Vermont’s White River is special. Unlike many rivers around the country, the White River is cold and clean; its waters are free-flowing; it’s easy to access; and people who live in its valley value the river. In fact it was a group of local people who came together 22 years ago to talk about how to keep the White River healthy – a discussion that led to the creation of the Royalton-based organization the White River Partnership (Partnership).
Since 1996 the Partnership has worked with thousands of interested individuals, businesses, schools, towns, and other groups to complete hundreds of on-the-ground projects that keep the White River cold, clean, and accessible. For example we plant thousands of trees along the river each year to keep the river cold and clean; we monitor water quality at a swimming hole in every town to let communities know whether it’s safe to swim; we protect special places along the river to improve recreational access; and we engage community members in all of these activities – hundreds of volunteers help plant trees, grab water samples, build and maintain river access trails, and more.
Together we’re making a difference, but there’s still more work to do! Here are 3 opportunities to help the Partnership keep the White River clean and accessible in 2018:
Do you have a favorite swimming hole on the river? Have you ever wondered how clean the water is? We do and we have, so Partnership staff and trained volunteers monitor water quality at 23 swimming holes every other Wednesday during the summer months. Vermont has a water quality standard for recreational use, so our volunteers grab a water sample that we analyze to determine if the water at each site is clean enough for swimming. We share those monitoring results on our website and Facebook page every Thursday afternoon following a monitoring date. Contact us to receive the results directly via email.
Summer is a great time to go to the river for fishing, swimming, tubing, and more! Join us on Sunday, June 10 at 2pm to paddle the White River between Stockbridge and Bethel. We’ll meet at the former Gaysville Campground in Stockbridge (Bridge St) and end at Peavine Park in Bethel (375 Peavine Blvd). Bring your own boat, paddles, and life jackets, and plan to sign a waiver form. The Partnership will provide a shuttle and light snacks. RSVP today: info[at]whiteriverpartnership.org or 802-762-7722.
This event is part of our 2018 Second Sunday Event series. Learn more about events in July, August, and September here!
The White River Water Trail is an emerging network of 40+ recreational access sites along the White River and its tributaries. The Partnership is seeking volunteers to help us keep these sites clean and accessible this summer. Water Trail stewardship volunteers will monitor a specific river access site in June, July, and August; gather data on trash and site improvement needs; collect trash as needed; and report data via an electronic survey. Visit our Water Trail map to learn which sites near you need a steward. Contact us to learn more or to sign-up as a volunteer.