WHAT WILL INSTALLING A BUFFER COST ME?
The Headwater Buffer Initiative is a voluntary program that covers 100% of the costs associated with the design and installation of riparian buffers.
Your property needs to be located in the Upper Rappahannock River watershed (this includes the Rapidan and all other sub-watersheds). The watershed covers all or parts of Rappahannock, Fauquier, Culpeper, Greene, Madison, and Orange Counties. In addition:
- The property needs to have a body of water. i.e. stream, creek, river, pond, or wetland area.
- If the property has livestock, there must be exclusion fencing protecting the area proposed for planting.
- The project cannot fulfill any regulatory requirements for replanting or mitigation associated with development or other permitted projects.
WHO WILL PROVIDE THE SERVICES OUTLINED IN THIS PROGRAM?
This program is a partnership between the Piedmont Environmental Council and Friends of the Rappahannock. A representative from either non-profit organization will contact you to schedule site visits and coordinate with you throughout the duration of the project. We work with a wide range of partners and rely on our members, volunteers, and local students to assist with the installation of projects.
WHAT KIND OF PLANTS DO YOU PLANT?
The program will follow local riparian buffer guidelines provided by the Virginia Department of Forestry and other partners. Projects generally include native hardwood trees and shrubs and some pine species. We try to incorporate species that will provide additional wildlife benefits by bearing nuts and fruits. Ex: Pin Oak, White Oak, Hazelnut, Black Willow, Sycamore, Dogwood, Red Bud etc.
WHAT IS COVERED BY THE PROGRAM?
This program will cover 100% of the costs of technical assistance, project design, materials, and installation.
HOW BIG DOES THE PROJECT HAVE TO BE TO QUALIFY?
This program is designed to enhance existing riparian buffers and establish new riparian buffers and does not have specific project size criteria.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY BUFFER?
A representative from our partnership will respond to your inquiry within 2 weeks to discuss the project. Site visits, project design, ordering of materials, and installation will vary based on the time of year and availability of materials and volunteers. Project design and planning can take several months. Project installation generally takes 1-2 days. All projects will be installed in either late fall or during the spring months of March and April. Live stakes are installed in late February/ early March.
WHY DO YOU USE TREE TUBES?
Buffer projects generally use small tree saplings that range 18″-24″ tall. These saplings are susceptible to a variety of stressors including grazing by wildlife. Tree tubes are used to protect the saplings and help ensure their survival.
WHAT KIND OF MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED?
All projects will have a maintenance agreement provided to the landowner. This will include recommendations from the Department of Forestry as well as site specific maintenance requirements. This can include: seasonal mowing in buffer area, herbicide application, tree/tube removal or replacement, watering, hunting, invasive species removal, and more.