Volunteers water newly planted trees along the Israel River in Jefferson, NH

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) and a multitude of project partners planted 1,408 native trees and shrubs along 3,300 feet of riverfront at seven sites in New Hampshire and Vermont this fall.

These riverside plantings covered nearly three acres of land on the Connecticut River and various tributaries in the following communities: Columbia and Jefferson, NH, as well as Barnet, East Burke, Guilford, West Windsor, and Wilmington, VT.  The plantings will help reduce soil erosion, improve water quality by filtering out pollutants, and increase habitat for fish and wildlife.

Since 2011, CRC and its partners have planted more than 29,910 native trees and shrubs along the main stem Connecticut River and numerous tributary rivers and smaller brooks in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.  CRC works with landowners (farmers, towns and other non-profit organizations) by applying for grants to fund conservation and restoration projects, as well as providing project management services to the landowner.

“We spent two weeks planting native trees and shrubs with four private landowners who have had erosion problems, and three sites where we removed old dams recently,” notes CRC River Steward Ron Rhodes, who coordinated the projects with the landowners and project partners. “These projects wouldn’t happen without a cadre of volunteers, funders and project partners – all of whom have helped improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and our local communities,” said Rhodes.

Funding for the plantings was provided by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Conte Wildlife Refuge, a State of Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Grant, and a new partnership with another non-profit organization – One Tree Planted – which raises money from corporate donors around the world to plants trees.  CRC hosted NIKIN, a Swiss fashion label, who donated money and helped plant one of the sites in Vermont.

Only native species were planted and purchased from local nurseries (Intervale in Burlington, VT and New England Wetland Plants). CRC also hired local planting crews from the Northwoods Stewardship Center, Beck Pond LLC, and the Intervale Conservation Nursery.

CRC is a membership based nonprofit working to protect the watershed of the Connecticut River from source to sea through on-the-ground projects, public education and advocacy. To learn more or to support your rivers visit ctriver.org.