Vermont River Conservancy is hiring a part-time office manager to begin working with our small and efficient not-for-profit land trust in February 2014. This is an exciting position, with potential for growth for the right candidate. Read the full Job Description, and send applications to VRC by December 23, 2013
This year’s Annual Appeal is underway, and there are many ways you can join us in protecting Vermont’s rivers:
1. Donate online, especially on “Giving Tuesday, ” December 3rd. Your tax deductible donation will go directly to river conservation projects in 2014.
2. Mail a donation to Vermont River Conservancy, 29 Main St. Suite 11, Montpelier, VT 05602 before the new year, and help make your resolutions to protect the lands and waters you love a reality.
3. Make an honorary gift for a loved one this holiday season, and show them you care about the rivers they love.
4. Learn more about the river conservation projects we completed in 2013, and discover what projects are upstream in 2014: Sign up for our e-newsletter, and read our Featured Projects page. Staying informed about our work can ensure you know of projects near you, and how you can get involved.
5. Contact us to learn more about Planned Giving – there are many ways you can plan for tomorrow, today! Consider making a memorial gift, designating VRC as a beneficiary on any of your financial accounts, asking your employer if they have a matching charitable gifts program to double your donation, or leaving a bequest in your will. These options may have significant tax benefits to you, and they certainly benefit the lands and waters of Vermont’s Rivers.
6. Forward this to a friend, and share this page with your social media contacts – tell them about all how Vermont River Conservancy is enhancing flood resiliency in Vermont and public access to our most cherished places.
7. Start thinking about your 2014 summer paddling adventures! Buy the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail Map to see where all the great campsites are for you to enjoy between days flowing with the river. Proceeds support the Vermont River Conservancy’s expansion of the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail.
When the Town of Bristol, its Conservation Commission, the New Haven Anglers Association, the Agency of Natural Resources Rivers Program, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and the Vermont River Conservancy work together to promote flood resiliency and public access to rivers in Vermont, a lot can happen! Partnering with local farmers and landowners, the Saunders Brothers, this team of concerned river scientists and conservationists identified how to protect the New Haven River, and the people who live and farm along its banks.
Acting as a relief valve for the high-energy waters flowing out of the steep Green Mountains and down into the low-gradient Bristol Flats area, these newly conserved 40-acres downstream of Bristol village allow for the river to move, flood, and change course naturally. Protecting open floodplains where river energy is high is critical to ensure these river lands remain undeveloped and people stay out of harms way.
Selling land was heartbreaking for the Saunders brothers – they had never sold any family land before – but understanding their options were limited for farming in an active floodplain, it made the most sense. They will continue to hay the land they’ve always managed through a lease with new landowners, the Town of Bristol, but when the floodwaters of the New Haven River rise again, the Saunders brothers won’t break the bank trying to keep the land in production.
Located immediately upstream from 14-acres recently conserved by VRC, these adjoining properties will support and enhance the flood resiliency benefits of both.
Over time, the New Haven will provide paddlers, anglers and neighbors with hours of enjoyment. And the land can continue to function as a relief valve for the high energy waters that periodically surge through Bristol Flats. VRC, together with the state partners, have protected these river lands for flood resiliency and public river recreation. The land was donated to the Town of Bristol to keep the character of Bristol Flats alive while allowing the river to move and change as it will. Bristol Flats is a win-win for flood resiliency, farmers, towns and river recreationalists.
Congratulations! With tremendous community and foundation support, “Journey’s End” swimming hole in Johnson VT is now protected for all to enjoy.
“Journey’s End” is a spectacular swimming hole and waterfall carved in the bedrock of Foote Brook, a cold water, steep stream flowing to the Lamoille River.
The land adjoining the falls was on the market as a house lot, and could have been posted with “No Trespassing” signs. By conserving this land, VRC has permanently protected public access to the Journey’s End swimming hole, provided access for anglers to a 2,500 foot reach of Foote Brook renowned for its high quality trout habitat, and conserved 25 acres along Foote Brook containing deer yards, songbird habitat, and forested buffer which protects the ecological values of Foote Brook.
The Town of Johnson is now the long-term owner of this beautiful area, and will manage it as a natural and recreational area for Johnson residents and visitors to enjoy in all seasons. The Vermont River Conservancy holds a conservation easement to assure that permanent access continues and that the 25 acres remain in their natural condition.
Many thanks to all who contributed to this success! The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board provided major funding. Additional support was provided by the Fields Pond Foundation, the Vermont Community Foundation Green Mountain Fund, the Lintilhac Foundation, Rock Art Brewery, Concept 2, G.W. Tatro Construction, Johnson State College Student Government, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife Public Access grant, the Vermont State Employees Credit Union, and the VRC Canute Dalmasse Legacy Fund, along with over 120 individual donors who cherish this special place. Thank you for joining this important effort to keep Journey’s End available for all. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Additional support for Journey’s End is welcomed to enhance the Vermont River Conservancy’s stewardship of this beautiful site in perpetuity. Please Donate today to support our efforts to help the Town of Johnson manage this property.
When watershed groups from all over Vermont got together after Tropical Storm Irene, what did they talk about?
Many meeting for the first time, watershed group staff and volunteers talked about how isolated they all are – working on the same issues to improve water quality and flood resiliency around the state – without even knowing what other watershed groups are doing to address the same issues!
They asked the question: how can watershed groups better communicate and collaborate to make their work easier and more effective? They answered: a state-wide coalition of watershed groups! Then everyone asked: How will we form a state-wide coalition? They answered: can the Vermont River Conservancy, the only state-wide organization focused on watershed protection, help? We answered: YES!
