News

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.

WRP receives 2 flood resilience grants

The WRP has received two grants to implement on-the-ground restoration projects that will improve flood resilience in the Upper White River valley towns of Hancock and Stockbridge.

Vermont’s Ecosystem Restoration Program takes action to reduce sediment and nutrient pollution from uncontrolled runoff into streams, rivers, ponds, wetlands, and lakes. The WRP will use ERP funds to acquire a conservation easement and to restore native vegetation along 2 river-side fields: one along the White River above Hancock village and one along the White River above Gaysville. Allowing the river to access these critical floodplains will reduce the speed and erosive power of floodwaters before they reach the more developed village centers.

Visit this link to learn more about the WRP’s river corridor protection program.

Resilience Tour will highlight Quintown projects

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On Sunday, August 21 from 2:00 – 5:00 pm the Quintown Collaborative will host a free Resilience Tour to highlight completed on-the-ground projects that prepare the Quintown valley for the next flood.

In 2011 Tropical Storm Irene devastated the Quintown valley, which includes the towns of Granville, Hancock, Rochester, Stockbridge, and Pittsfield along the Upper White River. Although these communities recovered quickly and efficiently, the valley is vulnerable to future flood damages.

The Quintown Collaborative is a grassroots effort to build support for on-the-ground projects that will reduce flood damages in Quintown communities and keep the White River healthy. The Quintown Collaborative steering committee includes representatives from the White River Partnership (WRP), Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, Towns of Hancock, Rochester & Stockbridge, Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont River Conservancy, and Vermont Water Quality Division. The High Meadows Fund is underwriting the project.

The tour will start on the Rochester Green where attendees will get on a bus to tour 3 Quintown sites: a flood-damaged, river-front property in Granville that is being converted into a town-owned park; the new Hancock town office, which was relocated from a flood-prone location into the village; and a new bridge at the site of a flood-damaged, stream-crossing culvert in Rochester.

The tour will wrap-up at the Huntington House in Rochester. Attendees will enjoy light refreshments while learning about new funding opportunities available to Quintown communities interested in implementing on-the-ground projects.

Space is limited, so RSVP today: 802-763-7733 or info[at]whiteriverpartnership.org.

For more information

To learn more visit our Quintown Collaborative page.

Volunteers improve access to White River

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Working on the stone steps

On July 12 a group of 10 Russian students from Project Harmony International, along with WRP, Vermont River Conservancy, and Project Harmony staff, improved public access to the White River at Clifford Park in West Hartford, VT.

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Clearing the trail

In 4 hours the students built a 10-step stone staircase leading down to the river’s edge; cleared and widened a second path; and installed 2 signs to alert both park and river users about the access trails. These projects will not only improve access for users, but also reduce erosion from the park’s trails into the river.

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Installing a sign

Clifford Park is one of 3 town-owned parks maintained by the Hartford Parks & Recreation Department along the newly-formed White River Paddle Trail. The town has a long history of partnering with the WRP on river restoration projects – after Tropical Storm Irene, the WRP worked with the town, Community College of Vermont, and 150 volunteers to restore riparian vegetation along the length of the flood-damaged Clifford Park.

The White River Paddle Trail includes 30+ sites, and extends from the White River’s headwaters in Granville to its confluence with the Connecticut River in White River Junction. The impressive work done by the Project Harmony volunteers was the first official access improvement project along the White River Paddle Trail; there are several more projects planned for this summer.

For more information

Contact Jim Armbruster: jim[at]whiteriverpartnership.org or 802-763-7733.