Solebury Township was lauded with laurels last week, as the Arbor Day Foundation of Lincoln, Neb., recognized it as an official “Tree City.”
The honor cites the area’s commitment to growing and maintaining its community forests, while ensuring plentiful habitat for wildlife and native flora.
Strengthening the township’s arboreal commitment were the after-effects of last fall’s Hurricane Ida disaster.
Solebury’s high elevation caused runoff to erode stream banks down to Lumberville, Centre Bridge, Phillips Mill, the Delaware Canal, River Road, and the Delaware itself.
That flow destroyed numerous structures in its unstoppable path, while concurrently devastating stream habitats with life-crushing sediment.
The damage sparked a multi-partner community effort to restore the watershed. These volunteers replanted the scoured landscape with trees and shrubs from the serviceberry, sassafras, dogwoods, willow, silver linden, spicebush, and hackberry families.
The network of roots they will weave underground are expected to mitigate future flood conditions.
The new canopies will also lower local water temperatures among ponds and streams and spur helpful bee populations.
More on the expected benefits of Solebury Township’s designation as a Tree City are online.