What have we been doing at the James River Association? Planting trees, trees, and more trees! Our staff, along with several loyal volunteers, got their hands dirty this spring installing forested buffers in the middle James River watershed. These projects headed up by our new Middle James Restoration Manager, Anne Marie Roberts, would not have been possible without tremendous volunteer efforts and willing landowners who allowed us to install buffers along creeks and streams on their property.
This spring, volunteers worked a total of 293 hours to install 12 acres of riparian buffers in Amherst, Albemarle, and Rockbridge Counties. Volunteers included Central and Blue Ridge Master Naturalists, students from Amherst County High School and Rockbridge County High School, Cadets from Virginia Military Institute, members from the local 4-H shooting education club and staff from the Virginia Department of Forestry.
In April 2018, an EF-3 tornado destroyed many homes and mature forested areas in Elon, VA. One of our planting sites was located in an area impacted by this storm. Jared Moore and Hunter Wells were two students from the Amherst 4-H Shooting Education Club who volunteered to help restore a large stream buffer area in Elon. They shared their passion for helping the Elon community restoration effort and were excited to learn more about trees and local environmental concerns.
Special thanks to funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and the Virginia Environmental Endowment. Because of these funders, James River Association is able to install these much needed riparian buffers to improve water quality in the Middle James Watershed. The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund is funded by Chesapeake Bay license plate sales and is used to help fund restoration projects for the Bay and its tributaries.
We believe that if you change the James, the James will change you. It is an honor to work with so many James Changers in our community who share our passion for restoring the river to full health.
Interested in volunteering and becoming a James Changer? Visit www.thejamesriver.org and sign up to receive our volunteer opportunities, or check out our calendar for upcoming events.