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Plant with a Purpose: Lake Stibbs Riparian Buffer Restoration

In mid-July, twenty volunteers helped plant more than 400 native plants and shrubs along approximately 350 feet of shoreline at Lake Stibbs in Southbury. PRWC hosted “Plant with a Purpose” over a two day stretch to restore the riparian vegetative buff er along the northern edge of the lake that is part of the Southbury Training School property and Transylvania Brook watershed.

PRWC’s Watershed Based Plan identified Canada geese and their droppings as primary contributors to the bacteria impairments in Lake Stibbs. The installation of a 15 to 20 foot vegetated buff er was recommended as a habitat modification to deter the Canada geese that forage on the lower lawn and in turn help reduce bacteria runoff into the lake and downstream. Vegetated buffers play a key role in improving water quality. Th e root systems of native plants help slow down rain water, encourage infiltration, and absorb nutrients and bacteria.

This year’s Dr. Marc Taylor Interns, Zoe Kleeblatt and Brooke Tillotson, refined the buffer planting plan detail and led the planting days. Brooke and Zoe also created and installed temporary educational signage and designed permanent signage that was further refined and installed by PRWC staff .

The riparian buff er project at Lake Stibbs was generously funded by a grant from the Southbury Community Trust Fund. The initiative complemented a project administered by Southbury Training School to address the highly invasive water chestnut plants in Lake Stibbs. Th e water chestnut control project was funded through Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Grants for the control of aquatic invasive species to further improve Lake Stibbs recreational use and to protect rivers downstream.


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