Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) and the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) are pleased to announce a new Headwater Stream Initiative designed to provide FREE technical assistance, project design, materials, and labor for the planting of native trees and shrubs in riparian zones on qualifying properties in the headwater counties of the Rappahannock River Watershed including: Rappahannock, Fauquier, Culpeper,  Madison, Greene, and Orange Counties.
Riparian buffers are the vegetated areas along rivers, streams, creeks, and other waterways. These areas are the single most effective means of protecting water resources throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Waterways protected by a healthy riparian buffer are cleaner, cooler, and provide better habitat for fish, wildlife, and livestock than a stream with exposed or un-vegetated banks.
Headwater Stream Initiative - Friends of the Rappahannock
Riparian Buffers…
  • Act as filters to reduce nutrients, sediments and other pollutants from entering waterways.
  • Help regulate water temperature and provide structure and cover to provide high quality aquatic habitat.
  • Slow the flow of runoff, stabilize stream and riverbanks, and reduce erosion.
  • Provide vital habitat for fish and wildlife species that rely on forested habitat corridors adjacent to water.

Headwater Stream Initiative FAQs

Answers to the following questions:

  • What will it cost me?
  • Who qualifies?
  • Who will provide the services outlined in this program?
  • What kind of plants do you plant?
  • What is covered by the program?
  • How big does the project have to be to qualify?
  • How long does it take to get my buffer?
  • Why do you use tree tubes?

Learn More

If you have property on a river or stream in the Rappahannock River watershed and are interested in helping to protect clean water, we want to help! This is a completely free program designed to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. Please let us know if you would like to learn more.


Have Questions?

October Greenfield [email protected]

Claire Catlett: [email protected]

This program is made possible through generous funding by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, Arbor Day Foundation Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, Virginia Department of Forestry, Rappahannock Electric Coop, Virginia Environmental Endowment, and The Piedmont Environmental Council’s Krebser Fund for Rappahannock County Conservation.

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Arbor Day Blog | Tree Care & Planting

Department of Forestry |

Blocked by-law proposals at Virginia's largest electric cooperative prompt  complaint to state regulators - Virginia Mercury 





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