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March 2015 Newsletter
Vermont River Conservancy

Conserving shorelands and access since 1995

Dear <<First Name>>,
 
20 years ago this month, the Vermont River Conservancy was born.  Passionate river lovers joined together with a vision: let’s save public access to swimming holes!  This dream grew legs: first with articles of incorporation, then bylaws, then a network of engaged and committed staff and volunteers who advanced this vision and gave it wings.  With your help, VRC has now protected public access to 41 swimming holes, fishing sites, paddling put ins, and river front parks.  VRC has protected the floodplains and river corridors of 1,687 acres of Vermont – keeping our state’s waters flowing and meandering without fear of future development or constriction. 
 
So what have we learned in 20 years?  That rivers need protection now more than ever! 
 
In the past 5 years we were reminded that active floodplains and vegetated river banks are essential buffers to intense flooding and storm damage.  Swimming and fishing holes are increasingly posted with “No Trespassing” signs.  Yet people want opportunities to explore and adventure our rivers by boat, or with fishing pole or swim suit in hand.  Today, calls to improve our water quality are reaching a crescendo.  This session, legislators are working together in the State House to improve water quality in our lakes and ponds.  And the Vermont River Conservancy continues to work hard to protect the places we have all come to love along Vermont's rivers and streams. After 20 years, VRC looks back with a sense of accomplishment, and looks forward with great enthusiasm for the work that lies ahead to protect healthy streams and rivers for all. 
 
We look forward to celebrating our 20 years of work with you, and growing our vision of healthy, public rivers for all of Vermont!

Sincerely, the VRC team  
 
In this issue:
 

 

Welcome Scilla Gilbert to the Board!

The Vermont River Conservancy is happy to welcome Scilla Gilbert to our Board of Directors. Scilla comes to VRC with an extensive background in the financial services industry. She is currently the President of CenterPoint Financial, Inc. Scilla has had extensive experience helping individuals to achieve their financial goals. 

Scilla lives in Vermont with her two young children and husband. She enjoys spending time with her family and helping her children to engage in the world around them. In her free time she enjoys running, skiing – both cross-country and downhill – and mountain biking.

Scilla is involved in her community as a Board member of East Montpelier Elementary School, the East Montpelier Recreation Committee, and the Finance Committee of the Old Meeting House. She is also a member of Montpelier Alive and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. She is happy to serve on VRC's board and help to achieve goals for preserving Vermont’s natural water resources and shore land.

We are so glad Scilla has joined our Vermont River Conservancy team!

 VRC Accomplishments: 
Completed Projects 

 
Northfield, VTThe Vermont River Conservancy and Joseph and Deborah Zuaro of Northfield recently worked together to establish a River Corridor Easement on 8.7 acres of the Zuaro’s farm land along the Dog River, thanks to a grant from the State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Ecosystem Restoration Program. This easement was completed in October 2014, and helps ensure the conserved area will always be an undeveloped, active floodplain – improving water quality and fish habitat in the Dog River and reducing future flood risks to the downstream Village of Northfield.
 


Sheldon River Access:
This access, below the Sheldon Springs dam on the Missisquoi River, is
a put-in location for paddlers and a take-out location for Northern Forest Canoe Trail through paddlers. It is also a take-out for white water paddlers running the section of Class IV rapids immediately upstream. We enlisted the Northern Forest Canoe Trail's Stewardship Intern crew to clear loose rock, debris, and rubbish and install a 20 ft  by 4ft stone ramp and set of stone stairs designed to facilitate river access while withstanding water events.
 
Funding provided by the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife Non-motorized Boat Access Fund and the American Canoe Association.
 

 

North Ferrisburgh, VT: Another River Corridor easement project, this reach of Lewis Creek is well known to anglers and presents the opportunity for significant riparian habitat restoration. Landowner Clark Hinsdale worked with VRC  to craft a conservation easement that balanced the property owner’s desire for agricultural use of certain floodplain areas with the imperative of Lewis Creek to meander freely and access those critical floodplains during high water events. Located near the busy Rte. 7 corridor, this project will preserve a significant land area in its natural state, and is a prime example of how a River Corridor Easement can protect a wide range of conservation values including aquatic habitat, water quality, and flood resilience. This project was completed at the end of December, 2014 and was funded by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resource's Ecosystem Restoration Program. 
 

Fairfax, VT: The Vermont River Conservancy and Flora & Tim Hurteau of Fairfax teamed up to establish a River Corridor Easement on 23.7 acres of the Hurteau’s land (floodplains between the Lamoille River and Goose Pond) in January of this year. A favorite spot for fishing and hunting, this land is much enjoyed by the Hurteau's and their neighbors.  The Lamoille River has flooded their lands so frequently that the vegetation remains grasses and shrubs between the river and Goose Pond.  Through this easement, the Hurteau’s have protected this land from development, and are ensuring that the river and pond will always be allowed to flood and move.  They envision this land being a place to bring their children and grandchildren, to play among the walnut trees planted by Tim’s dad, and to enjoy the beauty of the Lamoille River valley. This project was funded by Vermont's Agency of Natural Resource's Ecosystem Restoration Program and the Vermont Community Foundation's Lake Champlain Tributaries Restoration Fund.

Adopt a Campsite!
 
The Vermont River Conservancy is looking for volunteers to help monitor conditions at campsites along the Connecticut River. Campsites open for adoption include: 
Volunteers are asked to visit the site in the spring, once during the summer, and once in the fall. By adopting a campsite you are helping ensure the success of the Connecticut River Paddlers' Trail - and building an excuse to get out on the water this summer! Contact us to sign up or learn more! 

Lamoille River Paddlers' Trail Community Meeting


You're invited! Please join us to learn more about an emerging initiative - the Lamoille River Paddlers' Trail. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm in the Hardwick Memorial Building (20 Church St.- home to the municipal offices). 

The Paddlers' Trail is an emerging, community effort to develop new opportunities for paddling and fishing along the Lamoille River. Our vision is of a network of well maintained river access points, primitive campsites, and portage trails from the river's headwaters west to Lake Champlain. 

 
At the meeting, you will have a chance to:
  • See the results of an assessment of river access points, portage trails, and potential campsites
  • Help craft a shared vision and guiding principles for the Paddlers' Trail
  • Brainstrom priority on-the-ground projects for the upcoming year
  • Light refreshments will be provided. This meeting is a follow-up to a gathering held in Johnson, which brought over fifty community members together to discuss recreational priorities along the Lamoille River. 
Please join us and help share the future of this exciting endeavor!

To RSVP, or to sign-up for periodic project updates, e-mail noah@vermontriverconservancy.org

 
Upcoming Event:

Clean Water Legislative Day

on March 17th at the Vermont State House
 
Come learn about water quality legislation pending in the Vermont Legislature, and show your support for clean water. This event at the State House starts at 9:30 am March 17th and will include briefings on legislation that is under discussion in the Vermont Legislature. There will also be opportunities to connect with your lawmakers on this important issue. Email lhierl@vermontconservationvoters.org for more information. 
 
Thank you for making VRC's 2014 Annual Appeal a Success!
 
Thank you for supporting VRC with your year-end gifts. We were thrilled with not only the success of VRC's Appeal, but also with the many notes you included with your donations! It is wonderful to hear why Vermont's rivers are important to you. Please keep the notes and emails coming, and thank you again for continuing to support the important work of protecting Vermont's rivers!
Help protect Vermont's rivers by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Vermont River Conservancy today! 
Amazon Smile - Vermont River Conservancy
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