Cover of Riparian Buffer HandbookEarlier this fall, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry (TDF) released the Urban Riparian Buffer Handbook, a Practical Guide to Establishing Healthy Streamside Buffers. This new publication, available at no cost, provides step-by-step guidance on planning, organizing, and conducting successful volunteer-based riparian buffer tree planting projects. These projects can help Tennessee stormwater programs engage the public and meet their public participation requirements.

The handbook includes materials for engaging the public as volunteers and for securing landowner permission to allow riparian buffer plantings. Additionally, it contains a comprehensive list of recommended riparian buffer plants specific to three Tennessee regions.

The handbook is the final accomplishment of TDF’s 6-year Urban Riparian Buffer Program. In addition to the handbook, TDF organized 170 individual volunteer projects at 50 different planting sites in middle Tennessee. During these projects, 2755 volunteers contributed 7809 hours of time planting 27,856 trees along 9 linear km (6 mi) of waterways. TDF educated each volunteer on the importance of riparian buffers and their relationship to water quality.