CONTACT: Alden Dumas, ECO Americorps Member: Outreach, Education and Field Staff Assistant, (717) 517-2521

Kathy Urffer, River Steward, (802) 258-0413


Connecticut River Conservancy Completes Two Woody Buffer Plantings

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) is pleased to announce the successful implementation of two riparian buffer plantings in Southern Vermont. The two projects, one located in Reading and the other in Windham, were both made possible thanks to Watersheds United Vermont (WUV) and their funds from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Woody Buffer Block Grant. This grant is a component of Vermont’s Clean Water Initiative Program; the specific focus of the Woody Buffer grant being to provide funds “for watershed groups to implement high priority, cost-effective, native riparian woody buffer plantings”.

Improving water quality for local communities is one of CRC’s and WUV’s core values, and riparian buffer plantings are one of the most essential steps in making such improvements. By strategically planting native trees and shrubs along our streams and river banks, a natural buffer is created which acts as a filter to many potential pollutants, sediment, and excess nutrients which harm stream health. These projects benefit both people and wildlife alike, and include many benefits not just limited to water quality.

To provide some examples, riparian buffers also strengthen streambanks and prevent the loss of topsoil to erosion, provide terrestrial habitat and protection to many wildlife species, and provide canopy to streams which helps regulate temperature from excessive sunlight exposure.

The first of these projects, located in Reading, provides a fifty-foot buffer to nearly a quarter mile section of Willow Brook. In total 480 trees and shrubs were planted over the 1.3 acres of new buffer by a crew from Redstart Environmental Consulting, a hardworking partner organization based out of Corinth, VT who provides a multitude of services for environmental conservation projects, and CRC staff. This area has experienced flooding in the past and sits next to a major road, so by turning a bank which was once simply used as agricultural land back into a wooded, natural area many of the aforementioned benefits are expected.

“The establishment and strengthening of partnerships is really one of the most rewarding parts of the restoration projects I’ve been a part of,” says Alden Dumas, an ECO AmeriCorps member serving with the Connecticut River Conservancy. He continues, “The hard work that Redstart put into this project, guidance and advice from WUV during the application process, and of course the collaboration and willingness of the landowner to allow such important work to happen.”

The second site in Windham, which was completed over the Memorial Day weekend on May 29th, was smaller in size but will still provide a tenth of a mile of additional buffer along the headwaters of the Middle Branch Williams River. Stormwater runoff from a nearby road and nutrient/sediment loading are two major concerns which should be mitigated thanks to the newly planted buffer.

The Connecticut River Conservancy would once again like to thank all partners and landowners for their collaboration and dedication to improving water quality in the Connecticut River Watershed. This vital work would not come to fruition without their support, and the dedication of our staff here at CRC. To learn more about our work or how to get involved please visit our website at



About Connecticut River Conservancy:

Since 1952, Connecticut River Conservancy has been a strong voice for the Connecticut River watershed, from source to sea. They collaborate with partners across four states to protect and advocate for your rivers and educate and engage communities. They bring people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote enjoyment of your rivers and streams. Healthy rivers support healthy economies. To learn more about CRC, or to make a contribution to help protect your rivers, visit

About ECO AmeriCorps

ECO AmeriCorps is a program administered by the VT Dept. Environmental Conservation. The program consists of 24 members serving statewide with partner organizations dedicated to improving Vermont’s water quality and minimizing the amount of waste entering landfills. For more information about ECO AmeriCorps, visit

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for service and volunteering. CNCS annually engages more than five million citizens in service at more than 60,000 locations in 8,500 cities across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs. National service participants address the most pressing challenges facing our cities and nation, from educating students for the jobs of the 21st century and supporting veterans and military families to preserving the environment and helping communities recover from natural disasters. For more information on AmeriCorps, visit

About Watersheds United Vermont

Watersheds United Vermont (WUV) is a state-wide network of local groups dedicated to the health of their home watersheds.

WUV’s  mission is to empower community-based watershed groups in all parts of the state to protect and restore Vermont’s waters.

Watershed Groups are broadly defined as a community-based organization working with individuals and communities in their local watersheds to protect and improve water quality, habitat, and flood resilience and to build social and ecological connections with Vermont’s waters. Watershed organizations work with all watershed constituents and do not represent a specific constituency or interest group. For more information please visit