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Volunteers plant trees, shrubs along creek at Brook Lane

May 20, 2008

On April 26, Brook Lane partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Antietam Creek Watershed Association, Beaver Creek Water Association, Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a 50-foot buffer along 1,500 feet of Little Grove Creek.

It is the stream that flows through Brook Lane's campus.

The Chesapeake Bay foundation is providing 700 tree and shrub plantings as well as 450 tree shelters.

Brook Lane had more than 90 volunteers from the agencies previously mentioned plus Boy Scout Troop 62, Chewsville, Boy Scout Troop 136, Halfway, the Environmental Club from Smithsburg High School, youth group from St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Smithsburg and families from the communtiy.

Stream buffers are created areas along steams, rivers, lakes and wetlands that are planted with native plants, rather than lawn.

The buffers create habitats for wildlife and improve water quality by filtering and slowing the water that drains off adjoining property.

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Excess water that runs off lawns, roads, parking areas and sidewalks during a rainstorm can pick up soil, toxins and fertilizers that might have been applied to the landscape.

These three pollutants can impact the health of local waterways and ultimately a larger area such as the Chesapeake Bay.

The plantings at Brook Lane consisted of smaller shrub-type species nearest the water, moving to larger trees such as sycamores, tulip poplars and maples and the outer side of the buffer finishing with smaller trees such as redbuds and dogwoods.

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