An Open Letter from the Friends of the Winooski River
Dear Friends (of the Winooski River),
It’s no secret that Lake Champlain’s healthy ecosystem is vulnerable to impacts of those of us living, working and farming in its surrounding communities. Much of this comes as a result of the surplus sediment, toxins and also nutrients flowing into it from contributing rivers, such as the Winooski.
The Winooski watershed — all of the land area where water drains into the Winooski River — has the largest land area of any watershed in Vermont, home to about one quarter of the state’s population, covering all or part of more than 30 cities and towns. Friends of the Winooski River connects watershed residents with opportunities to spend time enjoying and restoring nature. One way to do that is to plant wide bands or buffers of native trees and shrubs along streams.
Planting trees and shrubs along streams provides a myriad of benefits!
- Trees and shrubs along streams help to slow rain as it flows over the land, which helps to maintain stable streambanks and protect downstream property.
- Woody vegetation has deep roots that hold soil in place and reduce erosion. This protects land and is critical to improving water quality in streams and in Lake Champlain.
- Overhanging riparian vegetation provides shade to keep streams cool, which is especially important for wild trout populations.
- Buffers provide valuable habitat for wildlife and birds. In addition to providing food and cover they are an important corridor or travel way for all kinds of species.
Friends of the Winooski River relies on volunteer labor for almost all of our planting, because we believe strongly in the benefit to watershed residents of having opportunities to connect with nature, and with the work of restoring nature. FWR wants to bring the wild back to the “Wild Onion” and we want everyone to have a chance to help! For anyone who isn’t able to volunteer, we encourage them to get involved by donating: individual donations provide nearly all of our organizational support. Lastly, folks can keep up with our work on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our mailing list to hear about upcoming paddling events and more.
Friends of the Winooski River
Learn more about the Friends of the Winooski River