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Specialists From N.C. State Host Hands-on Streambank Repair Workshop in Newland on March 27

March 6, 2013. Have you every wondered how to care for your creek, but weren’t quite sure where to begin?   Well, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension has you covered with a hands-on workshop to reduce streambank erosion.  From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, specialists from N.C. State University will provide a streambank repair workshop in Newland.

Dozens of folks attended a similar workshop last year. Photo by Donna Lisenby
Dozens of folks attended a similar workshop last year. Photo by Donna Lisenby

The event starts at 9 a.m. in the classroom at the Newland Volunteer Fire Department where lunch will be provided.   The workshop will then move to a creek in town for some hands-on lessons.   The workshop is a great time to ask questions and learn about the causes of streambank erosion and how to create a healthy streamside environment.   Participants will have hands-on experience in enhancing an eroding streambank using grading, matting, plants, and other various natural materials. 

To attend the workshop please go to this website to register: www.bae.ncsu.edu/workshops/stream_repair.php

For more information contact Wendy Patoprsty at Wendy_Patoprsty@ncscu.edu or call 828-264-3061.

Did you know that sediment (soil, dirt) is the number one water quality problem that faces North Carolina?   Sediment clogs waterways, destroys habitat, creates problems for drinking water filtration plants, and can carry other pollutants into our waterways.   As the streambank erodes, all that soil is washing downstream, and you are losing your yard!  We all know how expensive real estate is, so why should you let it wash away?    We can minimize streambank erosion by installing native plants and live stakes.  Live stakes are a long hardwood cutting from a native shrub, adapted to moist conditions, planted outdoors without rooting hormones.   In this area, we use silky dogwood, elderberry, ninebark, silky willow, and buttonbush.

These woody plants have extensive root systems that stabilize the soil on stream banks during rainfall and high water flow.  The shade produced by the shrubs help maintain the cooler temperatures that our mountain fish and aquatic life need to survive, while the leaves help provide habitat and food for insects and fish. (Leaves fall into the stream, aquatic insects eat and live in the leaves, trout eat the insects) “Greening our Creeks” with vegetation is really important because it acts as a filter to prevent sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria, pathogens, and heavy metals from entering our rivers.