Wallkill River Riparian Reforestation Project in Sparta, NJ

In 2005, the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group worked in partnership with North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council (NJRC&D) and Sparta Township to plant approximately 800 trees and shrubs along the banks of the Wallkill River within Sparta Township’s Station Park.

Ten years later, the WRWMG’s Watershed Education and Outreach Specialist expanded upon this earlier work to establish a streamside reforestation project along the Wallkill River, downstream of Station Park. In May 2015, Sparta High School ecology students planted the first trees at the site as a hands-on outdoor learning opportunity. Since then, 944 Sparta students have worked with the WRWMG to plant nearly 6500 trees along the Wallkill River. Through these field lessons, students are gaining a better sense of the human impact on water quality and ways that they can become actively involved in protecting watershed health.

The Wallkill River Reforestation Project has involved the strong partnership support of NJDEP, the NJ Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, the Arbor Day Foundation, Sparta Township, Sparta Public Schools, the NJ Tree Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Lake Mohawk Preservation Foundation.