|Many people have streams or creeks on their property. It really adds to the enjoyment of your property, as you are able to fish, canoe, or kayak from the convenience of your home.
With the fun of having a creek behind your house comes the responsibility of making sure that the creek remains healthy. The actions of homeowners can go a long way to ensuring the health of a creek.
Here are some pointers for good creek care:
- Don’t mow right to the edge of the stream. This could cause soil erosion because grass has shallow roots. Also grass clippings could get in the water, which degrades the quality of the stream.
- maintain a healthy riparian zone. Riparian zones are ecosystems located next to streams, creeks, and other water networks. Here in Grand Island, the creeks all empty into the Niagara River so anything that degrades the quality of the creeks will eventually also degrade the quality of the river.
- Establish a buffer zone with plantings that have large root systems. This will help to prevent soil erosion and runoff. The buffer zone should consist of shrubs and trees and other plants. The best kind of plants would be native species, which would also have the added benefit of attracting bees. Here are some suggestions from the Conservation Advisory Board of the Town of Grand Island for trees and bushes: streamco or bankers willow, red osier dogwood, American elderberry, red chokeberry. You can also look online for other suggestions of trees and shrubs and native plants to your region. The best trees would be those that are tolerant of very moist soil or even of occasionally being underwater. This is known as having “wet feet.” People usually dislike wet feet but there are plenty of trees that thrive in those conditions.
Below are pictures of healthy stream banks and wetlands: