News Archive

VRC Welcomes Summer Stewardship Intern

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

VRC is happy to welcome Summer Stewardship Intern Eva Ryan to join the team and help monitor our protected sites during the summer months of 2018. Prior to working toward her Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School, Eva received her BA from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior. The areas of study in which Eva is passionate about are the issues surrounding water quality and quantity and how these issues intersect with agriculture, food systems and their social and economic impacts. Eva currently lives in South Royalton, and in her free time enjoys being outdoors hiking and swimming with her pup Loki, or working in her garden.

VRC is Hiring!

Friday, May 25th, 2018

The Vermont River Conservancy is hiring a part-time Office Manager, start date July 5th, 2018. If you are interested in joining VRC’s creative, fun team with a great work-life balance, please check out the full job description here: Office Manager job description 2018, and submit your resume and cover letter by June 15th to vrc@vermontriverconservancy.org.

VRC Receives EPA Grant to Restore Floodplain

Friday, April 27th, 2018

VRC is in line to receive a $200,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program to restore a 12-acre parcel along the Whetstone Brook in Brattleboro to a functioning floodplain. “Removing contaminated soils from the “Sawdust Alley” property in downtown Brattleboro is a crucial first step in the restoration of a 12-acre flood plain on Whetstone Brook that will alleviate flood damage to downstream properties,” said Steve Libby, Executive Director of the Vermont River Conservancy. Read more here.

VRC Works With Partners to Protect Land Along the White River

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Below is an excerpt from an original blog post by the White River Partnership found here

The Vermont River Conservancy recently partnered with the White River Partnership (WRP), Vermont River Management Program, and 4 private landowners to conserve 41 acres of floodplain along the White River in Hancock and Stockbridge.

The 14.2-acre Hancock project site is located just upstream of Hancock village, and just downstream of a 15.4-acre floodplain conserved in 2016.  Tropical Storm Irene flood waters washed across and deposited large amounts of sediment on these hay fields, highlighting the need to protect the fields for floodplain function.  In sum the 2 Hancock project sites protect active floodplain along 3,300 feet of the White River.

The 26.8-acre Stockbridge project site is located just upstream of Gaysville village and, unlike the Hancock project site, sits 30 feet above the White River.  Instead of water spreading out across the fields, flooding from Tropical Storm Irene scoured 138,000 cubic yards of material from the parcel’s streambanks.  This catastrophic erosion highlighted the parcel’s vulnerability and the need to protect it from future development.

The floodplain conservation projects prohibit future development and compensate the landowners for flood-related property loss.  Allowing the river to reconnect to these critical floodplains will reduce the speed and erosive power of flood waters before they reach the Hancock and Gaysville villages.

The WRP received a Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) grant to work with VRC on acquiring the permanent conservation easement.

 

Help us protect Huntington Gorge today!

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Vermont River Conservancy and the Richmond Land Trust have a rare opportunity to conserve the historic and scenic Huntington Gorge.  These special 3.3 acres include a spectacular river gorge and waterfall formed by a narrow gap in the bedrock schist underlying the Huntington River as it flows toward its confluence with the Winooski River. Over time, flowing water has sculpted the rock walls into dramatic chutes and bowls which create stunning cascades, particularly during periods of high water. The Gorge has been a home to over a century of mills, and is a popular destination for generations of Richmond residents and visitors.

Respecting the power and beauty of Huntington Gorge is vital for visitor safety and enjoyment.  Together, with your help, Vermont River Conservancy and the Richmond Land Trust plan to improve signage and trails, maintain the current uses of the site, and manage the site in conjunction with the Lower Huntington Gorge Preserve ½ mile downstream, conserved by Richmond Land Trust in 1995.

photo credit: Lou Borie

With your support, we can ensure Huntington Gorge is well managed with signage, safe trails, and sufficient parking for visitors to safely enjoy it.  With major funding from Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Town of Richmond Conservation Fund secured, help us close the gap.  You can help us preserve and manage this Vermont treasure by giving a donation today!

Huntington Gorge takes my breath away every time I visit. I’m glad it can be permanently protected and managed so future generations can enjoy its beauty like I have.”

                   ~ Patty Brushett, Richmond Resident

North Branch Cascades Trail Stormwater Assessment Completed

Friday, December 1st, 2017

A stormwater reduction plan has been developed for an abandoned section of the Vermont Rt 12 road bed in Worcester and Elmore. Engineering firm Malone and Macbroom identified 20 problematic sites and designed mitigation systems to slow the velocity of runoff flow, allow for the deposition of sediments, and appropriately deliver treated stormwater to the North Branch of the Winooski River.

Identified problems included poor drainage, ruts and settling of the former roadbed, failed culverts, erosion and headcuts. Proposed solutions include removing sediment, installing sediment traps, lowering berms, improving cross drainage, filling and stabilize eroded sites and ruts, stabilizing scour, and replacing failed culverts. Work to address these sites is planned for 2018, using a mix of contractor, youth crew, and volunteer labor.

