Live stakes--long hardwood cuttings from native shrubs adapted to moist conditions--are an effective, economical way to reduce soil erosion.
Several MFG Task Force members attended the presentation and each brought home a bundle of livestakes cut from silky dogwood, silky willow, elderberry, and ninebark shrubs to stick into the banks along the Middle Fork. Within a year the stakes will take root, eventually forming extensive root systems that will hold the soil in place during rainfall and high water.
Here is our group at work along the banks of Goldmine Branch Park, with our intrepid Chief Inspector (in lavender sweater) overseeing the job:
As our shrubs and trees grow, their shade will help maintain the cool temperatures that mountain fish and aquatic life need to survive. The leaves will provide habitat and food for insects and fish and the blooms and fruits will attract birds, bees and butterflies--the pollinators. The river and its banks will hum with life. All in all, it was a good day's work along the Middle Fork.
For more information about the benefits of shading your stream with native plants, see http://wataugaces.blogspot.com