Riparian Restoration Project along the Wallkill River at Station Park in Sparta, New Jersey
In spring 2010, North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council (NJRC&D), in partnership with the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group (WRWMG), and Sparta Township worked to successfully coordinate and implement a massive riparian restoration project along the banks of the Wallkill River within Sparta Township's Station Park. The project, which was a continuation of restoration efforts first initiated in 2005, and later augmented in 2008, was designed to result in the planting of native trees and shrubs to help restore degraded areas of wetlands habitat and streamside vegetation within Station Park. Restoring such areas helps to stabilize streambanks, slow stormwater runoff, trap sediment, fertilizers, pesticides and other non-point source pollutants, and as a result enhance water quality and improve wildlife habitats.
Between 2005 and 2010, close to 800 trees and shrubs have been planted in pockets throughout a designated project area of approximately ten (10) acres. A primary reason for the long-term success of this restoration project has been the committed efforts of the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group (WRWMG), North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council (NJRC&D), Sparta Township Department of Engineering and Planning, Sparta Township Department of Parks and Recreation, and Sparta Township Department of Public Works. Just as important as the contributions from the participating partners has been the incredible amount of volunteer time that has been logged since this project first started in 2005. Volunteers from Sparta Township High School, Selective Insurance of Branchville, Lake Mohawk, the Sussex County Sherriff's Work Assistance Program, Sussex County Master Gardeners Club, the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program, as well as numerous Sparta Township Residents have all contributed valuable time and labor at some point throughout the duration of the Station Park project.
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