For immediate release – December 6, 2017
Local farms get new trees to improve water quality
Pomfret, Vermont – This fall the Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) and project partners planted 5,690 native trees and shrubs across nearly 9,007 feet of riverbank on seven farms in Haverhill, Pike, Bath and Jefferson, New Hampshire, as well as in Newbury and Weathersfield, Vermont.
The riverside plantings along 11.1 acres of the Connecticut River and its tributaries (including the Black and Wells rivers in Vermont, and the Israel River and Oliverian Stream in New Hampshire), will help reduce erosion, improve water quality by filtering out pollutants, and increase habitat for fish and wildlife.
The plantings build on work done by CRC since Tropical Storm Irene hit the watershed six years ago. Since then, CRC has planted more than 23,000 native trees and shrubs along the main stem Connecticut River and numerous tributary rivers and smaller brooks in the watershed. CRC works with farmers, towns and landowners who have erosion problems on their property by applying for grants to fund conservation and restoration projects, as well as providing project management services to the landowner.
“Our local farms need help to implement these water quality projects,” notes CRC River Steward Ron Rhodes, who coordinated the projects with the landowners and project partners. “The benefits are real; boatable, fishable and swimmable clean water, at a relatively low cost,” said Rhodes. “But we couldn’t do it without a team of project partners and funders who help make it all happen.”
Funding for these fall 2017 plantings was provided by grants from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Block Foundation. Project partners included the seven farms/private landowners, Beck Pond LLC, the Intervale Conservation Nursery, the NorthWoods Stewardship Center, and CRC volunteers who helped get the trees in the ground. Species planted included sugar, red and silver maples, birch, willows, red osier dogwoods, elderberries and other native species purchased from the Intervale Conservation Nursery in Burlington, VT and New England Wetland Plants in Amherst, MA.
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.