LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The NYS DEC’s Trees for Tribs program is offering free native trees and shrubs to any property owner looking to fortify and ecologically diversify their streams.
According to a press release from Genesee River Basin Trees for Tribs, the goal is for property owners and volunteers to plant 15,000 trees and shrubs in four major areas within the Genesee River Basin, including the main stem of the Genesee River from Mount Morris to Scottsville, the Oatka Creek watershed, the Upper Black Creek watershed, and the Honeoye Creek watershed.
“Trees help prevent streambank erosion, filter pollutants out of runoff, support stream ecosystems, and reduce stream temperatures, which is good for fish,” said “With all of these benefits, you might expect to see lots of trees and shrubs growing along streams. Unfortunately, many sections of our streams completely lack trees and shrubs, and have grassy lawns and farm fields extending to the edge of the streambank.”
To be eligible for free trees, a property need only have a stream withing the Genesee River basin. The property can be residential, agricultural, municipal, commercial or even industrial.
Trees for Tribs is a program through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Saratoga Tree Nursery.
Trees for Tribs says that while winter has just arrived, it is already time to start planning for spring-time tree plantings.
Property owners can find out if they are eligible for free trees by contacting the Trees for Tribs Coordinator at (585) 786-5070 ext 121 or calling the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District at (585) 243-0043.
A printable version of the application form can be accessed here.
The program also seeks volunteers to help plant the trees. For more information on the program, please visit the Genesee River Basin Trees for Tribs website here or contact the Trees for Tribs Coordinator.