New Faces at the WRP

New Faces at the WRP

March 26, 2007

A big welcome to all the new faces at the WRP over the past 6 months. Introducing…


Melissa Sharkis is managing the 2007 Water Quality Monitoring Program. Melissa has a background in aquatic science and recently graduated from the Master’s program at Vermont Law School. Originally from Connecticut, Melissa volunteers her free time with the fire & rescue squad in Royalton.


Matt LaMothe is our 2007 Water Quality Monitoring Intern. He has previous experience monitoring water quality in his home watershed – the Saugus River Watershed in eastern Massachusetts. Matt is pursuing a law degree at Vermont Law School and lives in South Royalton.


Carl Russell joined the WRP Board in March. Carl is a founding member of the Forestry Work Group and has helped developed a forest tour series designed to highlight various aspects of land use in the watershed. Carl is a consultant forester and horse-logger and he and his family operate Earthwise Farm & Forest in Bethel-Gilead.

Kathy and Peter

Kathy and Peter Leonard are helping maintain the WRP membership database. Kathy has been involved with the WRP since 2001 as a water quality monitor and she and Peter were original members of the Second Branch Stream Team. Peter is also the Treasurer of the WRP Board of Directors. Kathy and Peter live in Randolph Center.


Mike Bald managed the 2007 Trees for Streams Program. Mike has been involved with the WRP since working on the Forest Service Fish Crew in 2002. Since then, Mike has worked part-time for the Forest Service in Rutland on NEPA projects and has helped the Rochester Ranger Station remove non-native invasive plant species in the White River watershed. When he’s not working, Mike is renovating his home in Royalton village.


Tammy Henry coordinated a landowner outreach campaign this spring. Tammy is a Master’s student at Vermont Law School and will complete her degree this summer. She is originally from Cortez, Colorado, but she and her dog, Pickle, currently live in Royalton.


Becky Hooper joined the WRP Board in December 2006. Becky has been involved with the WRP since 2001, first as a water quality monitor, then as the 2002 Water Quality Monitoring Intern, and finally as a member of the Down Stream Team. Becky is originally from West Hartford and works with VINS as the Communications and Program Manager.


Shawn Lenihan helped the WRP gather Phase 2 stream geomorphic assessment data on the Tweed River during fall 2006 and entered the data into the state’s Data Management System over the winter. Shawn’s work laid the groundwork to complete a corridor plan on the Tweed River this summer. Shawn and his wife, Megan, worked on the Forest Service Fish Crew last summer and live in Rochester.


Abby Armstrong joined the WRP Board in September 2006. Abby brings her experience chairing the ACLU Board Fundraising Committee to the WRP and was instrumental in organizing our 2006 Annual Meeting Auction. Abby directs the Office of Career Services at Vermont Law School and lives with her two dogs, Tango and Toots, in Sharon.

Mongolia Watershed Presentation

Mongolia Watershed Presentation

February 09, 2007

On January 25 at the Montshire Museum of Science, Randolph residents Jenna Guarino, a watershed educator, and Ed Delhagen, a sustainable development specialist, spoke about their travels to Mongolia to help launch an ambitious project called Securing Our Future. Jenna and Ed’s beautiful slideshow highlighted their experiences helping the citizens of Mongolia create watershed protection policies and a nationwide river monitoring program in 2006. This presentation was the first event in the WRP’s 2007 Education Series, which is designed to raise awareness about watershed issues and to promote local stewardship. Thanks to Jenna and Ed for an inspiring presentation and to the Montshire Museum and the Upper Valley Food Cooperative for co-hosting this event!

2006 Sami Izzo Award

2006 Sami Izzo Award

December 14, 2006

In 2006, the WRP presented the Sami Izzo Award to Dan McKinley. The award is given to individuals in recognition of their significant contributions to the WRP and our community. Sami Izzo was a tireless, committed, and enthusiastic supporter of the WRP. She was the first chair of the Down Stream Team and served on the Executive, Steering, and Outreach committees of the WRP Board of Directors. She not only contributed her thoughts, but also energized us with her can-do attitude that helped us see that doing more was possible.