This project is part of an initiative to develop a one-mile trail along the North Branch of the Winooski River, a wild and scenic river that flows from Elmore to Montpelier. This is a scenic stretch of river with numerous cascades, waterfalls, and swimming holes. The trail will be the centerpoint of an extensive conservation effort recently completed by the Vermont Land Trust and Vermont River Conservancy. Funding for the assessment was provided by the state Ecological Restortaion Grant program and the Vermont Watershed Grants program.

 

4th river corridor easement on the Wild Branch completed

Monday, October 9th, 2017

IMG_1791

“They don’t call it the Wild Branch for nothing” say the landowners living along its banks in Wolcott.  Historic straightening and channeling have tried to tame the Wild Branch, but instead only increased the severity of damage when stormwater from heavy rain surges down this narrow river valley.

Many significant flooding events, especially in 1995 and 2011, have caused the Wild Branch to adjust and meander throughout its corridor – the river valley – moving water and sediment with it.  Bridges and culverts are replaced or enlarged after these floods, and development rights are bought from affected landowners through FEMA, but little is done to restore the river’s natural equilibrium.

In October 2017, VRC protected 12 more acres of open field and forested river banks along the Wild Branch, the 4th such easement in 3 years.  By protecting her land with a River Corridor Easement, Ms. McCrumb is joining with other landowners who will forever allow the river to reestablish equilibrium in its natural river corridor.  In partnership with Trees for Streams and the Lamoille County Natural Resource Conservation District, native trees and shrubs have been planted along the river’s bank to increase the riparian buffer where needed.  With over 51 acres of river corridor conserved, the Wild Branch might just be a little more wild, and a little less damaging.

 

Swimming made more accessible on the Williams River

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Chester is nestled in the Green Mountains, and a small pull-off on the Green Mountain Turnpike just a mile from the Village Center will lead you down a newly constructed path to the Williams River.  Locals call this beloved swimming hole “Rainbow Rock” after the large and striated bedrock outcrop that protrudes into the Williams River just downstream of its confluence with the Middle Branch.  And there forms a large, deep, cool water pool – perfect for swimming!

Most hot days in Chester will find a few locals swimming at Rainbow Rock, sometimes with their dogs, often with their kids or friends.  Other days find anglers casting a line, or a volunteer from the Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance collecting water samples.  And now walking down to the river’s edge is easier than ever before.

When the Vermont River Conservancy was first contacted by the landowners, the trail leading down to Rainbow Rock was a steep and direct pitch to the river, heavily eroded and festooned with exposed roots, a difficult descent for most.  And storm runoff would rush off Green Mountain Turnpike straight into the river.

Vermont River Conservancy, with funding support from Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Fieldstone Foundation, Jane B. Cook Foundation, VRC Swimming Hole Fund, and the generous support of many local donors, and in partnership with the Town of Chester and the Chester Conservation Committee, conserved public access to forever keep this swimming hole open to the public.

Immediately after purchasing the property, conserving it, and transferring it to the Town of Chester, Vermont River Conservancy built a new trail with a gentler pitch, a switchback, and improved drainage.  Now Rainbow Rock is easier than ever to visit, and will always be accessible for all.

VRC’s River Gala on October 20th!

Friday, September 29th, 2017

You are invited to the Vermont River Conservancy’s first ever River Gala on Friday, October 20th 5:00 – 8:00 pm at Fresh Tracks Farm & Vineyard in Berlin, VT. We look forward to celebrating rivers, listening to great music and enjoying cheese and wine with you! Please find more details and purchase your tickets here.

Many thanks to our event sponsors:

  • Summit School of Traditional Music & Culture
  • Katharine Montstream Studio
  • Vermont Creamery
  • Vermont Evaporator Company
  • Burton
  • Umiak Outdoor Outfitters
  • Habitat Restoration Solutions
  • Bluebird Barbeque
  • Hunger Mountain Coop
  • Clearwater Sports
  • SlopeStyle Ski & Ride
  • Bolton Valley
  • Jay Peak Resort
  • Local Motion
  • Capital Kitchen
  • Stowe Street Cafe
  • Darn Tough
  • Butterfield Beef & Berry Farm
  • Morse Farm
  • Caledonia Spirits
  • The Chocolate Barn

Clean Water Week in Vermont!

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

The Vermont River Conservancy is all in for Vermont’s Clean Water Week, August 21st – 26th 2017! We are proud to be sponsors of this event. For more information, including a list of sponsors and events, check out this link.

Latest News

VRC Welcomes Summer Stewardship Intern

VRC is happy to welcome Summer Stewardship ... more »

VRC is Hiring!

The Vermont River Conservancy is hiring a part-time ... more »

VRC Receives EPA Grant to Restore Floodplain

VRC is in line to receive a $200,000 grant ... more »

VRC Works With Partners to Protect Land Along the White River

–Below is an excerpt from an original ... more »

Help us protect Huntington Gorge today!

Vermont River Conservancy and the Richmond ... more »

North Branch Cascades Trail Stormwater Assessment Completed

A stormwater reduction plan has been developed ... more »


See All »