Bringing people and communities together to improve the long-term health of the White River and its watershed

March 2015 E-Newsletter

Upcoming event: 5 Olde Tavern hosts WRP fundraising dinner

The WRP and 5 Olde Tavern in South Royalton invite you to enjoy a great dinner for a good cause on Monday, March 23. Eat dinner anytime between 5pm and 9pm and 5 Olde Tavern will donate 10% of your food purchases to the WRP to support our work to improve the long-term health of the White River in 2015.

Please RSVP if you'd like to join the WRP staff and Board of Directors' table at 6pm:

Volunteer event: Harvest willow stakes at Hurricane Flats Farm

You are invited to help the White River Partnership harvest live willow stakes on Saturday, March 28 from 1-3pm. The event is at Hurricane Flats Farm in South Royalton. 

Volunteers should dress to work in the snow and mud. The WRP will provide gloves, a few loppers, and light snacks – feel free to bring your own loppers if you have them. Some of the willows are on an island, so if you have waders, please feel free to bring them.
Willows are native shrubs that grow along rivers. Live, dormant willow stakes that are 18-20” long and ½-1” in diameter can be pounded into the riverbank where they will set roots and grow quickly. The willow stakes harvested on Sunday will be used to stabilize riverbanks along the White River in Granville, Rochester, and Bethel this spring.

News: WRP receives grants to implement 2015 projects

The WRP has received three grants to implement watershed restoration projects that improve water quality, fish & wildlife habitat, and public access as well as engage community members in hands-on stewardship activities in 2015.

1. The WRP received Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation funds to implement Irene flood recovery projects, including working with over 500 students and community volunteers, the Green Mountain National Forest, Verdana Ventures, and Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to understand impacts to water quality by monitoring biological, chemical, and recreational parameters at high-priority sites around the watershed.

2. The WRP received National Forest Foundation funds to
plant trees along the Upper White River; to conduct non-native invasive plant survey and control projects on high-priority sites adjacent to the Green Mountain National Forest; to gather and analyze assessment data at 150 stream-crossing culverts; and to engage community volunteers in hands-on project development and implementation activities.

3. The WRP received Vermont Watershed Grant funds to restore 7.5 acres of damaged riparian buffer; to repair and stabilize 30 high-priority erosion sites along Class 4 roads in 3 towns; and to remove man-made trash along the main stem of the White River in 10 towns.

We want to thank Byrne Foundation, NFF, and VWG for their generous support of our 2015 restoration and stewardship projects!

News: Tom Warhol joins Board of Directors

The WRP welcomes Tom Warhol, who joined the Board of Directors in February. Tom and his wife, Lisa, live in Bethel-Gilead.

“We are grateful to have Tom’s passion for rivers and exceptional skill set working on behalf of the White River watershed,” said Executive Director Mary Russ.


Tom has had extensive experience in the natural resources field, working for The Nature Conservancy, the American Chestnut Foundation, the Massachusetts Riverways Program, and the New England Wildflower Society before moving into nonprofit fundraising with VINS and now as Grants Manager for the Vermont Foodbank. He also earned a master’s degree in forestry from UMass Amherst.


In addition Tom has managed a freelance writing and editing career since 2001; the result has been a dozen books with a focus on environmental education and wildlife conservation. Tom and his wife are active in the Bethel community as well – Tom is a member of the Bethel Conservation Commission and Lisa is the town’s Herald correspondent.

Project highlight: 2015 Trees for Streams plantings

The WRP plants thousands of trees each spring with help from hundreds of students and community volunteers - spring 2015 is no exception! WRP Project Manager Greg Russ is coordinating tree plantings with private and public landowners at 13 sites along the White River and its tributaries. And WRP Monitoring Coordinator Emily Miller is recruiting 500 students to help plant the nearly 5,000 trees that will help restore riparian buffers throughout the watershed. Community planting events are being scheduled in May, so keep an eye out for more information about opportunities to get involved.

Riparian buffers filter pollutants from run-off, reduce erosion, provide shade to keep water temperatures cool for fish, ward off non-native invasive plant species, and create corridors for wildlife. Buffers also serve as the first line of defense against flood events and can safeguard property from erosion. The re-establishment of buffers through planting trees is one of the most effective and efficient ways to improve water quality, reduce erosion and flood damage, and maintain healthy fisheries in our watershed.

Learn more about our Trees for Streams program on the WRP website.

Randolph Union Middle and High School students celebrate a successful day planting trees along the Upper White River in Rochester in May 2014.

Get Involved

The WRP is a nationally-recognized and award-winning watershed organization because of the involvement of hundreds of individuals, businesses, schools, local and regional organizations, and local, state, and federal government agencies. We invite YOU to join us - here are a few ways to get involved and support our work:

  • Learn more about our work: visit the WRP website or follow us on Facebook
  • Volunteer: we engage over 500 volunteers each year through tree planting, water quality monitoring, river cleanup, and other hands-on watershed stewardship events
  • Make a donation: we depend on individual and business donations to implement our award-winning approach
Please contact us for more information!
Like the WRP on Facebook
Volunteer with the WRP
Donate to the WRP
Copyright © 2015 White River Partnership, All rights reserved.

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