Bristol Flats

Bristol Flats Easement area

Name of Project:     Bristol Flats River Corridor Easement

Location:      Bristol

River:   New Haven

Type of Project: River Corridor Easement

Public Access: yes

Date Completed: October 2013

Size:   40.1 acres

Water Frontage: 3,900 feet

Landowner: Town of Bristol

Funding Partners:  VT Agency of Natural Resources Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, New Haven River Anglers Association, and the Town of Bristol Conservation Reserve Fund.

Property Description: Bristol Flats property is half managed hay field, and half actively or recently active river channel lands, with their characteristic sandy cobble gravel deposits, newly established vegetation of shrubs and small trees, and the actively meandering New Haven River channel itself.  Soon, a vegetated riparian buffer will extend 50 feet from the top of the newly incised river banks, into the fields, helping create additional natural protections for both the river and the hay fields and neighboring homes.

Project Background:  The Saunders family has farmed along the New Haven River for generations.  After Tropical Storm Irene drastically altered the river channel running through their land, the Saunders were forced to reassess the long-term costs of farming the floodplains of their family land.  The Town of Bristol experienced the impacts of flooding firsthand, and wanted to help protect open floodplains around the Town to minimize future flood damage.  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.

Directions: Rt 116 south of Bristol.  Park at the bridge downstream of the site, and walk .5 miles north to access property.

Latest News

VRC Board welcomes Geo Honigford

Geo Honigford runs an organic vegetable and popcorn ... more »

Lisa Mahoney joins the VRC Board

Lisa is an ecologist and an attorney with ... more »

Great work from our partners on the Green River!

Restoring and transforming the Green River ... more »

330 trees planted on the Nulhegan!

The East Branch of the Nulhegan in Bloomfield ... more »

Face the River Audio Story!

As part of VRC’s Face the River initiative, ... more »

VRC Releases North Branch Cascades Trail RFP

The Vermont River Conservancy is pleased ... more »

See All »