Buffer in a Bag

Free trees for land near water

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has launched a new program called Buffer in a Bag to increase riparian buffers. Landowners who qualify may receive a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings to plant along streams, rivers or lakes to stabilize banks, decrease erosion, protect water quality and improve wildlife habitat. For the Hudson Valley, the packet includes Red osier dogwood, wetland rose, elderberry, river birch and red oak.

To qualify, landowners must have property that borders at least 50 feet of a stream, river or lake, and provide photos and map coordinates of the planting location. Landowners with 100 feet or more may apply for up to two bags each year. See dec.ny.gov. The deadline is April 3.