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ReLeaf® is used with permission of American Forests
Cuyahoga ReLeaf® addresses a critical issue in watershed health – the loss and restoration of our forest canopy. This effort will focus on developing tributary-based management plans for restoring and protecting woodlands in the interest of watershed restoration and protection.
Streams are healthiest, water quality is highest, storm water is best managed, erosion and sediment are controlled, wildlife habitat is most diverse and fish populations are at their prime in the presence of a thriving forest canopy. This applies most in riparian areas surrounding streams, headwater streams and buffer areas around wetlands, but it is important that ALL lands in a watershed host healthy forest canopy.
We are losing significant amounts of forest – from tall trees down to the ground cover – throughout our watersheds. Emerald Ash Borer is the latest pest to attack our forests, killing vast tracts of one of the largest remaining species. Dutch Elm Disease took its toll on others of our tallest and most stately trees as anthracnose cleared native dogwoods from the understory. Earthworm infestations have cleared large areas of forest floor of the decaying vegetation that would have fed trees and shrubs, and deer feast on new growth.
Construction and development have taken more than their share of forest, leaving landscapes of mostly young, non-native ornamental trees amid monocultures of turf grass.
Watersheds don't work as well as they might, or should, when forest cover, an essential piece of green infrastructure, is lost. We aim to restore this critical green infrastructure element and to create the support system to keep woods working for watersheds.
Since our first planting in the spring of 2012 at Stickney Creek, a tributary of Big Creek in Brooklyn, Ohio, we have engaged hundreds of volunteers and planted or distributed thousands of new trees. Our plantings are targeted at riparian (riverside) areas where restoration of shade, food, roots, and habitat will help to enhance and protect aquatic life.
Outreach, Training and Planning
We work to be catalysts for action to restore and protect forest canopy in service to watersheds. Workshops and conferences, including our Forest Forums and Summit, and Urban Tree Canopy training, bring together arborists, local government officials, members of the public, and watershed specialists, to work together and support each other.
Cuyahoga River Restoration
c/o Cuyahoga River Community Planning
1299 Superior Ave. E • Cleveland, OH 44114
216-241-2414 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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