High Country Live Stake Giveaway Events

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Blue Ridge Resource Conservation & Development is again offering live stake giveaway events in the High Country. These live stake giveaways are a partnership between New River Conservancy, Blue Ridge RC&D, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife with support from local Soil & Water Conservation District and Cooperative Extension offices.

Events dates and locations are:  2022 Live Stake Giveaways UPDATED

Watauga CountyFebruary 8, 2022 from 11:30 a.m. -1 p.m. at the Watauga Agricultural Conference Center parking lot @ 252 Poplar Grove Rd, Boone, NC 28607

Alleghany County:  February 10, 2022 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Crouse Park Farmers Market @ 60 Cherry St, Sparta, NC 28675

Ashe County:  February 17, 2022 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the New River SWCD parking lot @ 134 Government Cir, Jefferson, NC 28640

Wilkes County:  March 1, 2022 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Wilkes County Center

Live stakes and educational packets are free but to ensure they have enough supply, registration is required. See Blue Ridge RC&D website for registration and more information. Contact Jessica Janc at hcwatershed@gmail.com or 828-406-6690 with questions.

What is a live stake? From Blue Ridge RC&D:

Live stakes are an effective way to reduce stream bank erosion. At this point you may be wondering, “What is a live stake”? It is a long hardwood cutting from a native shrub, adapted to moist conditions, planted outdoors without rooting hormones. In the mountain region, we use silky dogwood, elderberry, ninebark, silky willow, and buttonbush. These woody plants have extensive root systems that stabilize the soil on stream banks during rainfall and high water flow. The shade produced by the shrubs help maintain the cooler temperatures that our mountain fish and aquatic life need to survive, while the leaves help provide habitat and food for insects and fish. Leaves fall into the stream, aquatic insects eat and live in the leaves, and trout eat the insects. Additionally, shading your stream with vegetation is important because it acts as a filter to prevent sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria, pathogens and heavy metals from entering our rivers.

For more comprehensive information on managing eroding stream banks see the NC State Biological and Ag. Engineering publication Small Scale Solutions to Eroding Stream Banks

Interested in learning how to install live stakes?

Volunteer with Watauga River Keeper Andy Hill and Mountain True, as they work to install live stakes along the Watauga River. Jan 21st Click here for details and registration Jan 28th click here for details and registration  and Feb. 19th click here for details and registration.