In May 2020, Town staff applied for a grant from the North Carolina Urban Forest Council Legacy Tree Fund to plant trees and restore the riparian buffer of an intermittent stream in Anderson Park. In August, staff were notified that the NC Urban Forest Council had chosen to fund the project. Through this project, the Town will host volunteer events to plant trees as part of a larger-scale project to create pollinator habitat, improve water quality, install stormwater control measures, and provide education and outreach to Carrboro residents. Restoring the riparian buffer on the stream will create habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. The Town plans to increase the tree canopy and fulfill Bee City USA commitments using trees planted with this funding. This project will also address stormwater concerns in Carrboro. Trees along the intermittent stream will slow overland flow and improve infiltration, which will help reduce flooding downstream. The Town also plans to expand this project by incorporating additional stormwater control measures, including a dissipation pad and to slow the flow of storm runoff. The stream within the project area falls within the University Lake watershed. University Lake is one of the primary water supplies for Carrboro residents. Restoring the riparian buffer will filter pollutants and nutrients entering the lake and reduce water treatment needs. By sequestering carbon and restoring the stream’s riparian buffer, the trees planted with this funding will help Carrboro reach the climate action and ecosystem protection goals outlined in the CCAP to conserve trees, increase the Town’s tree canopy, and pursue restoration projects along local streams from changes in rainfall due to climate change.
Public education and outreach about the benefits of trees and their role in providing ecosystem services will be a significant focus of the project. The site will contain interactive outreach stations and opportunities for Carrboro residents to collect data as citizen scientists. Staff will create informative signs to describe the benefits of trees and the ecosystem services they provide. Signs will discuss topics including water quality buffers and pollinators. Staff also plan for the outreach to include an interactive element involving citizen science and photographs.
Stay tuned for project updates and additional information.