Riparian Buffer Zone Research Project

Riparian zones focus on improving habitats for native and migrating birds. Buffer zones are intentional spaces along streams and creeks where native succession is allowed to become established. Maturing root masses of woody stem plants hold the soil along waterways, acting like a filter for surface waters, improving water quality and reducing erosion. 

Primary Goals of the riparian buffer zone effort: 

  1. Expand desirable habitats for native & migratory birds, which should help increase the overall population of desirable bird species experiencing a decline in population numbers. 
  2. Stabilize challenging erosion-prone areas along waterways. 
  3. Continue to improve the quality of surface & ground waters through our region, filtering nitrogen.
  4. Increase plant diversification through expansion of woodland margin areas.
  5. Allow areas to become gradually reforested through native succession. 
Image above: DNR-like design of a riparian buffer zone.  SSF will be using a similar strategy.
Image above: A prime example(not SSF property) of why riparian buffer zones are important.  Stream banks without established trees & woody stem shrubs erode, especially in bend areas, where cutbanks form.  


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