By: Cory Berlekamp
The Blanchard River Watershed Partnership (BRWP), a non-profit group based out Findlay that addresses issues and protects the health of the Blanchard River Watershed, plans on planting 2,000 trees at Liberty Landing on the weekend of Nov. 10.
According to Dr. Lauren Sandhu, adjunct professor of biology at the University of Findlay and watershed coordinator at the BRWP, Liberty Landing was chosen with the goal of turning it into a wetland.
“The ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources), ODA (Ohio Department of Agriculture), and EPA are receiving the main portions of this funding and are each focused on a different aspect of water quality,” said Sandhu. “The ODNR is focused on creating/re-establishing wetlands throughout the state.”
The Hancock County Parks District says Liberty Landing is a “2-acre park” that is a “popular starting point for canoeists and kayakers”. To the BRWP, it is the perfect spot for this upcoming project.
Wetlands typically consist of specific species of sedges, shrubs, and trees. Trees help stabilize the soil and aid in water uptake and retention,” Sandhu said. “We picked this particular area because it’s incredibly prone to flooding, and the landowner of the property is not able to produce crops in this area successfully.”
There are all sorts of threats to natural resources and rivers but for the Blanchard, Sandhu says it is “non-point source runoff”.
“This could be runoff from agricultural fields or runoff from neighborhoods,” Sandhu said. “Examples of urban nonpoint source pollution would be lawn fertilizers and weed killers that wash off of your lawn when it rains and enter the storm drains.
“Storm drainage enters the Blanchard River directly, as it is not treated by the water treatment plant,” said Sandhu.
Planting trees midway to November might seem counter intuitive to some but not to Sandhu.
“Fall is a good time to plant trees because it gives them an extra growing season before the stress of summer arrives,” said Sandhu. “Cooler temperatures and rain in the fall allow trees to establish their roots, which makes it easier for them to adjust to extreme heat and drought in the summer.”
The BRWP plans on planting the 2,000 trees over three days on the weekend of Nov. 10. Sandhu says if they plant 600 trees a day, they will be in great shape. She is also encouraging anyone and everyone to come help plant the trees during the project saying, “[we need] as many people as possible.”
If anyone wants to volunteer, they can contact the BRWP at 419-889-7192 or can get ahold of Dr. Sandhu at firstname.lastname@example.org.