Alliance Clifty Creek Riparian Planting

The Alliance supports landowners’ goals of improving water quality by partnering with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and local landowners in the East Fork and War Eagle Creek watersheds to enhance riparian habitat in the East Fork and War Eagle watersheds. Any month ending in “r” is an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs, and November 12th was a beautiful, sunny day. The fertile, loamy soils along Clifty Creek, a tributary to War Eagle Creek, also offered ideal conditions for planting 130 Ozark-native tree & shrub species.

This project, funded in part by the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, Cargill, Beaver Water District, and Garver Gives will enhance riparian habitat for migratory birds while helping reduce streambank erosion, the number one cause of water quality reduction. Erosion-caused sediment suffocating the beneficial macroinvertebrates necessary to sustain healthy fish populations contributes to excess nutrient loads, potentially harmful algal blooms, and overall loss of aesthetic appeal. A mix of native grassland seed was also donated by the Watershed Conservation Resource Center and the Jacobs Group to plant under a powerline right-of-way in place of trees.

This project is particularly noteworthy as it is also the first project the Alliance has purchased numerous native plant materials from a local nursery created through the Alliance High Tunnel for Native Plants program! Moonlit Heights Native Nursery propagated 72 of the plants used in this program, with the remaining 58 being donated by another landowner. Both Moonlit Heights Native Nursery’s owners and the landowner who donated seedlings also volunteered during the planting. Volunteers from the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists also came out to help us plant. We are incredibly thankful for our incredible partners, landowners, and volunteers who help make these projects possible!

For a full contact list of nurseries producing native plants in NWA, email info@beaverwatershedalliance.org

Above: Volunteers working hard to plant 130 Ozark-native tree and shrubs along almost 800 feet of riparian area along Clifty Creek, a tributary to War Eagle Creek and Beaver Lake. Locally grown trees and shrubs flagged and ready to be planted. Flagging can help identify new plantings as they establish in the Spring among other new growth.

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Congressman Womack recently invited EPA Region 6 Administrator, Dr. Earthea Nance, and staff to NWA to visit both the Beaver Lake watershed and Illinois River watershed efforts. Dr. Nance had a full itinerary but started the morning out at Beaver Water District.

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