Since 2012, volunteers have been hard at work restoring the riparian buffer at Cedarland Park in Southbury. What began as an effort to remove invasive species and replant native species along the small stream that flows through the neighborhood park on River Trail expanded to a larger effort to do the same along the banks of the Pomperaug River. The buffer along the Pomperaug also included plans to install natural stone stairs down to the river at two points heavily eroded by past foot traffic to the water. In August, this vision became a reality! And, not without the support of many community partners. We wish to extend our
thanks to ALL the volunteers who helped pull weeds and plant native species over the past four seasons; Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery and Landscaping for site designs, plant material, and labor; Civil 1 for engineering review and support through the permitting process; O&G Industries for donating round rubble for the access areas; Haynes Materials for donating large stone slabs for the steps; FirstLight Power for donating plants; CT DEEP and Patagonia Westport for grant funding support; the Town of Southbury for allowing us to create a model site for best river practices at one of their parks and having their Public Works crew provide weed disposal support throughout the project.
With all said and done (minus the continued weeding and occasional watering), we restored 270 feet of riparian buffer habitat along the Pomperaug River and another 100 feet along Spring Brook. The native buffer brings a great number of benefits including food and shelter for birds, pollinators, and other small creatures; shade over the river to help keep the water cool for fish; a soft, green barrier to absorb stormwater runoff flowing towards the river; and a maze of roots that helps keep the riverbank intact during floods.
If you haven’t already checked out our work at Cedarland Park, we encourage you to do so. And, you might want to bring a fishing pole if you visit in the spring. This is afterall, a trophy trout section of the river stocked by the State!