Soak It In: Buffer Planting and Water Quality Presentation
Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition (PRWC) is leading the establishment of a vegetated buffer zone along the northern shoreline of Lake Stibbs (also known as the Southbury Training School Pond) to help deter the Canada geese that forage and congregate on the lower lawn area and in turn help reduce bacteria runoff into the lake and Transylvania Brook. Vegetated buffers also play a key role in improving water quality and reducing nonpoint source pollution. Buffers slow and absorb runoff, acting as a natural filter in residential, commercial and agricultural settings. The root systems of native plants help slow down rain water, encourage infiltration, and absorb the impact of floods.
PRWC invites volunteers to “Plant with a Purpose” on Friday, July 8 (starting at 10 AM) and Saturday, July 9 (starting at 9 AM). PRWC is seeking volunteers to help plant the 400 native plants and shrubs along approximately 450 feet of the shoreline. The length of shoreline will be planted with native species to create a 15 to 20 foot wide buffer along the northern edge of the lake. PRWC Dr. Marc Taylor Interns, Zoe Kleeblatt and Brooke Tillotson, assisted with mapping and refining the buffer planting plan detail.
PRWC will also present an evening “Conservation Conversation” on its Water Quality Monitoring and the Benefits of Riparian Buffers on Tuesday July 19 at 7:00 PM at the Southbury Public Library. Interested residents, business owners, and agricultural operators are invited to learn more about the state of the Pomperaug Watershed, Ambient Water Quality Monitoring, and how riparian buffers reduce bacteria and nutrient loads entering nearby bodies of water. The Southbury Public Library is also hosting a collaborative exhibit for the months of June and July which includes the fabulous Farmington River Quilts displayed by Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA), and a PRWC exhibit on watershed science in the Reading Room.
The vegetative buffer planting and educational signage installation at Lake Stibbs is funded by a grant from the Southbury Community Trust Fund. The initiative complements a project administered by Southbury Training School to address the highly invasive water chestnut plants in Lake Stibbs. The 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 community use.