Dan’s contributions to the WRP are significant. A fisheries biologist with the Green Mountain National Forest in Rochester, Dan has been involved with the WRP since its inception. Dan served on the first Board of Directors and from 2000 through 2005 was the WRP Projects Manager. Since 2005, Dan has continued this work on a volunteer basis – making site visits; designing restoration projects; writing permits; and overseeing project implementation. In addition, Dan is an active volunteer with the Upper River Stream Team.

According to Board member Geo Honigford, Dan’s energy and enthusiasm exemplify Sami’s example: “I can think of no one better that fits into Sami’s example and has enhanced the health of the White River as much as our honoree Dan McKinley. Dan is all of what Sami was: full of energy, lively, dependable, and fun. He is a pure joy to work with and his energy for and love of the White River help motivate others to try a little harder. Dan has taught the Partnership members and citizens of the White River valley more about how rivers work than any other person on the planet. He truly is Mister White River.” Thank you, Dan, and congratulations!

Ayers Brook 101

Ayers Brook 101

December 08, 2006

In December 2006, the WRP hosted a kick-off public meeting for the Ayers Brook Corridor Planning Project (Project). Funded by a grant from the UVCF’s Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, the Project goal is to work with the communities of Brookfield, Braintree, and Randolph to develop a comprehensive management plan that will effectively restore Ayers Brook.

Ayers Brook is the focus of a corridor planning effort because 4 years of water quality monitoring data show elevated E.coli, temperature, and sediment. In addition, stream geomorphic assessments show that Ayers Brook is in the process of widening, which results in severely eroding banks. Potential solutions to these problems include restoring streamside vegetation; replacing undersized culverts and bridges; and conserving the river corridor – the river, its banks, and the flood plain on each side – to reduce future conflicts.

The public meeting was designed to educate the community about the Project and to encourage local involvement. Since December, the WRP and its partners have been meeting with individual landowners to identify opportunities to improve the stability of Ayers Brook on their properties. The projects identified will be the basis of a comprehensive management plan, which the WRP and its partners, including the VT Water Quality Division, the VT Agency of Agriculture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission, and Bear Creek Environmental, will work together to implement.

The WRP is pursuing similar projects in the Upper River and Tweed River sub-watersheds. For more information, please contact Mary Russ at (802) 767-4600.

10th Anniversary Gala and Auction

10th Anniversary Gala and Auction

November 13, 2006

In honor of our 10th year of helping local communities balance the cultural, economic and environmental health of the White River watershed, the Partnership held a benefit auction and annual meeting in November 2006 at the Royalton Academy. Nearly 70 people attended the gala and the Partnership raised $3500, which will help support our ongoing outreach and education efforts. We want to thank the Gala Subcommittee for organizing the event, the Royalton Academy for providing space, and Travellin’ Willy B’s for providing the refreshments. We also want to thank everyone who attended as well as the following list of donors. All of you helped make our first fundraising auction a success!

5 Olde Tavern and Grill
Abby Armstrong
Barrister’s Bookstore
Ben Franklin
Bethel Mills
Betsy and Jim Shands
Billings Farm & Museum
Blue Moon Boutique
Bowl Mill Store
Boysenberry: Smart Clothes
Brooks Pharmacy
Christopher Wilson DDS
Cloudland Farm
Crossroads Bar & Grill
Cynthia Emerlye
Dee Wroth
Dianne Kenney
Eaton’s Sugarhouse
Green Mountain Bikes
Hanover Outdoors
The Hardware Store
Herald of Randolph
Hurricane Flats Farm
Irene Collins Clothing
Judy Jensen Pottery
Killington Resort
Kyle Jones
Land and Lamb, Inc.
Lebanon Crushed Stone
Liberty Hill Farm
Matthew Houde
Miranda Thomas Pottery
Montshire Museum
NAPA Auto Parts—Randolph
Northern Woodlands Magazine
Northfield Savings Bank
Peavine Family Restaurant
Planet Hair
Randolph Depot Café
Randolph National Bank
River Bend Post & Beam
Seasoned Books and Bakery
Sharon Academy
Sharon Trading Post
Sidewalk Florist
The Silver Screen
South Royalton Market
Spaulding Press
Swiss Farm Inn
Ted Green Ford
Thistle Hill Publications
Tip Top Pottery
Village Pizza
Welch’s True Value
White River Golf Club
Wilderness Trails
Woodstock Farmer’s Market