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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Stabilizing a stream bank with willows and dogwoods

Native willows and dogwoods make good streambank stabilizers because they grow quickly, form thickets, and adapt easily to wet conditions (they merely "flatten" during flooding). So the New York State Department of Transportation planted cuttings from dormant willows and dogwoods along a 1,000-foot section of Sawyer Creek, which had been relocated for the widening of Niagara Falls Boulevard. Cuttings were layered on the stream bank and fascines (stems and branches of rootable plant material tied together in long bundles) were placed in shallow trenches and anchored with live stakes. Most of the plantings survived, and the vegetated, stabilized stream bank has helped keep runoff and sediment from entering the water, benefiting the creek's Northern pike, brown bullhead, and other warmwater fish species. The willow-dogwood "buffer" has also provided habitat for wood and mallard ducks.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

David Tackley, Jr., (716) 847-3811 or dtackley@dot.state.ny.us

Workers installing willow and dogwood fascines along streambank
New York State Department of Transportat photo
Stabilizing the banks of Sawyer Creek with willows and dogwoods

On or Along Waterways - New York
Updated: 12/12/2012
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