In 1993 Fairfax ReLeaf and the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District planted 1,109 native hardwoods as part of a restoration project on a large floodplain for the main stem of Difficult Run Stream, a tributary of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, located in Fairfax County, Virginia. Tree cover was sparse on the project site due to mowing, beavers, and frequent flooding. Additionally, a large amount of commercial development in the watershed necessitated the need to create a solid riparian buffer along the stream. 141 volunteers were involved in the planting. This project will improve water quality through the stabilization of stream banks and erosion control and will provide wildlife habitat for raptors, small mammals, butterflies, hummingbirds and deer. The Difficult Run Community Conservancy was developed out of this and other planting projects and many educational programs, including citizen education, have occurred as a result of planting projects here. Recreation is also abundant, with community members participating in hiking, birding, jogging and biking. Approximately 20 organizations served as sponsors or participants for this project.
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