From capturing sediments, pollutants, and carbon upstream to healing water and habitat downstream, it’s apparent that our impetus for bringing 17,000 trees and shrubs to the edges of our creeks comes from the awareness of a beneficial feedback loop that ripples outward.
At home, we can do our part to slow erosion, uptake more water, create more shade, and support a myriad of birds, insects, and aquatic life. At the same time, by helping lands and waters at home, we take the responsibility necessary to address an ailing Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay. Land care travels like water: fluid and pooling. In time, the small becomes sweeping.
But while the ecological benefits of riparian buffer planting are promising, it’s important for us to avoid positioning ourselves as sidelined observers of these benefits. We are, of course, not just nature sentimentalists: we are embedded in and dependent on the land that we are restoring.
Capturing water and mitigating pollutants directly impacts our wellbeing; our breathing sways in time with the respiration of the green life around us; insects pollinate our food and nurture these soils. The land has always provided more materials for humans than our modern imaginations can fathom.
It’s essential that we recognize these facts as climate change pushes us into increasingly unfamiliar terrain and challenges the standard of living we’ve taken for granted. Recognizing the services of our local landscapes, and RE-localizing our impacts, are the steps we need to take to secure a livable future.
With this vision of a functioning ecosystem that thrives not in our absence, but in our presence, the Horn Farm’s riparian buffers become more than healing spaces for the land.
They’re a learning spaces too. We’re learning (or better, re-learning) ways to unite the needs of natural cycles with the material and caloric needs of people nearby. It’s a vision reconciling abundance in a world where ecological and societal wellbeing are often polarized: we CAN prioritize the protection of water, soil, and habitat while supplying goods for people, with annual harvests that actually promote the health of the buffer. Luckily for us, there is a word predating our work that describes this mosaic of purposes: multifunctional.
“I had very little background knowledge in ecological or environmental concepts. I enrolled in the Land Stewardship Program for an introduction. Classes were stimulating, organized, and enjoyable. The program has inspired me to pursue additional training with a goal of a new direction in my career path!
– Karen Kaslow, 2023 Land Steward Training Program Graduate
Our Training Program instructors are now planning for 2024.
If you’re interested in our training programs and would like to be added to the waiting list, please fill out the form below. Wait list contacts will be the first to know when registrations go live this summer!
Apply Now: 2024 Greenhouse Internships
Looking to gain professional experience in horticulture and greenhouse management? Applications for the Horn Farm Center’s 2024 Greenhouse Management Internship are now open!
Interns will spend eight hours a week from February to May working alongside our Farm Manager in all aspects of greenhouse propagation, from production planning and seeding to overseeing the Horn Farm’s annual Plant Sale. Areas of focus include the day-to-day practices of nursery plant production, basic plant biology and anatomy, organic methodologies, and perennial propagation.
Summer Youth Program: Ages 9-12
Scurry like a squirrel, build like a beaver, and move like a mastodon this summer at the Horn Farm Center!
This three-day program series is an opportunity to learn about animal behavior and ecology through the lens of the animal! Students will learn about squirrel, beaver, and mastodon by studying their habitat, life cycles, and behaviors. Each day, students will explore how these animals move in the landscape through fun, engaging activities and then they will become the animal by mimicking their behavior on the land while discovering how these animals play an important role in our ecosystems.
Join us on July 31- August 2nd from 9AM-12PM for Becoming the Animal Summer Series! Parents are encouraged to stay and attend the program, or we offer a drop-off and pick-up 30 minutes before class begins and ends.