Land-use webinar to focus on making riparian buffers work in your community

August 09, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Making riparian buffers work for your community is the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

Extension educators Andy Yencha, Jennifer Fetter and Justin Mansberger will present the 75-minute webinar at noon on Aug. 18.

The presentation will focus on recommendations municipalities often receive to install riparian buffers along community streams. Conservation experts say that one of the best ways to protect and improve streams and water quality is to add a forested area or meadow next to the water, known as a riparian buffer.

“A riparian buffer of trees, shrubs or meadow plants can protect the water from activities happening on the land,” said Yencha. “Riparian buffers exist in both urban and rural areas and can be planted along any body of water capable of supporting plants.”

Beyond the well-known water-quality benefits that come from installing and properly maintaining trees, shrubs and other perennial vegetation along waterways, other benefits of riparian buffers include wildlife habitat, flood protection and reduced water-treatment costs, Fetter noted.

This webinar will address why the conservation practice of installing riparian buffers is highly regarded by water resource managers and landscape professionals. The presenters also will cover buffer design, width and plant selection, along with educational resources offered by Penn State Extension to help communities and private landowners install and improve buffer plantings.

Among those resources is volunteer support from Penn State’s Master Watershed Stewards.

“Making Buffers Work for Your Community, Clients, and Residents” is the second webinar in Penn State Extension’s Summer/Fall 2021 Land-Use Webinar series that runs through November. The series helps municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers and community organizations be informed about land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

Other topics and dates in the webinar series include the following:

— July 21: "Intergenerational Community Engagement and Planning — Values and Practices."

— Sept. 15: "Short-Term Rental Trends and How to Craft an Ordinance to Handle Them."

— Oct. 20: "So, You Want Agriculture in Your Community? Have You Heard of PA Farm Link?"

— Nov. 17: "Advancing Racial Equity through Land-Use Planning."

All of these programs will be recorded and available for viewing later.

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost is also $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits.

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $65.

For anyone interested in a particular topic or topics from the series, individual session registration is available for a fee of $15 per session.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at ptw3@psu.edu. To register for the webinars, visit the website.

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Last Updated August 09, 2021