Call for Volunteers! Tree Planting in Mumford April 30th 8:30AM – Noon

From OCWC Chairman, Peter Lent

This coming Saturday from 8:30 AM until Noon, the Oatka Creek Watershed Committee (OCWC) will be continuing this Spring’s tree planting activities by moving to Michael and Cassandra Balonek’s Dairy Farm (a.k.a. Mumford Dairy & Meat), located at the junction of State Routes 36 and 386 in Mumford (see map, showing planting area and the path to get to it from Rt 36). Oatka Creek forms the southern boundary for the farm. 

We are hoping that additional volunteers will be able to help us at this event. We have at least 215 plants (trees, shrubs, and willow stakes) to plant within the floodplain areas of Oatka Creek that are found on the farm. This is actually an effort to supplement the plantings that occurred in 2016, when OCWC supported the Monroe Co. Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) in the initial efforts to plant trees and shrubs on the farm (270 trees and over 1100 shrubs), with the goal to develop a forested floodplain buffer between Oatka Creek and the farm. Realizing that the frequent flooding in the floodplain areas would not allow for sustained crop production or grazing, the Baloneks worked with Monroe Co. SWCD to repurpose the floodplains areas to function as forested buffer to better protect the farm from the encroachment of floods, as well as protecting water quality in Oatka Creek by widening the buffer that can act to slowdown nutrient and sediment containing runoff in order to allow for infiltration and incorporation of contaminants within the floodplain and not directly into Oatka Creek. The Baloneks should be commended for making these decisions. 

Volunteers need no prior experience; we will provide instruction on planting techniques. Please ask us for help if you have a question or you are not sure what to do during the planting. 

What to Bring:

  • Shovel
  • Smaller garden tools to break up the soil during planting
  • 5-gallon bucket (to carry tools and to get water for the plants after they are planted)
  • Boots and work gloves
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Water & lunch

Please label your tools for easy identification.

We also encourage you to bring friends and family along if possible. We will need your help. While doing the planting we will also be removing black plastic mats that were used in the original 2016 planting event. 

We look forward to your assistance with this planting project. Please tell others who may be interested. With your help, we can work towards improving Oatka Creek’s water quality. Thank you!

Peter Lent Chair, Oatka Creek Watershed Committee, Inc.

Please email me if you have any questions.


There are wide shoulders along the Balonek property on the west side of Rt 36, north of the bridge and also on the east side of Rt 38, south of the bridge. Road shoulder parking is also possible on the north side of Oatka Avenue Extension, which is the first street off of Rt 36, south of the bridge. Please park as far on the shoulder as possible and do not park close to Rt 36 Bridge over Oatka Creek.

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