News

Resilience Tour will highlight Quintown projects

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.

Floodplain field conserved in Hancock

The White River Partnership (WRP), Vermont River Conservancy (VRC), and 2 private landowners have conserved 15.4 acres of floodplain along the White River in Hancock.

Tropical Storm Irene flood waters deposited large amounts of sediment on the field, which often floods during high water events.  The floodplain conservation project prohibits future development and compensates the landowners for flood-related property loss on the 15.4-acre field.  Allowing the river to access this critical floodplain will reduce the speed and erosive power of flood waters before they reach Hancock village.

The WRP received a Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) grant to work with VRC on acquiring the permanent conservation easement and to recruit volunteers to help restore 50-feet of native trees along the length of the field.

The WRP has worked with the ERP, VRC, and Vermont Land Trust to complete 7 floodplain conservation projects since 2008, conserving 107.8 acres on river-front properties in Granville, Hancock, Randolph, Rochester, and Royalton.

The WRP has received ERP funds to work with VRC and 4 private landowners to complete 2 additional floodplain protection projects in 2017: conserving 12.3 acres on the White River in Hancock and 23.2 acres on the White River in Stockbridge.

For more information

Please visit our River Corridor Protection page.

Volunteers plant 50,000th tree

700 students and community volunteers helped the WRP plant over 4,000 native trees along the White River in 9 locations this spring. This brings the WRP’s Trees for Streams Program totals to 50,000 trees planted since 2001.

Follow this link to see pictures of the volunteers in action!

Planting sites

From late-April through mid-May the tree planting volunteers helped restore over 10 acres of streamside vegetation – also called riparian buffers – in 9 locations throughout the watershed: Gilead Brook Road Buyout Park in Bethel, Granville Buyout Park, Green Acres Farm in Randolph, Randolph Floodplain Forest, Royalton Hill Road Buyout Park, Spring Hollow Road Buyout Park in Bethel, 2 private properties along the West Branch in Rochester, and 1 private property on the Upper White River in Granville. Landowners sign a 20-year contract that protects the riparian buffer area and allows the WRP to make routine monitoring visits.

Tree species

The WRP plants a 50/50 mix of native trees and shrubs, with a preference for fast-growing, early-successional species that thrive in moist, flood-prone soils. The WRP planted 21 species of native trees and shrubs in 2016, including American elm, Arrowwood, Balsam poplar, Basswood, Black cherry, Black willow, Choke cherry, Gray birch, Gray dogwood, Highbush cranberry, Nannyberry, Paper birch, Quaking aspen, Red maple, Red-osier dogwood, Shadbush serviceberry, Shrub willow, Silky dogwood, Speckled alder, Sycamore, and White pine. The WRP purchased trees from two Vermont nurseries (Drinkwater’s Nursery and Intervale Conservation Nursery) and one regional nursery (Cold Stream Farm).

Volunteers

The WRP wants to thank the following school groups and volunteers who helped with our 2016 Trees for Streams Program plantings this spring: Bethel Elementary School, Braintree Elementary School, Burkholder family, Clare Holland, Dan ‘Rudi’ Ruddell, East Valley Academy, Green Mountain National Forest staff (Bart, Dan, Lyn, Mike, Nance, & Sue), Hartford High School, Hartford Memorial Middle School Team Altitude, Jim Armbruster, Mark Heckmann, Peter Leonard, Randolph Elementary School, Randolph Rotary Club, Randolph Technical Career Center, Randolph Union Middle School, Sharon Elementary School, South Royalton School, Stockbridge Central School PTA, Tunbridge Central School, Vermont Technical College, Whitcomb High School, and WRP Board members (Abby, Geo, Joan, Sue, & Tom).

Donors

The WRP wants to thank the individuals, foundations, and groups who funded our 2016 Trees for Streams Program plantings this spring: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, Environmental Quality Incentive Program, National Forest Foundation, Vermont Watershed Grant, Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, and WRP members and donors.

For more information

Contact us for more information about our Trees for Streams Program!

2016 tree planting images