McCrumb River Corridor Easement

Location: Wolcott, VT


Landowner enjoying river wading

River: Wild Branch

Type of Project: River Corridor Easement

Public Access: No

Date Completed: October 2017

Size: 12.3 acres

Water Frontage:   2,000+ feet

Landowner: Joan McCrumb

Funding Partners:  VT Agency of Natural Resources Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program, Clean Water Fund

Property Description:  Open hayfields dominate the property, with some small forested areas near the river banks, and a natural flood chute across the fields of this 12.3 acre area.

Project Background:  “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.  By protecting her land with a River Corridor Easement, Ms. McCrumb is committing the land to be part of the river’s natural migration across the valley floor.  Open, undeveloped floodplains can help lessen impacts from big storms.  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.  Now the Wild Branch might just be a little more wild, and a little less damaging.

Directions:  Take Vermont Route 15 (east from Morrisville or west from Hardwick) to Wolcott.  Turn north onto North Wolcott Road, property is located 1.1 miles from Rt. 15, on the north side of Gulf Road.

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