Climate Smart Gardiner and the Gardiner Trail Alliance are planting native trees and shrubs in Riverbend Park along the Wallkill River. Last spring, volunteers planted 300 native trees and shrubs along the river. Two weeks ago, 50 volunteers planted 370 tree and shrub seedlings, helping revegetate the riparian buffer by more than doubling the vegetated area to approximately 1.7 acres in the floodplain.
The project has multiple benefits, according to the DEC. The trees will provide shade and diverse native plants along newly established walking and biking trails in the park. Streamside plantings help reduce erosion, provide habitat for wildlife, and protect and improve water quality. This is particularly important on rivers such as the Wallkill, which is listed as an impaired waterbody.