Headwater Stream Initiative

An effort to provide FREE technical assistance, project design, materials, and labor for the planting of native trees and shrubs in riparian zones on properties in the headwater counties of the Rappahannock River Watershed.

A joint project of The Piedmont Environmental Council & Friends of the Rappahannock

stream buffer

Why Riparian Buffers?

Stream buffer. Credit Bryan Hofmann, Friends of the Rappahannock. Riparian buffers are the vegetated areas along rivers, streams, creeks, and other waterways. These areas are the single most effective means of protecting water resources throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Waterways protected by a healthy riparian buffer are cleaner, cooler, and provide ...
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Bolton Branch trout stream

Trout Streams

Bolton Branch. Photo by Hugh Kenny, PEC. Planting riparian buffers along native trout streams is a priority for the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR). Many of the headwater streams of the Upper Rappahannock watershed support Eastern brook trout, the only trout species native to Virginia ...
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Farmer Tony Pollario

Other Cost-Share Programs

Photo courtesy Choose Clean Water Coalition. Learn more about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and Soil & Water Conservation District Ag BMP cost-share programs. Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation DistrictJohn Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District ...
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Headwater tree planting

Headwater Stream Initiative FAQ

What will it cost me?Who qualifies?Who will provide the services outlined in this program?What kind of plants do you plant?What is covered by the program?How big does the project have to be to qualify?How long does it take to get my buffer?Why do you use tree tubes? Headwater Stream Initiative ...
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A Legacy of Love

A Legacy of Love

Brothers Joe Goodall (far left) and Paul Goodall (far right) check on native trees that were planted on their family’s property in Madison County as part of the Headwaters Stream Initiative, along with Bryan Hofmann from Friends of the Rappahannock. Photo by Paula Combs. Distracted by an iconic red barn ...
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tree planting photo

Pen Druid Tree Planting

This video was posted to our Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts on 3/18/2021. PEC and Friends of the Rappahannock planted 750 native trees and shrubs at Pen Druid Brewing in Rappahannock County last weekend! The planting was part of our Headwater Stream Initiative, a joint project of The Piedmont Environmental ...
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Brook Trout in hand

Video: Free Flow

Photo courtesy of Will Parson, Chesapeake Bay Program. This video was posted to our Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts on 4/21/2021. A must-watch!! We’re so excited to bring you this video about our largest trout stream restoration project to date, on Bolton Branch in Rappahannock County on the border of ...
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Volunteer plants trees in Fauquier County

Video: Meadows Farm Tree Planting

This video was posted to our Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube accounts on 5/3/21. PEC staff and volunteers planted 300 trees at Meadows Farm in Fauquier County on Earth Day! The planting was part of our Headwater Stream Initiative, a joint effort with Friends of the Rappahannock to provide free technical ...
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This joint project of Friends of the Rappahannock and The Piedmont Environmental Council is made possible through generous funding by the Virginia Environmental Endowment, the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, the Lykes Fund of Northern Piedmont Community Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Virginia Department of Forestry, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and PEC’s Krebser Fund for Rappahannock County Conservation.