Paper Mill Run Riparian Zone Management Plan and Partial Restoration

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Brown, Kevin

The natural area at the Morris Arboretum is a quickly developing section of the garden. However, it has many unappreciated views and rarely visited areas that deserve more recognition. Unfortunately, it also has some neglected and under-developed areas that need revitalization. One such area is the riparian zone along the east bank of Paper Mill Run, beginning just after the Betula nigra HERITAGE grove planted between the wetland and Paper Mill Run, and continuing to where Paper Mill Run meets the Wissahickon Creek. This area was assessed, and the existing trees were documented considering tree health, size, importance, and work recommendations. This information was used to create a management plan designed to gradually improve the area over the coming years in terms of riparian buffer functionality as well as public appeal. The goal of this project was to define what a riparian buffer is and what it does; assess the riparian zone along Paper Mill Run on the property of the Morris Arboretum; design a long term management plan for the existing plants and for future plantings; and begin to restore one pre-determined section of the zone. A literature review of peer-reviewed journals was referenced to gain informed knowledge on what a healthy riparian zone is, and what it should do for the stream; direct evaluation of the zone along Paper Mill Run was carried out; management plan recommendations were developed to maintain and improve the area over time; and appropriate action to begin to restore part of the zone was accomplished.

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An independent study project report by The Walter W. Root Endowed Arboriculture Intern (2016-2017)
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