Shade your Stream: Streambank Repair Workshop and Livestake Giveaway

April 8, 2016, from 9am – 4pm.

Have you ever wondered how to care for your stream, but weren’t quite sure where to begin?  Then this workshop is for you!   Learn how to protect your property and improve the natural environment by stabilizing the stream in your backyard.   Experts from NC Cooperative Extension, Stream Engineers, and Blue Ridge RC&D will provide practical, cost-effective solutions using natural materials and native plants to create a healthy streamside environment.  

Across Western North Carolina, streambank erosion—and the resulting build-up of sediment in stream channels—is having negative impacts on water quality and habitat for “critters”, including trout that live in the streams.   Recently, Toe River Watershed Partnership, and partners,  received funding to restore a section of Grassy Creek behind the Spruce Pine Commons Shopping Center and we will get a first hand look at the restoration project and how it will connect habitat’s and clean water. 

The workshop will start off at the Parkway Fire and Rescue Department for some classroom instruction and lunch, tour the Grassy Creek Restoration project and then take part in an actual "hands-on" stream repair exercise at a local property in Spruce Pine (Mitchell County, NC).   Attendees will have the opportunity to observe, ask questions of experts, and install livestakes for streambank protection.   

Live stakes are an effective way to reduce streambank erosion.   At this point you may be wondering, “What is a live stake?”  It is a long hardwood cutting from a native shrub, adapted to moist conditions, planted outdoors without rooting hormones.   In the mountain region, we use silky dogwood, elderberry, ninebark, silky willow, and buttonbush. 

These woody plants have extensive root systems that stabilize the soil on stream banks during rainfall and high water flow.  The shade produced by the shrubs help maintain the cooler temperatures that our mountain fish and aquatic life need to survive, while the leaves help provide habitat and food for insects and fish. (Leaves fall into the stream, aquatic insects eat and live in the leaves, trout eat the insects) “Shading our Streams” with vegetation is really important because it acts as a filter to prevent sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria, pathogens, and heavy metals from entering our rivers.

At the end of the workshop, participants can take home” free” livestakes to implement the skills they just learned on their own creek banks and wet areas in the landscape.  This is a free workshop, lunch will be served, but space is limited, so register soon!

Who Should Attend: HOA officers, homeowners/landowners, local government personnel, landscapers, landscape contractors, RLAs, engineers, utility workers, park managers, students and environmental educators.

Space is limited and you must register: please call or email Jonathan Hartsell at Blue Ridge RC&D (828) 284-9818 or