Success Stories


Robert Schumacher



Existing wooded riparian buffer areas needed to be revived and extended



About 3 acres of new forested riparian buffer along with removal of invasives



A robust buffer-to-be protecting the quality of the watershed

A labor of love

Robert Schumacher’s lifelong love of the river inspired him to improve the riparian buffer on his land. Schumacher, a self-proclaimed “river rat,” lives in Monroe, VA in Amherst County. His property, 17 mostly wooded acres, slopes down toward a creek that feeds into Harris Creek, and then into the James River as it passes through Lynchburg.

After hearing about the James River Buffer Program from a friend, he applied and was accepted to the program. “I was really surprised that there was no cost to me,” said Schumacher. He worked alongside Anne Marie Roberts, Senior Restoration Field Manager with the James River Association (JRA) to plan the project and to plant over 20 different types of trees – red bud, flowering dogwood, sycamore, poplars – over 300 total – and then with Joey Shelton, JRA Riparian Stewardship Coordinator to identify and get rid of invasives like multiflora rose, autumn olive and bittersweet.

Schumacher opted to maintain the buffer himself, but JRA came out annually to check on the progress of the plantings, and to replace trees if needed. Overall though the trees have done well, and Schumacher has enjoyed watching them mature over time.

“It’s been a really good experience working with the JRA folks,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot. I’m able to take better care of my property now from what i’ve learned.”


The trees are still very young [but] my hope is that that I'll live long enough to see them form a canopy and a good riparian buffer along the creek. ~ Robert Schumacher

planting buffer trees

Robert Schumacher, left and Anne Marie Roberts planting trees in the buffer

Robert Schumacher’s buffer plantings after one and one-half years

Landowner Robert Schumacher in Monroe, Virginia.

About the Project

Location: Monroe, Virginia, located in Amherst County

Year Installed: November 2020

Land type: Private

Acres of Riparian Forest Buffer: 1.16 acres

Trees planted: 358

Improvements: Riparian forest buffer restoration, removal of invasives

Programs used: James River Buffer Program

Key Partners: James River Association

Installed by: Landowner and JRA staff, and volunteers