Controlling Your Property’s Waterways: Riparian Buffers in the Landscape

Water can be extremely powerful, but can be contaminated and destroyed easily. Through mowing, animals, and even storms these channels can become damaged and worn down, becoming less beneficial.  The owner of a property is responsible for all of the water that enters the property, the entire distance until it runs onto someone else’s land. At Strauser Nature’s Helpers, we push for cleaner waterways and are now offering services that utilize natural methods to clean up a property’s abundance of water channels.

Riparian buffer zones decrease erosion while increasing water quality. Plants and organic material are placed in these buffer zones to slow the flow of water. The plants are used as a natural filter, leading to an increase in the number of ecosystems in that area. Slowing a waterway down helps to control the amount of power that the water has to cause destruction and erosion further downstream, along with the enhancement of having a larger percentage of the water flow through the vegetation to be filtered. In turn, the slower water will benefit the macro-organisms (such as dragonflies) living in the streams, allowing them to thrive and remain in their found niche.

Increasing the population of smaller organisms benefits their predators which rely on the outer part of the riparian buffer zone. Using the plants as cover and food these animals will thrive and help to increase the amount of plant material that is in that area through the animal’s fur, while eating, or even natural deposits. They will assist in making the once man made buffer zone into a thriving natural beneficial ecosystem. Installing a buffer zone is a bigger benefit than initially portrayed through the first planting of vegetation, but is an advantage for a property’s future in insurmountable ways.

Article written by Sarah Carpenter