If you live around Honeoye Lake, you may be eligible for free trees. The Honeoye Creek subwatershed is now part of a project to boost stream health of the Genesee River Basin, and trees are the ticket.
The Trees 4 Tribs (tributaries) program through the state Department of Environmental Conservation provides the trees, and local tree lovers offer support in obtaining and planting.
“We work with farmers and landowners,” said P. J. Emerick, district manager for Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, which offers advice and help in where and how to plant. Owners are responsible for the ongoing care of their trees.
Trees and shrubs planted along streambanks help filter nutrients and sediment out of runoff before these pollutants can reach streams. The roots help stabilize streambanks, making them less prone to erosion and more resilient against flooding. Emerick said trees also provide shade that helps regulate stream water temperature to promote healthy habitat for fish and other stream life.