Holly May, a forester with the nonprofit Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, instructs volunteers on how to plant trees during an Earth Day event at Wardensville Garden Market on April 22, 2018. (Photos by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Vicki Johnson, director of partnerships and development at Wardensville Garden Market, photographs Canada geese swimming in the Cacapon River where it flows past the farm.
May helps carry water to pour on freshly planted trees. The trees will provide a riparian buffer between the farm and the Cacapon River.
Event partners include Chesapeake Bay Program, the Nature Conservancy, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust, Cacapon Institute and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Staff from the Wardensville Garden Market help to plant the trees, many of which were provided by the Cacapon Institute's Carla Hardy West Virginia Project CommuniTree.
A belted kingfisher flies above the Cacapon River as it flows past Wardensville Garden Market. The new forest buffers will provide additional habitat for wildlife.
JoAnna and Will Fary, left, plant trees with the sons Justin, 10, and Nathan, 15, with guidance from George Maddox, a farm lead at Wardensville Garden Market.
George Maddox, a farm lead at Wardensville Garden Market, instructs volunteers on how to loosen roots.
Black cherry trees are among the 150 freshly planted trees.
by Rebecca Chillrud
April 27, 2018
Last Sunday, April 22, the Chesapeake Bay Program partnered with the Wardensville Garden Market for their Earth Day on the Farm event. The Garden Market, located in Wardensville, West Virginia, is a working farm and nonprofit organization that focuses on providing local youth with opportunities in sustainable farming and small business management.
During the event, volunteers planted 150 trees and 120 bushes along the banks of the Cacapon River, which flows near the farm. The trees act as a buffer for the river by capturing and filtering nutrient runoff before it can enter the stream. Forest buffers also stabilize stream banks, prevent erosion, provide habitat for wildlife and keep streams cool for fish on hot days.
The trees and bushes are all fruit- or nut-bearing, so the buffer serves as an edible forest and can provide additional income for the farm. Vicki Johnson, director of partnerships and development at the Wardensville Garden Market, said that the farm has created around 45 jobs and she hopes to expand in coming years. She would also like to see more projects focused on habitat restoration for local wildlife.
Wardensville Garden Market offers preserves, vegetables and other wares for sale next to a historic barn in Wardensville, W.Va. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
The trees were provided by the Cacapon Institute, which works to protect and restore the Cacapon River and surrounding watersheds. This year, the Cacapon Institute is the recipient of the Arbor Day Foundation’s first-ever Headwaters Award. The award recognizes the Cacapon Institute for their work using trees and forests to protect the water quality of rivers, streams and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.
Learn more about the role of trees play in protecting stream health.
About Rebecca Chillrud - Rebecca is the Communications Staffer at the Chesapeake Bay Program. She has a Master's in Climate Science and Policy from Bard College and a Bachelor's in Geological Sciences from SUNY Geneseo. Originally from upstate New York, she currently resides in Washington, D.C.