Streamside Forests

What are Streamside Forests and why are they important?

Riparian buffers are the trees, shrubs, and other vegetation along our waterways.These streamside forests provide the James River and its tributaries with the protection they need. Riparian buffers slow flood water, improve water quality by filtering runoff from upland land use, provide canopy cover to shade and cool the stream, provide habitat for a variety of birds and small mammals, and are a great place for recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, and bird watching.

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What are we doing?

  • We are committed to restoring streamside forests by partnering with the Department of Forestry and offering the James River Buffer Program. This program assists landowners within eligible areas of the Middle James River watershed with planting riparian buffers on waterways on their land. The program pays for: project design, site preparation, installation and 3 years of establishment maintenance.
  • Maintaining healthy riparian forests is also important! We work with volunteers to identify common invasive plant species, teach proper removal techniques, and lead invasive plant species removal days, particularly in riparian areas along the James and its tributaries. We are partners in the James River Park System Invasive Plant Task Force in Richmond.
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What you can do?

  • Volunteer with the James River Park System Invasive Plant Task Force! Visit the calendar for upcoming dates, invasive plant species removal days, particularly in riparian areas along the James and its tributaries. We are partners in the James River Park System Invasive Plant Task Force in Richmond. 
  • Whether you own land that needs a buffer or want to volunteer to plant trees, you can be part of restoring our riparian forests! Visit  www.jamesriverbuffers.org, call (434) 286-7000, or email buffers@thejamesriver.org for more information.

Native Vines in the James River Watershed

This humid, rainy weather reminds me of the jungle and what plant is the quintessential jungle plant? Vines! Walking along streams and through the woods lately it appears that the only vines I see are the invasive species. Wisteria, English ivy, oriental bittersweet,...

Mini-guide to Types of Riparian Buffers

by Deya Ramsden, VDOF What comes to mind when you picture a riparian buffer? Maybe you picture hardwood seedlings in tree shelters. Or perhaps you picture the finished product of a lush green tree canopy over a stream (that’s what we strive for!) The following...

Take a minute to appreciate the trees

Traditionally most of us see Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer. If you are one of the millions of Americans who chose to get out and hit the water during your holiday weekend, we hope you took a minute to appreciate the trees. Riparian buffers play a...