After months of discussing the needs of watershed groups, articulating the goals of a state-wide coalition, and approaching funders with the idea, the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation stepped forward to provide a 3-year Capacity Building grant to start Watersheds United Vermont. With additional support from the Lintilhac Foundation and the Vermont Community Foundation’s Innovation and Collaboration Grant, Watersheds United Vermont is poised for a strong start.
Watersheds United VT connects community-based watershed groups in Vermont with the knowledge, tools, and networks needed to more effectively enhance and protect the health of Vermont water resources.
Vermont River Conservancy looks forward to helping launch Watersheds United by working with watershed groups and their partners around the state to support and protect the healthy watersheds we all need and love.
If interested in learning more, or applying for the Watersheds United Vermont Program Coordinator position, please email watershedsunited [at] gmail [dot] com.
Help the Friends of the Winooski and the Vermont River Conservancy construct a new river access at Martin Bridge Park in Marshfield!
On Thursday, September 12th and Friday, September 13th, please join a team of volunteers as we construct and install a river access staircase for paddlers and fishermen. This is a great opportunity to get your hands dirty and help with a fun community project!
Volunteers shifts are: Thursday, September 12th • 10 AM-1:00 PM • 2:00-5:00 PM Friday, September 13th • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM • 12:30 PM-3:30 PM 1-4 volunteers needed per shift. Work will involve carpentry and light soil work. To RSVP contact Noah Pollock at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 540-0319.
On a brilliant August day, over 75 people gathered at the Holbrook Point campsite to honor the legacy of Reggie Ellingwood and celebrate the Connecticut River. Following a lunch and dedication ceremony, a colorful flotilla of canoes and kayaks launched from Canaan, and paddled nine miles to a landing in Colebrook. Participants came as far away as Hartford, Connecticut, and for many, it was their first paddling experience on the river.
The event raised $1,773 in contributions directed toward the Reggie Ellingwood Memorial Fund, as well as VRC’s efforts to develop the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail.
Thanks also goes to Robbie Kimball at Waynes Lanes in Canaan, and Guy Laperle La Perle’s Iga in Colebrook, for donating pizza and beer for the event! Please show your appreciation to these community members next time you see them.
The positive energy of the group was inspiring, and the generous donations contributed by the community will go a long way to help us to further our work along the waterway and complete a project in honor of Reggie’s love of the North Country. Thanks to all who joined us!
For more photos from the day, click here.
The Vermont River Conservancy, in partnership with the NorthWoods Stewardship Center, is pleased to announce a Wilderness Map Company publication:
THE CONNECTICUT RIVER PADDLERS’ TRAIL
Waterproof Recreation Map & Guide
Vermont – New Hampshire
The Upper Connecticut River contains some of the most appealing landscapes of New England. This double-sided map is the most complete and ever made of the waterway to serve paddlers, boaters, fishermen, bird lovers, and casual tourists.
Unique design details include:
- Waterproof, ten parcel, two sided map covering 280 river miles
- All river based recreational facilities (Access points, primitive campsites, campgrounds, portage trails, points of interest)
- Business of interest to visitors (oufitters, lodging establishments, convenience stores)
- Other recreational opportunities (side hikes, bike routes and paths, museums and cultural attractions)
- Natural and cultural history insights
- River mileages for access points and campsites
- Recommended river trips and their durations
- Folds to a 4″ x 9″ size and fits snugly into a counter-top brochure holder for easy display and sales. Un-folded copies will be provided for display.
The map comes on waterproof plastic-stock and costs $9.95. All map proceeds support trail stewardship.
This map was designed through the collaborative efforts of over fifteen regional organizations working to develop the paddlers’ trail.
For more information or wholesale orders, contact:
Luke O’Brien, email@example.com, 802-723-6551 Ext. 117
Noah Pollock, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-540-0319
This map was developed by the Vermont River Conservancy, the NorthWoods Stewardship Center, the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks & Recreation with additional support from the Vermont Recreation Trails Program and the Tillotson Foundation.
Visit the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail for more information.
Vermont River Conservancy just protected 14 acres on the New Haven River, with landowner Paul Fuller.
The New Haven River is an active example of how geology and hydrology interact, what river scientists call fluvial geomorphology. The New Haven drains down the steep western slopes of the Green Mountains, and as it transitions from a powerful high-gradient headwater stream to a slower, lower-gradient valley river it releases a lot of energy by flooding across the land where this slope transition happens. River scientists identified this property as important for mitigating the power of floods and for protecting downstream lands and infrastructure.
The 14.7 acres of the Fuller property covered by the easement was flooded during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, and likely by previous storms. Sand and cobble were deposited across the property’s fields during Irene, helping minimize downstream impacts from the flooding. The river has now returned to its historic channel at the edge of the Fuller property, but will likely re-channelize through the protected property with future flood events. Because farming this land was made difficult and unpredictable by its proximity to the New Haven, a river corridor easement allows VRC and the landowner to manage the property for riparian vegetation and river meandering – vital functions in a healthy river system.
On August 17th, please join us in a celebration at Holbrook Point Campsite, followed by paddle of the beautiful Connecticut River!
|About the event: At noon, we’ll be honoring the legacy of Reggie Ellingwood at the Holbrook Point Campsite with a lunch, stories, and celebration. Following the ceremony will be a group paddle from Canaan to Colebrook (9 miles).While optional, all participants are encouraged to help raise funds to support the Vermont River Conservancy’s efforts to protect access and develop campsites along the Upper Connecticut River. Everyone who donates $25 will receive a pint glass with a map of the river at the end of the paddle!Schedule For The Day:
Join us! Sign up to join our fundraising team here. (Under Join This Team, click Fundraise).
Alternatively stop in at Wayne’s Lanes in Canaan, call the VRC (802-229-0820), or email us at email@example.com. Once you register, you will receive an information packet with details about meeting location and event logistics.