For Immediate Release

May 9, 2014. Pomfret, VT – The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) today announced the successful completion of a river restoration project at Billings Farm in Woodstock, including the planting of 1,300 native trees and shrubs.

Last fall, CRWC was awarded an Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) grant from the State of Vermont (Agency of Natural Resources) to replant native trees and shrubs along the river that were destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene. CRWC was able to get additional donations via the “crowd-funding” website CleanWaterFuture.org to help fund removal of invasive plants such as honeysuckle and barberry.

The 1,300 trees and shrubs paid for by the ERP grant from the State will address a top water quality priority in the Ottauquechee River; the need for streamside vegetation. “The lack of vegetation along our rivers is a major cause of water quality and habitat problems. The simplest, most efficient and most cost effective way to improve and protect water quality is to plant more trees and shrubs along our rivers,” said Marie Caduto, Watershed Coordinator for ANR.

The project, which was overseen by CRWC River Steward Ron Rhodes, also includes the removal of invasive plants that threaten ecological and economic health on the Farm.   The invasive honeysuckle and barberry crowd out native plants, suppress tree growth, and potentially spread to nearby properties.

A work crew of 6 people from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps were at the Farm for two weeks manually pulling invasive plants and planting 1,300 trees and shrubs. “We want to thank CRWC and VYCC for making this happen. The Billings Farm and the Woodstock Foundation are proud to be involved in this project, and we look forward to watching these trees grow over the years,” said Billings Farm manager Jason Johnson.

The 5 foot tall native trees and shrubs – including Box Elder, Red Maple, Silky and Red Osier Dogwood, Red Oak, and Shrub Willow – were purchased from the Intervale Conservation Nursery in Burlington, VT.

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CONTACT:

Ron Rhodes, North Country River Steward, Connecticut River Watershed Council

(802) 457-6114 or rrhodes@ctriver.org