Riparian Buffer Plantings

Each year, we work with landowners and volunteers throughout the watershed to improve streamside buffers that help reduce erosion and improve water quality and habitat.
This May, volunteers, FWR staff, and partners planted just under 2,000 trees and shrubs along the banks of the mainstem Winooski River, Great Brook, and the Little River! 

Volunteers from local schools, businesses, and communities within the Winooski Watershed joined us this year at sites in Plainfield, Marshfield, and Stowe. You can view photos from our 2017 planting season on our Flickr page.

The restoration of riparian buffers supported by these volunteers will improve water quality by preventing sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticides and other pollutants from reaching a stream. Trees and shrubs also secure soil on the banks, preventing erosion, and soak up flood waters. Fish and other aquatic life love trees because they keep the water cool, increasing the dissolved oxygen in the stream.

Thank you to all of the landowners we worked with this year, Partners in Fish and Wildlife for the technical support and resources, the Intervale Conservation Nursery and Drinkwaters Nursery for the bare root stems, and last but not least, our volunteer groups and individuals:

National Life, Trudell Consulting Engineers, Stowe Land Trust, Don McDowell's class from Stowe High school, Jeff Grogan and the garden club from Stowe Middle School, Green Mountain Valley School, Cabot Creamery, Virginia Collins' class from Websterville Baptist School, Charlie Wanzer's class from Twinfield School, Suz Stillinger, Tad Dippel, Allen Banbury, Nathan Davidson, and Wynter Mindnich.

Think Spring: Sign Up for the 2017 Onion River Race and Ramble!

When: Sunday, June 4th
Where: Winooski River, from Bolton to Richmond (10.5 miles)

Get ready for the fourth annual Onion River Race and Ramble, the largest downriver race in Vermont. The event is part of the New England Canoe and Kayak Racing Association's (NECKRA) Downriver Point Series and attracts serious racers as well as 'river ramblers'--purely recreational boaters.

There are multiple classes to accommodate all types of paddlers and watercraft. After the race, participants are invited to a homemade meal provided by the Richmond Grange and music by the Friends' own Colin McCaffrey. The fee is $25 per person ($15 for youth) if you register by May 29th. A shuttle will be guaranteed to those who sign up by June 2nd.  Those that sign up the day before or the day of the race should plan to shuttle their car(s) on their own.

~~~~ Grab your spot today! ~~~~

Volunteer for the Race and Ramble! There are many volunteer positions available ranging from artist (design a poster!) and Bow Ornament Contest judge to time keeper and sweep boater. Some positions come with a free entry to the Race. ~~~> Sign up to help!


Dog River Floodplain Restoration

Friends of the Winooski River has been a key partner to the Town of Northfield on the Dog River Floodplain Restoration and Water Street River Park Project.

In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene devastated the Water Street neighborhood of Northfield, which is adjacent to the Dog River between Norwich University and downtown. Nine of the fourteen buyouts that resulted were concentrated in one area of Water Street (the half-moon shaped area on the map above.) This area, now owned by the Town of Northfield, is slated to become the Water Street River Park.

The Friends used a grant from the State's Ecological Restoration Program to analyze how different alternatives for the floodplain restoration site and other areas, upstream and downstream, could help mitigate flooding in the neighborhood and further downstream. The Friends and the consulting firm, Milone & MacBroom, reviewed the analyses with Town officials and the State River Management Program to select the set of options that has the greatest impact. The final engineering designs are being completed this summer. 

Led by the Northfield Conservation Commission, the Friends and partners have also been running a newspaper series related to Irene recovery, river science, climate change, and the park, this summer in the Northfield news.

Support the Friends Today

The Friends of the Winooski River's mission is to safeguard and enhance the natural resources of the Winooski River watershed in order to create a healthy balance with its human communities. We pursue this mission through restoration projects, monitoring, partnerships, education and outreach.

Membership support is critical to our mission. We ask you to support our mission and programs through membership. Click the orange button at the top right corner of this page or the link below to join the Friends in restoring and protecting the Winooski River watershed!

With member support, we achieved the following and more in 2016:

  • Planted 2250 trees and shrubs on five properties throughout the watershed;
  • Constructed two stormwater runoff reduction practices at the Cabot School;
  • Completed a floodplain restoration design in Northfield on the Dog River;
  • Created stormwater master plans for the Huntington town garage; the Smilie School in Bolton and for a neighborhood in Barre;
  • Worked with volunteers to collect water quality data at 36 sites throughout the watershed.

In 2017, we look forward to working on a number of challenges such as:

  • Working with landowners on riparian protection and restoration projects;
  • Constructing stormwater management practices in several towns;
  • Restore floodplain function along the Dog River in Northfield that will protect water quality and public and private infrastructure; and
  • Conducting education and outreach programs throughout the watershed.
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