More than 53,403 trees planted since 2011!
Riverbanks with native trees, shrubs and flowers are the most cost-effective restoration projects we can implement in the Connecticut River watershed. Restoring riverbank trees and shrubs, which were cut and removed over the years, is an important step toward improved water cleanliness, more stable riverbanks, and better fish & wildlife habitat for our rivers. CRC has secured funding to plant native trees and shrubs along the banks of the Connecticut River and its tributaries in order to filter polluted runoff and provide a buffer zone between our streams and land use.
In 2020, CRC and partners planted 12,143 native trees and shrubs despite some restrictions on travel and volunteers due to COVID. In addition to helping reduce erosion, improve clean water, and increase fish and wildlife habitat, these tree plantings have helped local businesses during difficult times by injecting thousands of dollars into local communities. Spring efforts included plantings along 12,500 feet of riverfront land on 10 different rivers in Vermont and New Hampshire. Fall plantings restored 11.5 acres in Norwich, Newbury, Lyndonville and Guildhall, VT, and our largest project this fall at the Connecticut River Drivers Wildlife Management Area in Colebrook, NH (4.5 acres), where the plantings will expand the native floodplain forest. Additionally, more than 1,400 trees and shrubs were planted at a restoration project along the East Branch of the North River in Colrain, MA. This site also involved constructing wood buttresses along an eroding bank using more than 400 pieces of large wood.
In 2019, CRC and partners planted 11,342 native trees and shrubs at eleven sites in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. These eleven projects covered nearly 25 acres of land along 16,427 feet of shoreline along the Connecticut River and its tributaries. These projects extended from the South River in Conway, Massachusetts 190 miles north to Perry Stream in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, where this northern-most planting incorporated elements of the boreal forest found in northern New England. Five of the sites were for private landowners interested in protecting and improving fish and wildlife habitat and reducing soil erosion. Two other sites were located along tributary streams where CRC had removed old, unused dams in 2018. Four other projects were completed on properties owned by state and local governments or non-profit organizations. The largest planting (>3,000 trees) was completed in partnership with the New Hampshire chapter of The Nature Conservancy on the newly-established Connecticut River Drivers Wildlife Management Area in Colebrook, NH. Almost 200 community members volunteered to help plant these trees and shrubs and included local residents, schools, businesses, Americorps, Trout Unlimited chapters, Friends of the South River, Hartland (VT) and Orford (NH) Conservation Commissions. Additional project partners included the NorthWoods Stewardship Center, Redstart Forestry, Intervale Conservation Nursery, New England Wetland Plants, Kingdom Trails, Blackmount Country Club, Norwich Fire & Water District, and New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Funding for these projects was provided by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, One Tree Planted, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, State of Vermont Ecosystem Restoration Program, and the many CRC supporters and members.
In 2018, CRC and a multitude of project partners planted 6,536 native trees and shrubs on 8,075 feet of riverfront at 15 sites in New Hampshire, and Vermont. The riverside plantings covered eight acres of land on numerous tributaries of the Connecticut River. Many thanks to our volunteers from Trout Unlimited, the Burke Town School, Saint Michael’s College, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust that joined the planting crews from Northwoods Stewardship Center, Beck Pond LLC, and ECO AmeriCorps. Funding for these plantings was provided by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Trout Unlimited (MadDog and Greater Upper Valley chapters), 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.
In 2017, CRC, our partners, and volunteers planted a total of 7,315 native trees and shrubs along the Connecticut River and its tributaries – including the Black and Wells Rivers in Vermont, and the Ammonoosuc, Upper Ammonoosuc, and Israel Rivers, as well as Bissell Brook and Oliverian Stream in New Hampshire. These plantings – which provide important habitat for fish and wildlife, help reduce erosion, and improve water quality – covered nearly 13,400 feet of riverbank owned by 11 separate landowners. Funding for these plantings was provided by grants from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the Block Foundation, and from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In 2016 CRC and our partners planted more than 5,000 native trees and shrubs along the Connecticut River, Ammonoosuc River, Wells River, Winhall River, Bissell Brook and Oliverian Brook. Funding for these plantings was provided by grants from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. Project partners included Beck Pond LLC, the Northwoods Stewardship Center, New England Wetland Plants, the Intervale Conservation Nursery and nine landowners.
In 2015, 3,000 additional native trees and shrubs from local nurseries were planted on the banks of many tributary rivers & streams. Along the Chickley River in Massachusetts, which was devastated by Tropical Storm Irene, several hundred new trees will help protect the banks and property in future floods. The work, under contract to Mass DEP, was performed by land owners and residents of Hawley, volunteers from Trout Unlimited, with in-kind donations from local businesses. Along six tributaries in Vermont and New Hampshire, over 2,000 plantings were done by volunteers from a wide variety of partner organizations: conservation commissions, schools, golf courses, river watchdogs, kids groups, government agencies and Trout Unlimited.
In 2014, a total of 1,931 native trees and shrubs were planted. This includes 1,300 plants along the Ottauquechee River in Woodstock, VT to help restore the Billings Farm riverbank that was destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, as well as 331 plants along Mink Brook in Etna, NH and 300 plants in Piermont, NH and Groton, VT. In addition, we added vegetation by digging trenches atop the riverbanks, installing bundles of live willow and dogwood cuttings (called fascines), and backfilling the trenches so the cuttings can root, grow and create a thick wall of vegetation that will help stabilize these highly erodible areas.
In 2013, we planted 3,025 native trees and shrubs in New Hampshire and Vermont with the help of our project partners. These plantings took place on the Passumpsic, Wells, Ottauquechee and Black rivers in Vermont, as well as on Eastman and Oliverian brooks and the main stem of the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. Several of these locations (Wells, Ottauquechee and Eastman) also received 535 stems in 2012 through our work and the efforts of our project partners.
In 2012, we partnered with New England Public Radio for a special campaign designed to help with replanting efforts throughout the Connecticut River watershed after the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene. Working together, we mobilized organizations and volunteers to plant 2,600 trees throughout the Connecticut River Valley. A group of generous partners & supporters came together to help with this special campaign. For each contribution made in support of New England Public Radio during the station’s winter on-air fund drive, a tree was planted in the watershed.
Why Trees are Important
In addition to being oxygen-producers, trees provide a range of other important benefits to rivers, people and animals in our watershed, including:
- Slowing rainwater runoff, reducing flooding, erosion, pollution and recharging aquifers.
- Providing important habitat for all kinds of animals, including those that fly, swim and crawl.
- Keeping our rivers cool, helping fish and other river life. They do the same thing for our cities and homes.
- Capturing carbon dioxide, locking it away in its roots, leaves and wood.
- Improving water quality, as well as absorbing and filtering pollution from our soil and air.
- Creating beautiful places, providing spots to gather, reflect, and enjoy nature.
Thank you to all our partners and supporters for making these tree planting projects possible!