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

July 2015 CURRENTS

July 10: Pinch Rock celebration in Royalton

A free public event on Friday, July 10 from 5:00 – 7:00pm will celebrate the permanent protection of “Pinch Rock,” a treasured swimming hole and fishing spot on the White River in Royalton.

In May Royalton resident Peg Elmer generously donated this riverside property, including the rock, to the Vermont River Conservancy. VRC will hold a perpetual public access and conservation easement on the parcel, and convey ownership to the Town of Royalton this summer.

The July 10 celebration will start at the Pinch Rock access site at 5pm, and will include a site tour and sign unveiling, followed by a short tubing trip from Pinch Rock to the South Royalton bridge, and ending with a community potluck meal on the Vermont Law School lawn. Attendees should provide tubes and a potluck dish to share. A carpool will be provided from the Vermont Law School parking lot starting at 4:30pm.

Funding for the river access protection project was provided by individual donors to the White River Partnership’s 2010 Landscape Auction and the Vermont River Conservancy’s Canute Dalmasse Legacy Fund.

August 1: Rummage sale supports WRP education program

The WRP is having a rummage sale at the Royalton Academy Building on Saturday, August 1 from 9:00am to 2:00pm to raise money for our watershed education program with local schools - each year we engage nearly 600 White River watershed teachers and students in classroom and field work activities that raise awareness about watershed issues and create opportunities for hands-on, place-based ecology education.

We hope you will consider attending the August 1 rummage sale and/or, if you have any "treasures" you are looking to part with (or get rid of), we accept all sorts of donations - with the exception of large exercise equipment, TVs, and other outdated electronics. Donations may be dropped off on Saturday, August 1 before 9:00am at the Royalton Academy Building (4266 VT Route 14, Royalton village). Anything that doesn't sell will be donated to the local thrift shops.

Project highlight: 750+ volunteers and counting...

Over 750 volunteers have helped implement WRP projects in 2015:

  • 10 volunteers harvested 2,000 willow stakes in March
  • 650 volunteers planted 5,300 native trees along the White River in April and May
  • 70 volunteers pulled non-native invasive plants in May
  • 22 trained volunteers are monitoring water quality at swimming holes from June through September
  • 4 volunteers cleaned-up the river in South Royalton in June

We invite YOU to get involved - September is Vermont's first annual River Cleanup Month and the WRP will be organizing up to 10 cleanup events along the White River. Stay posted for more information about river cleanup dates and locations.

Project highlight: Restoring the West Branch in Rochester


Flooding and flood recovery from Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 devastated in-stream and riparian habitat along the West Branch, which runs east along Route 73 before joining the White River just south of Rochester village. Nearly four years later, a group of federal, state, and local partners is poised to repair the damage.

Starting in mid-August 2015 the US Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corps of Engineers, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Vermont Agency of Transportation, and the WRP will implement a 1-mile restoration project on the West Branch, from King Farm Road downstream to the confluence with Corporation Brook. The project is designed to restore channel dimension and profile; re-create deep pools; re-connect floodplain; and stabilize the riverbanks by installing “engineered large woody structures."

In preparation for the project, the US Forest Service has harvested hundreds of whole trees that have been trimmed about 60-feet above the intact root systems, and transported to the CCC Camp on VT Route 73.  These huge stacks of trees are highly-visible from the road, and have prompted dozens of phone calls and email inquiries asking about their purpose.  A mountain of coarse gravel is staged nearby, also intended for the 1-mile restoration project.

The WRP raised funds from the National Forest Foundation to implement a piece of the project in 2014 - a 1/4-acre wetland on the CCC Camp property will provide off-channel habitat and a cold-water source during hot summer months. The WRP has also helped conduct landowner outreach - 6 private landowners have given permission to implement various project components on their riverbanks and floodplains - and will help oversee implementation from mid-August to early-September.

The WRP will coordinate riparian buffer plantings along the length of the project area in spring 2016 to complete this stage of the project. A second stage is in the design phase - the goal is to restore another 1-mile-stretch downstream in 2016 and 2017.
 
Large wood staged around the wetland built by local contractor Ben Canonica in 2014.

Project highlight: Addressing stormwater runoff on Class 4 roads


The WRP has worked with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VANR), Vermont Better Backroads (VBB), and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) since 2010 to reduce stormwater runoff from Class 4 roads into headwater streams. Town-owned Class 4 roads are maintained irregularly, and are typically used for access to camps, logging, and recreation.

For the past five summers the WRP, VANR, and VBB have worked with a VYCC crew to install treatments that address stormwater runoff - building or repairing culvert headers; stone-lining roadside ditches to stabilize soils; constructing rock aprons to reduce undercutting; and building water bars to control surface-water flows. All of these treatments improve the roads' resilience during rain events and capture fine sediment (sand, silt, etc) before it washes into streams nearby - reducing the amount of fine sediment in streams improves water quality and habitat.

This year the VYCC received Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Program funding to replicate the Class 4 road project in towns outside the White River watershed. Over the course of 1 week in late-June, the 7-member VYCC crew worked with WRP Project Manager Greg Russ to learn how to identify and treat stormwater impairments on Class 4 roads in the towns of Granville, Pittsfield, and Stockbridge. Using what they learned in the White River watershed, the VYCC crew spent the next 2 weeks identifying and addressing stormwater impairments on Class 4 roads in the Winooski watershed.

Visit our website to learn more about the Class 4 Roads project.
 

Become a supporting member

As a nonprofit membership organization, the WRP depends on contributions of time and money to support our on-the-ground work in the watershed. We invite you to become a supporting member by making a tax-deductible donation in 2015:

  • $20 = student membership
  • $35 = individual membership
  • $50 = family membership
  • $75 = business membership
  • 4 hours of labor = sweat equity membership

Individual, student, and sweat-equity members receive the following benefits:

  • The right to one vote at general membership meetings;
  • The opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors;
  • Our bimonthly Currents electronic newsletter;
  • Invitations to volunteer opportunities and special events; and
  • The knowledge that you are helping improve the long-term health of the White River and its watershed!

In addition to the benefits above,

  • Family members receive two votes at membership meetings; and
  • Business members receive a link on the WRP Members web page.

Donate online or follow this link for a printable membership form.

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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