for Watershed Protection

Will Plant Native Trees and Pull Invasive Shrubs in Woodstock

Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that 35 high school students from upstate and New York City will join forces to plant over 140 trees to enhance a streamside buffer zone next to an important water source in the City’s watershed. The planting will take place on Tuesday, May 11th, from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the Beaver Kill in the Town of Woodstock.

Students from South Kortright Central School will work with downstate students from the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan. They will augment last year’s efforts by fellow students who planted over 100 trees on an environmentally sensitive piece of land owned by the DEP next to the Beaver Kill in Woodstock. This year the students will plant more than 140 native trees and will pull the exotic, invasive species Japanese barberry. The Beaver Kill flows into the Esopus Creek, which in turn flows into the Ashokan Reservoir, a key part of the Catskill water system.

“This parcel of DEP land provides a great outdoor classroom for streamside stewardship,” said Commissioner Ward. “It allows upstate and downstate students to understand the important ecological functions of streamside buffers – streambank stabilization, pollution protection and habitat preservation – and to see what their peers have accomplished in the past. I’m glad that young people from the different regions are able to get together to build long-term solutions to protect our water quality.”

SUNY-Delhi Catskill Outdoor Education Corps, along with DEP Stream Management and Land Management personnel, will provide site preparation and planting supervision. The students will plant native trees and shrubs, including Green Ash, Black Cherry, Yellow Birch, Red & Silver Maple and Elderberry.

The Council on the Environment of New York City coordinated the education planting project, while funding was provided by the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC), and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. DEP helps to fund the CWC and other programs in the watershed that benefit both the community and drinking water quality.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600