Kate Lehman Kate Lehman

Retired minister

Bath , West Virginia

Strategic Planting Improves Watershed

Throughout the country where water flows into the Chesapeake Bay there is increasing awareness that improved water quality depends on trees and other vegetation in the bay's watershed.

Tree board member Kate Lehman says, “There is a real effort in the Chesapeake Bay Basin to preserve, restore and protect our waters. West Virginia has signed onto that program and our stream (Warm Springs Run) was impaired and getting worse. ”

To reverse that trend, a grant was provided by the West Virginia Division of Forestry to initiate a systematic, strategic tree planting plan. It began with the state‘s first tree inventory and a goal of increasing Bath‘s tree canopy to reduce storm water runoff, sedimentation and other pollution.

Kate now says, “As part of that grant, we planted 82 trees and I can say with total confidence, we couldn‘t do a thing without it. It is not just planting trees. It is planting them in the right place to reduce the volume and velocity of storm water. We can stop soil erosion and we can stop putting sediment in our streams. ” Thanks to this project, a 12 mile stretch of Warm Springs Run is now improving, and an entire community is gaining a better understanding of the relationship between trees and clean water. “I‘ve become much, much more aware of trees and what they do for the larger community, ” says Kate, “especially their role in watershed management. ”

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The tree board has become very intentional in planting trees for storm water management.

Kate Lehman


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