Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Streamside Buffer Tour Preview

Workshop Will Highlight Strategies for Improving Water Quality

By Tom Redfern, Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator

Rural Action will be hosting a workshop on the importance of streamside buffers on October 25 in the Federal Valley Watershed, with presentations by local authorities and experts. The workshop will take place across from Amesville Elementary on Route 329 North in Amesville, Ohio, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 12:00 p.m. The workshop, and presentations, will focus on the benefits of streamside buffers: a heavily vegetated strip of land adjacent to a stream or river. Such barriers help to form healthy ecosystems by reducing harmful run-off into the stream, improving wildlife habitats, and helping to control flooding.

The workshop will feature four presentations: Jerry Iles from OSU Extension will talk about the economic and ecological benefits of a healthy stream side buffer; Sunday Creek Watershed Group’s Coordinator, Kaabe Shaw, will take water quality samples at the site, and discuss how his findings relate to a healthy streamside buffer; and Neal Dix, owner and operator of Shade Winery, in Shade, Ohio, who will talk about the cultivation of Common Elderberry (Sambucus sp.), a native stream side buffer plant and fruit that can be harvested as an economic product.

The last presentation will come from Mary Ann Westendorf, the Amesville Sewer System Operator. She will be giving an overview of the newly completed waste water treatment system in Amesville, which represents a new model for decentralized waste water management in small communities. The water from the treatment system is discharged into the Federal Valley Watershed, near the location of the workshop.

This workshop is being funded through the Ohio Environmental Education fund. Please join us for this educational opportunity, and see how we can all positively impact the quality of our water resources.

For more information about the workshop, contact Tom Redfern (740.767.4938) or email him (

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