The Nature Conservancy is working to restore floodplain forests and reconnect floodplains on Conservancy-owned agricultural properties along the Neversink River.
This first phase of the restoration project, partially funded by Trout Unlimited via funds from the Millennium Pipeline Stream Improvement Fund, focuses on restoring the floodplain forest around Spring Brook, a small, cold, groundwater fed tributary to the Neversink River.
Spring Brook, a groundwater fed stream that supports native brook trout, is increasingly “captured” by the Neversink River during large floods which contributes to increased sedimentation and damage to the small existing riparian buffer during these events. Here, volunteers from Trout Unlimited install fencing to protect trees.
A more substantial floodplain forest around the spring will help lower water velocities and improve water quality by increasing sedimentation onto the floodplain instead of within the channel.
Conservation scientist Becky Shirer reviews the site plan with Union College Professor Jeff Corwin upon whose research the restoration strategy is based.
Nature Conservancy staff from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania plant 300+ trees at Spring Brook, a tributary of the Neversink River.
The trees are planted in large, mixed-species clusters rather than in rows. The cluster method has been shown to more readily attract birds and other seed-dispersing wildlife. The result is a faster and more random recruitment of new tree seedlings that better mimics the composition and distribution of a naturally occurring forest.
Additional tree planting and restoration work is scheduled for the fall. The Spring Brook restoration is the first phase of a larger plan for restoring all of the Conservancy’s Neversink floodplains over the next several years.
Neversink Floodplain Forest Restoration
See how we're working to restore floodplain forests and reconnect floodplains on Conservancy-owned former agricultural properties along the Neversink River.