Conservation buffers are strips of vegetation placed in the landscape to influence ecological processes and provide a variety of goods and services to us. They are called by many names, including wildlife corridors, greenways, windbreaks, and filter strips to name just a few.
The two most common buffers are:
- Vegetative Buffers: Buffers with mainly grass and forbs mixes.
- Forest Buffers: Buffers with trees and shrubs which may also include grass and forbs plantings.
Benefits that conservation buffers provide to us include:
- protecting soil resources
- improving air and water quality
- enhancing fish and wildlife habitat
- beautifying the landscape.
In addition, buffers offer landowners an array of economic opportunities including protection and enhancement of existing enterprises.
- Conservation Buffers – USDA -- Resources for planning and designing buffers in rural and urban landscapes, including access to the 100-page Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors, and Greenways, and a literature review listing 1400 publications.
- Vegetative Buffer Zones – University of Minnesota Sustainable Urban Landscapes Series (SULIS) -- Shoreline Protection from direct impacts to lakes and streams from shoreland landscapes.