2016 tree planting images

Gravel pit restoration project begins

The WRP has received funding from the state’s Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) to design a streambank restoration project at the Schindler gravel pit in Sharon. The gravel pit is located next to the main stem of the White River, and 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 will hire an engineer 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; complete and submit a State Construction General Permit; and prepare a construction cost estimate and bid form.  The design project will be completed by December 31, 2016.

The WRP is partnering with the Schindler family, The Nature Conservancy, 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 Town of Sharon will help complete restoration activities at the site to improve water quality and public health and safety.

WRP celebrates 20 years!

2016 is the 20th anniversary of the White River Partnership and we hope you’ll help us celebrate! Here is a list of projects and events scheduled this year, all of which have a community engagement component:

Event calendar

April – May 2016

White River Paddle Trail launch – The WRP is pleased to announce the White River Paddle Trail, an emerging network of public access sites along the White River. Visit our White River Paddle Trail map to find sites, driving directions, and more!

Trees for Streams tree planting events – In late-April and early-May the WRP will recruit hundreds of volunteers to help us plant 5,000 native trees along the White River. Visit our upcoming events page or follow us on Facebook for more information!

June – August 2016

Water quality monitoring at 22 swimming holes – Every other week from June 1 through September 21 WRP staff and trained volunteers monitor water quality at 22 swimming holes around the watershed, and share the data with the public via email, our website, and our Facebook page.

Randolph Dam removal project – In summer 2016 the WRP will work with American Rivers, The Nature Conservancy, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Greater Upper Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and Ripple Natural Resources to remove the Randolph Dam on the Third Branch of the White River in Randolph village. The project will restore fish passage to 98 miles of cold-water trout habitat.

September – October 2016

River cleanup events – September is Vermont’s River Cleanup Month and the WRP will partner with Watersheds United Vermont, Source to Sea, and community volunteers to remove man-made trash at White River Paddle Trail sites. Keep an eye on our upcoming events page or follow us on Facebook for more information!

WRP Annual Meeting & 20th anniversary celebration – Every year the WRP hosts an Annual Meeting to thank our members, partners, and volunteers and to celebrate our good work to improve the long-term health of the White River and its watershed. At this year’s meeting we’ll also celebrate our 20th anniversary – we hope you’ll join us!

For more information

Contact us!


WRP receives funding to remove Randolph dam

The White River Partnership has received four grants to remove a dam on the Third Branch of the White River in Randolph.

The Randolph Dam is located on the east side (downstream) of the Main Street Bridge in Randolph village.  The current structure, located at the approximate site of the original foundry dam, is a 5-foot-high log crib dam faced with sheet pile and a partial concrete cap along the left bank.  The dam is not in use and is a complete barrier for spawning trout; removal would open up 98 miles of cold-water habitat to fish passage.

Removal would also open the Third Branch main stem to paddling, and improve flood resilience for the businesses located at the old foundry on Prince Street.  Ripple Natural Resources, a local engineering firm, is designing the removal.  In fall 2015 the Randolph Selectboard voted to unanimously support the project.

VWG-logoFunding from the Davis Community Foundation, National Fish Passage Program, Vermont Watershed Grant, and Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund will allow the White River Partnership, American Rivers/The Nature Conservancy, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Greater Upper Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited (GUVTU) to remove the dam in summer 2016, restore in-stream and riverside habitat, and monitor long-term impacts to fish passage.

In addition GUVTU has received an Embrace-A-Stream grant to help fund the project, and is contributing proceeds from the 2015 and 2016 White River Open fly fishing tournament.  GUVTU and WRP volunteers will plant trees along the Third Branch in spring 2017 to restore riverside habitat, and will help the US Fish & Wildlife Service monitor long-term impacts to fish passage.

Follow this link for more information: Randolph Dam removal project.


Dan ‘Rudi’ Ruddell joins WRP staff

DSCN1519The WRP welcomes Dan ‘Rudi’ Ruddell as its new part-time Monitoring & Education Coordinator.  Rudi, his partner Lisa Kippen, and their son Andy live in Tunbridge.

“We are excited that Rudi has joined our staff,” said Executive Director Mary Russ.  “He not only brings a diverse technical skill set related to ecology, river science, and environmental education to this position, but also his commitment to building and maintaining strong working relationships in the White River valley.”

Rudi has extensive experience in the natural resources field.  Since 2004 Rudi has worked at Redstart, Inc. in Corinth as a natural resources and Geographic Information Systems consultant, a position he will continue part-time.  And for more than 20 years Rudi has been a workshop leader at the Montshire Museum’s camp-in program.  Rudi is a Certified Floodplain Manager, and earned a master’s degree in conservation biology from Antioch New England.

Rudi has been involved in local agriculture and food projects for 30 years, from baking bread in Thetford Center to growing organic vegetables locally and in East Hardwick to being on the crew at Farm & Wilderness.  Rudi is active in the Tunbridge community as well – he is a Lister, Planning Commission, and Town Forest Committee member for the Town of Tunbridge, plays and referees soccer and basketball, and plays in two local bands (Haywire and Turnip Truck).