U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management sites at Canonsburg and Burrell, Pennsylvania, are part of the habitat restoration and enhancement components emphasized in LM’s Beneficial Reuse Management Plan.
At the Canonsburg site, an expanded riparian buffer is being established as part of streambank protection efforts along Chartiers Creek. The use of riparian buffers brings a variety of benefits, such as improving stream quality, reducing impacts from flooding, and preventing erosion. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a goal of creating 95,000 acres of riparian forest buffers by 2025. The work at Canonsburg will contribute to this effort.
And at the Burrell site, a two-acre test prairie that was seeded last fall is progressing nicely. Field staff observed seeded forbs and grasses during a site walkdown in spring 2019. A number of native seedlings were observed, and noxious weeds were minimal. Although an established prairie with annual blooms is not expected for several more years, initial indications are that seeding efforts were successful.
Both projects have the added benefit of promoting pollinator species, including bees and butterflies. Wildflowers native to western Pennsylvania are included in the seed mixes for both the Burrell and Canonsburg sites.