Buffers don’t need to be bush-hogged, mown or sprayed.
Let it grow!
A buffer zone is a wide strip of native grasses, plants, and trees along a river that protects water quality and provides important wildlife habitat. These areas are the last lines of defense against unwanted pollutants like pet waste, fertilizer, and other chemicals that travel with stormwater. These buffers do more than just slow water down and filter out pollution – they help reduce flooding and fight against erosion by holding soil in place.
Greenville’s growth comes at a cost to our environment. The loss of green space means we have more hard surfaces than ever before. When it rains on impermeable surfaces like roads and buildings, pollution has nowhere to go but straight into our waterways. If you’ve ever watched the Reedy after a heavy rain, then you are familiar with another issue that development brings – muddy waters. Buffer zones work naturally to ease development issues by catching loose soil and straining out other pollutants.
From a distance, it may not seem like the Reedy is brimming with life – but if you look closely, you’ll find plenty of critters who call the Reedy home. Buffer zones provide diverse, shady space for wildlife both in and out of the water such as otters, fish, pollinators, and other beneficial insects. These animals rely on clean water and safe homes to thrive. The wider the buffer, the healthier the ecosystem will be.
With designated buffer zones throughout the County, our rivers will be healthier and our communities will be less prone to flooding. Conserving natural areas is essential to protecting the Upstate we all know and love, so go au naturale and let it grow!