The Backyard Buffers program is designed to assist homeowners with land five acres or less, who have a stream or other waterway on or adjacent to their property to create a streamside buffer of native trees and shrubs. A streamside buffer can create habitat for wildlife, reduce peak water temperatures, and reduce the amount of sediment, fertilizer, and toxic materials that enter our waterways. Deep-rooted trees and shrubs can also stabilize stream banks, protecting them from erosion.
If you are a homeowner and have a stream or other waterway on or adjacent to your property, and are interested in creating streamside buffer, complete the application form (download it here) and return it to the address on the back with a letter stamp. The bags will be available for pickup at a designated local site in April in time for the spring planting season. If you need assistance with planting due to a disability, contact the Carroll County Forestry Board at 410-848-9290.
The Backyard Buffers program provides a free “buffer in a bag” to help get homeowners started in buffering their streamside. The bag includes twenty-five native tree and shrub bare-root seedlings, 1 to 2 feet in height, of various species that are well suited to streamside conditions. Also included are fact sheets on tree planting techniques, typical planting arrangement, proper tree maintenance, native plant species suitable for streamside plantings, and additional information for those who wish to learn more.
The Backyard Buffers program is sponsored by the Maryland DNR Forest Service, the Carroll County Forestry Board, and the the Carroll County Government.
PEOPLE NEED TREES
Trees Are Valuable
Trees are important for their lumber, but their value goes much further. Living, healthy trees provide people with shade for our homes and parks, beauty to gladden our hearts, and inspiration from their sheer size and majesty. Children delight in the thrill of soaring high on a rope swing from the sturdy limb of a tree. Some trees even feed us with apples, cherries, peaches, walnuts, and an abundance of other fruits and nuts.
Forests Help People and Wildlife
Forests protect our precious soil from erosion, and even create new topsoil. They keep our water supplies clean, pure, and abundant, allowing streams and lakes to support healthy populations of fish, amphibians, and other wildlife. Birds, mammals, and other creatures find food, shelter, and nest sites in the forest. Forests produce oxygen for us to breathe and clean our air of harmful pollutants. Take a walk in the woods and enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and activities of the many creatures who live there.
Forests Are More Than Trees
Often we really cannot see the forest for the trees, for there is much more to a forest than just its biggest members. Cardinals, chickadees, and Baltimore Orioles nest in the trees, deer browse on the understory shrubs and plants, and squirrels dash through the branches, chattering as if to scold us for intruding. Wildflowers carpet the ground, and nuts and leaves crunch underfoot. Turtles, frogs, and salamanders make their homes here. Underground, worms and beetles dig their tunnels alongside chipmunks and mice. Mushrooms, lichens, insects, and spiders each have their role to play. The trees are just the beginning.