Reprinted with permission from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation’s Good Natured Blog. The Good Natured Pennsylvian feature profiles Pennsylvanians who are passionate about outdoor recreation and/or conservation.
David Wise works with Stroud Water Research Center to advance watershed restoration through education and research. His work includes setting up programs and partnerships to aid landowners — mostly farmers — in implementing conservation projects while incentivizing them to restore forested buffers.
Soil health work is another focus, as well as designing and arranging installations of streamside buffers and researching how to improve the reforestation methods.
While growing up in Lancaster County and playing in its creeks, David had an up-close view of some of the issues he is now working to correct. “When all you see is brown, you assume that’s how things are,” David said. “Later, I learned what good streams look like.”
David is also a member of the Buffer Advisory Committee, which provides advice and expertise as the commonwealth works toward a goal of planting 95,000 acres of buffers along waterways by 2025.
“I’m delighted to see the number (of members) and gender diversity increase on the committee. There’s a lot of young energy,” David said.
David just turned 60 and hopes to bring his wealth of historical context to the committee, as well as the Stroud Center’s science viewpoint on both stream ecology and buffer restoration methods.
He explains that clean streams and watersheds are a benefit to us all, and anyone who owns land — whether a small parcel in town or some rural acres — has the opportunity to act on that land.
“If you have a stream and it lacks trees, planting a buffer is a great step,” David said. “Volunteers will tell you that they get as much from their experiences as they give — across all manner of volunteering. This is true for conservation, too. All of us need contact with nature, with other people of goodwill, and to be part of positive things.”