New Signup Underway for Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program
We all are quite aware of the many benefits trees provide us. Foremost, they provide the oxygen we breathe. They also reduce the amount of stormwater runoff, which reduces the amount of pollutants that can get into our waterways and eventually to Lake Erie. Another plus is the aesthetics, helping to beautify our residences and parks. And let’s add to the list the many benefits towards our wildlife, the shelter and food our trees provide to birds and mammals.
A specific type of conservation practice that provides all of these services – and more – is through the planting of a field windbreak. One program in particular has enabled landowners in our 17-county area to slow soil erosion, protect our streams and rivers, and provide travel routes and vital habitat for wildlife, the Northwest Ohio Windbreak Program (NWOWB).
Since its inception in 1977, more than 1,500 windbreaks have been planted that stretch across this area of Ohio’s landscape, totaling greater than 7 million row-feet! As impressive as those numbers are, there’s plenty of room for improvement still. With fewer fence-rows today, the ongoing losses of wildlife habitat, and the continuance of conventional tillage, now more than ever should we seriously consider the strategic placements of field windbreaks.
Ag producers and farm owners, now is the perfect time to plan ahead for the planting of your windbreak in the spring of 2022. To qualify for the NWOWB program, the windbreak must be located on agricultural land, with the field that it would be planted in at least 10 acres in size. The windbreak can be one to six rows and can consist of a mix of conifers, hardwood trees, and shrubs. The species selection is usually dependent upon the soil type and the landowner’s main objectives.
NWOWB projects completed in conjunction with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) will receive cost share towards the purchase and planting of the trees. Applications can be submitted now through December 1, 2021.
Planting trees is one of the easiest ways to positively affect the environment while demonstrating your personal stewardship. Like the old proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now!” We have the way and the wherewithal; we just need the ‘will’!
For more information about these programs or to further discuss your options, contact us and let’s get the application process underway!