News

Second Sunday Events

The WRP is coordinating a Second Sunday Event series in 2017. Starting on Sunday, May 14 and running through Sunday, September 10 individuals and groups have 5 opportunities to get involved in the WRP’s work to improve the long-term health of the White River and its watershed!

All events start at 2pm; are held rain or shine; and are free-of-charge, unless otherwise noted. For more details – or to RSVP – please contact us at info[at]whiteriverpartnership.org.

May 14 at 2:00 pm – Plant trees along the White River in Stockbridge

Help us finish planting 1,000 trees in this location to improve water quality, habitat, and flood resilience. Volunteers should meet at 564 Children’s Camp Road in Gaysville. Dress to get dirty in long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toed shoes; the WRP will provide gloves, shovels, and light snacks.

June 11 at 2:00 pm – Build an access trail to the White River in Sharon

Help us build a trail to the White River across the Rikert River Access, Sharon’s newest river access site located just downstream of the Broad Brook confluence with the White River. This 10-acre field, located on both sides of the Broad Brook Cemetery, was recently acquired from the landowner by the Vermont River Conservancy; conserved with a permanent easement protecting open space and public access; and donated to the Town of Sharon in March 2017.

Volunteers should meet at the Broad Brook Cemetery in Sharon (1106 River Road). Dress to get dirty in long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toed shoes; the WRP will provide gloves, tools, and light snacks.

July 9 at 2:00 pm – West Branch Project tour & picnic in Rochester

The WRP worked with the Green Mountain National Forest, US Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA, VTrans, private landowners, and local contractors to restore 1.5 miles of the West Branch of the White River in Rochester, using large wood structures to restore in-stream and riparian habitat. This innovative project is the first of its kind on the east coast.

Join us for a free project tour – meet at the CCC Camp parking area in Rochester (2924 Brandon Mountain Road) – and dress to walk through fields and along the river. An optional picnic fundraiser will follow the tour at 4pm; suggested donations are $20 per individual or $35 per couple/family.

August 13 at 2:00 pm – Paddle Fest from Royalton to Sharon

Join us for a paddle trip between 2 new river access sites along the White River. We’ll start at the new Gilman River Access in Royalton (124 Gilman Road) and end at the new Rikert River Access in Sharon. Bring your own boat, paddles, and life jackets; the WRP will provide light snacks.

September 10 at 2:00 pm – River cleanup at White River access sites

Join us for a river cleanup at multiple access sites along the lower White River as part of Vermont’s River Cleanup Month and the Source to Sea events. Volunteers should meet at the parking lot just downstream of the South Royalton Bridge (103 Chelsea Street). Dress to get dirty in long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toed shoes; the WRP will provide gloves, trash bags, and light snacks.

For more information

Visit our Volunteer FAQs page for more information about WRP volunteer events. Or contact us at info[at]whiteriverpartnership.org with questions!

Volunteer willow harvest event

The WRP is seeking volunteers to harvest live willow stakes on Sunday, April 9 from 2-4pm. The event is at Hurricane Flats Farm in South Royalton (975 South Windsor Street).

Volunteers should dress to work in wet and muddy conditions. The WRP will provide gloves, a few loppers, and light snacks – feel free to bring your own loppers if you have them.

Willows are native shrubs that grow along Vermont’s rivers. Live, dormant willow stakes that are 18-20” long and ½-1” in diameter can be pounded into the face of riverbanks where they will set roots and grow quickly. WRP volunteers will plant the willow stakes harvested on Saturday along the White River in Bethel and Granville this spring.

The WRP plants willows in the face of riverbanks and other native trees along the top of riverbanks to increase benefits to both the river and also to property owners. In the short-term fast-growing willows planted on riverbanks help stabilize soils while other vegetation takes hold. Over time the willow roots intertwine with roots of native trees planted along the top of the riverbanks, creating a dense underground network that makes the riverbank more resistant to erosion. Above ground the willows and other native trees improve water quality by filtering pollutants out of water running through the vegetation; improve habitat by providing food and cover for fish and wildlife; and reduce flood damages by slowing flood waters and capturing debris.Hurricane Flats spring 2013 (2)Hurricane Flats1 7-2-13

The WRP depends on volunteers to help us plant willows and other native trees along the river each spring. Stay tuned for opportunities to help plant 3,000 stems along the White River in early-May!

Photo caption: The photos were taken 2 months apart at the WRP’s Hurricane Flats Farm streambank restoration project: in May 2013 (after planting willows) and in July 2013 (after the willows set roots and sprouted).

Job postings

Upper White River Cooperative Weed Management Association Field Work Contractor

The Upper White River Cooperative Weed Management Association is seeking candidates for a 30-day, paid field work contract to survey 30 completed, non-native invasive plant (NNIP) control sites; to control NNIP at 15 high-priority sites; and to engage 15 volunteers in NNIP identification and control activities from April through June 2017.  See the full position announcement here: UWRCWMA 2017 Contract Position. Applications are due Thursday, March 30 by 4pm.

5 Olde Fundraising Dinners Benefit WRP

The White River Partnership and 5 Olde Tavern in South Royalton invite you to enjoy a great dinner for a good cause on the last Monday of January, February, and March: January 30, February 27, and March 27. Eat dinner anytime between 5pm and 9pm and 5 Olde Tavern will donate 10% of your food purchases to the WRP to support our work in 2017.

In 2017 the WRP will work with individuals, businesses, schools, local and regional organizations, and state and federal agencies to:

Plant 3,000 native trees along the river to improve water quality and habitat;
Engage 450 teachers and students in hands-on watershed education programs;
Conserve and restore 37 acres of active floodplain to improve flood resilience;
Monitor water quality at 22 swimming holes around the watershed;
Replace 2 under-sized, stream-crossing culverts with fish-friendly, flood-resilient structures; and
Engage 700 community volunteers in monitoring, restoration, and stewardship projects.

The fundraising dinner series starts on Monday, January 30. Please RSVP to info[at]whiteriverpartnership.org if you’d like to join the WRP Board of Directors’ table at 6pm.

Gravel pit design project completed

The WRP and Ripple Natural Resources have completed a streambank restoration design project in Sharon. The WRP received funding from the state’s Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) to develop a design that would address erosion along the White River adjacent to the Schindler gravel pit in Sharon. The gravel pit was used by the towns of Pomfret and Sharon for 50+ years to provide sand and gravel for road maintenance activities.

The River Corridor Plan for the White River and tributaries in the Town of Sharon identified a heightened concern for pit capture at the site, given the proximity of the pit to the river as well as eroding river banks up-and down-stream. Due in part to this finding, the Town of Sharon stopped using the gravel pit in 2011. Flooding during Tropical Storm Irene further undermined the river banks nearest the pit, so the landowner reached out to the town and the WRP for assistance.

With ERP funding, the WRP hired Ripple Natural Resources to complete a project site survey and basemap; prepare draft engineering plans; coordinate an onsite review of the draft plans with project partners; prepare final plans based on input from project partners; and prepare a construction cost estimate and bid form. The final design includes 2 primary elements: buttressing and restoring native vegetation on the narrowest point between the gravel pit and the river, and addressing stormwater runoff from the access road into the gravel pit.

The WRP partnered with the Schindler family, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Town of Sharon to complete the design project. The Schindler family has entered an agreement to sell the 450-acre parcel to The Nature Conservancy, who will conserve it and add it to their adjacent White River Ledges Natural Area. The WRP will work with the Schindler family, TNC, and the Town of Sharon to plan and raise funds for restoration activities at the site to improve water quality and public health and safety.