Sunday, February 16, 2020

‘Buffer in a Bag’ Initiative Offers Free Plantings

treed buffer along a riverThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the statewide Trees for Tribs “Buffer in a Bag” application period is now open.

The Buffer in a Bag initiative is designed to increase riparian buffers statewide by engaging landowners in small-scale plantings. Qualifying private and public landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting near streams, rivers, or lakes to help stabilize banks, protect water quality, and improve wildlife habitat.

To qualify, landowners must have property in New York State with at least 50 feet that borders a stream, river, or lake, and provide photos and map coordinates of the planting location. Applicants are eligible for one bag of 25 seedlings and recipients will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. Previous recipients are encouraged to reapply to continue to build their riparian buffer. A total of 500 bags will be available statewide for this round of applications.

Trees for Tribs is a program of the Saratoga Tree Nursery and is supported by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

Visit DEC’s website for more information about the Buffer in a Bag application process and requirements. Applications are due by 3 pm on April 10, 2020. General questions about Buffer in a Bag may be directed to To learn more about the Trees for Tribs Program and its tree planting activities, visit DEC’s website.

Photo of treed buffer along a river provided by DEC.

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3 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    I encourage anyone with wetlands to participate in this FREE program. It is critical that riparian zones are protected with soil-stabilizing and water-cooling plants that also provide cover and food for wildlife. They aren’t hard on the eyes either!

    Last year was my first year participating and the plantings arrived about a month late (but were fresh), so I ended up planting 2 bags worth (50 plants) on a God-awful hot day. I probably had about 20% mortality because they didn’t get the head start they needed as where they were planted, proper watering was nearly impossible. We will see what the deer left me this spring. I will probably apply for another bag to cover mortality and to extend the plantings even more. Great program – and did I mention FREE??

  2. Balian the Cat says:

    Your toil and sweat were not free, Boreas. Thank you for doing your part.

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