Grant buys trees for Keuka Lake tributary

The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium (FLM&A) was one of 10 applicants to be awarded a Trees for Tribs Grant through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Trees for Tribs Grant program supports efforts to reforest New York’s tributaries, or small creeks and streams, which flow into and feed larger rivers and lakes.The program supports communities in planting young trees and shrubs along stream corridors, also known as riparian areas, to prevent erosion, increase flood water retention, improve wildlife and stream habitat, as well as protect water quality.

The FLM& A project, called the Sugar Creek Restoration Project, will improve wildlife habitat, water quality, and climate resiliency along Sugar Creek, a main tributary to Keuka Lake, by planting riparian trees and shrubs on the banks of three neighboring properties, owned by the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, Izaak Walton League, and Branchport/ Keuka Park Fire Department. The FLM&A was granted $38,000 to complete this project in 2 years.

Approximately 3,160 native trees & shrubs, all grown from NYS-sourced seed, will be planted on roughly 13-acres along Sugar Creek. The plantings will be done by community volunteers, under the direction of the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, and approved by a DEC Forester. Plantings will follow NYS DEC guidelines, which include the use of tree tubes, stakes, weed mats, and wire cages, to ensure the plants have the best chance of surviving. The FLM&A will coordinate and oversee a 2-year long maintenance plan for the plantings, using guidelines set forth by the NYS DEC, that include regular monitoring and reports, photographic documentation, and watering.

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