At Tryon Creek Watershed Council our work takes many forms, from educating the public at community-based events, to advocating for removal of fish passage barriers watershed-wide, to coordinating on-the-ground restoration. What does the latter look like? Here’s a peek inside one of our projects, with on-the-ground work done by Sound Native Plants and some words from landowner Barbara Haynes.
The Haynes, who live near Marshall Park and Maricara Natural Area, were experiencing stormwater and erosion issues. “Our house was sitting in the middle of two slopes and we were dealing with a lot of mud. We came to realize this situation affected not only our property, but our neighbors’ properties as well as Arnold Creek and ultimately the Tryon Creek Watershed. Most of the native plants on our property had been smothered by vigorous English ivy and Himalayan blackberry populations.”
While the Haynes set to work manually to try to eradicate the invasives, we at TCWC encouraged pursuing an OWEB Small Grant.
“With grant approval, the invasive plants were treated in December, and (in March) the planting crew arrived with our beautiful native plants of many varieties. It feels very satisfying to have them in the ground and we will be forever grateful to all who helped us with this grant. (…) We are so pleased to be a part of the movement to restore the forest biome! And we plan to spread the word. I’m hoping the small grant projects for trouble spots will continue to be made available for willing participants. Together we can restore natural health and beauty to our watershed and become a strong model for other areas.”
OWEB Small Grants are a great fit for urban areas with smaller tax lots, and we at TCWC are glad to be able to work with engaged landowners to remove invasive species and plant native plants on their properties. Whether in riparian zones close-in to the creek, or upland areas, this process stabilizes banks and provides higher quality habitat for wildlife, making for a healthier watershed ecosystem.
While OWEB Small Grants may be Small by name, Barbara’s gratitude reminds us just how little things matter: we “would like to thank those at OWEB who were instrumental in securing our grant for native plant restoration at our residence. It will be a life-changer.”