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.