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April 2015 Newsletter
Vermont River Conservancy

Conserving shorelands and access since 1995

Happy Earth Day
 
Dear <<First Name>>,
 
We are happy to celebrate Earth Day today, and the role that rivers play in the natural world around us. This winter was a long one here in Vermont, there were times it seemed spring would never arrive. Finally, though, we awoke to warm weather and sunny skies; sap began to flow from the maple trees, snow melted into the rivers, and robins dared to grace our lawns and trees once again. The words of John Muir began to ring true in Vermont, "Along the river, over the hills, in the ground, in the sky, spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm, new life, new beauty, unfolding, unrolling in glorious exuberant extravagance..."

  
VRC is celebrating 20 years of protecting special river lands.  And we are working hard to protect more swimming hole accesses, paddlers' trail campsites, vegetated buffers and river floodplains around the state.  Please read about VRC's recent projects and upcoming events below. Join us for a paddle this coming summer, or a picnic at a swimming hole.  Learn more about how floodplains and buffers improve water quality, and what we are doing to protect whole watersheds.

Happy Earth Day - we hope to see you on the rivers soon!

Sincerely, the VRC team  

In this issue:
 

 VRC Helps Protect an Island on the Connecticut River 

 
 Johnson Farm & Island: The Vermont River Conservancy partnered with the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust and landowner Richard Johnson to protect a 311 acre farm in Monroe, NH, and an island in the Connecticut River. This project insures that this land will be forever protected from development, and it can continue to be a working farm as it has been for generations. The 2 acre island will also be permanently protected; it includes important riparian habitat, including critical habitat for bald eagles and ospreys. The island property also offers an ideal spot for a simple campsite for paddlers along the CT River who wish to complete a multi-day trip, thereby further extending the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail. Please check out this NHPR story for more information on this exciting partnership: http://nhpr.org/post/after-six-generations-making-sure-family-farm-stays-farm-forever.





Landowner and Farmer Richard Johnson, shown at right. Photo credits: Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust. 

Reflections from the Field

Sam Watson, Summer 2014

Last summer I worked with VRC on several river access projects, which took me from the North Branch of the Winooski River in Worcester, to the Missisquoi in Enosburg, several spots on the Connecticut River, and to beautiful Journey's End in Johnson. Most of these projects entailed building stone steps or boat ramps to access the river easily, but I also mounted brass plaques into stones to honor late VRC supporter, Canute Dalmasse, and the work he did to protect Vermont's rivers and freshwater. It was hard work that challenged me not only physically, but also encouraged me to be creative, collaborative, and in some instances to think like a river. I was impressed at how receptive community members were to our work, greeting us at our project sites and readily offering what they could to make our time there more comfortable, and sometimes enthusiastically jumping in to help. Those friendly faces were most welcome during a hard day of work, or after a night of camping through a heavy rainstorm; they showed me how connected people can become to their favorite river places, and how these connections foster a sense of community along these same rivers.

I am grateful for my time spent working on rivers last summer, and I am looking forward to doing so again this year. There is something to be said for jumping into crisp clear water after a hard day's work, or filling jugs with the freshest natural spring water you can find. Meeting people along the river last summer showed me that many people in Vermont share this appreciation, that they too can't imagine a Vermont without these beautiful swimming holes or river access spots. 

Please join me on the rivers this summer! Visit VRC's website to find a conserved site near you. 


Sam Watson is a flatlander originally from Potter County, Pennsylvania among the Alleghany Mountains. He graduated from The University of Vermont in 2014, where he studied Environmental Science and Water Resources and adventured around the mountains and rivers year round. VRC is excited to have Sam back this summer, doing both field work and outreach work in our office. 

VRC Welcomes Summer Intern

Joe Acampora 

Welcome Joe Acampora – VRC’s summer 2015 Stewardship Intern.  Joe joins us with a background in real estate, along his path from Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont to an Environmental Management Master’s program in Colorado.   Joe will be helping VRC monitor our easements and steward our protected river lands this summer.  

 


Freshet Fest!

On Saturday, May 9th, join other paddling enthusiasts to launch the spring season! On the water activities include a morning poling clinic on the Winooski and an afternoon paddle on the LaPlatte River. Evening activities at Splash at the Boathouse in Burlington include music, drinks, and informational booths with resources for paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, the Lamoille River, the Connecticut River, and LakeChamplain. There will also be a "Through Paddler Panel," dinner, and a featured presentation by Matt Hopkinson about his recent 180 mile journey up the Penobscot River to raise awareness about river restoration. Learn more.
 
You're Invited:
Gilman Island Campsite Project

Help rehabilitate the Gilman Island campsite! Gilman Island, located just south of Hanover, NH, is one of the most scenic islands on the Connecticut River. With your help, we will install a composting privy, an informational kiosk and etiquette signage. Lunch is included! And join us for an optional group paddle on the river in the afternoon. This opportunity is limited to six volunteers. Sunday, May 31st at 9:00 am. For more information, and to sign-up, email noah@vermontriverconservancy.org. 

Lamoille River Paddlers' Trail In Development 


A community effort is underway to create new opportunities for paddling and fishing along the Lamoille River. Over the winter, informational community meetings were held in Johnson, Milton, and Hardwick. Over 100 community members attended. Thanks to a Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership 2015 Water Trails grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, the Vermont River Conservancy is now working to develop a web-based guide to the river and will facilitate a series of summer stewardship projects. Learn more

To become involved in this exciting initiative, e-mail noah@vermontriverconservancy.org

Onion River Race & Ramble

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Mark your calendars! The 2nd Annual Onion River Race and Ramble has been scheduled for Saturday, June 6th. Come join friends and neighbors and enjoy a morning of paddling along the Winooski River between Bolton and Richmond. It promises to be a day of excitement, camaraderie, and fun!  Following the paddle, participants will be treated to a homemade meal provided by the Richmond Grange. New this year is a Community Sponsored Teams class, composed of groups of four representing area organizations and business.Those interested in being part of the day but not paddle are invited to volunteer.  Space is limited. Don't miss out - Register Today!
 
Upcoming Event:

VRC Community Yard Sale

on May 30th in Montpelier
 
The Vermont River Conservancy is participating in Montpelier Alive's city-wide yard sale day! We will be collecting donations over the next month and will have a wide variety of items for sale on Saturday, May 30th at the corner of Main St. and Liberty St. in Montpelier. Items for sale will include outdoor equipment and gear, tools, toys and kid's gear, and much more! All proceeds will benefit VRC's work. 

Please mark your calendars to come shop, and if you are spring cleaning and find items in good condition to donate to our sale, please email Richarda at vrc@vermontriverconservancy.org or call (802) 229-0820. Thank you! 
VRC to Participate in Green-Up Day:
Call for Volunteers
 
Last year, the Vermont River Conservancy gathered a group of volunteers to clean up a portion of the North Branch river in Middlesex and Worcester. Our crew spent several hours along the river and collected several bags of garbage, as well as a few tires and appliances. We are looking forward to coordinating efforts again this year on Saturday, May 2nd to do our part in this state-wide effort to clean up Vermont. If you'd like to participate, please email vrc@vermontriverconservancy.org, or call (802) 229-0820. Thank you!  
Help protect Vermont's rivers by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Vermont River Conservancy today! 
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When you shop Amazon Smile, choose VRC as your charity organization and Vermont's rivers benefit! 
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Vermont River Conservancy is a 501(c)(3); all donations are tax deductible
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29 Main St. Suite 11, Montpelier VT 05602 http://vermontriverconservancy.org
 802-229-0820