Onion River Race and Ramble!!

On June 6, nearly 100 racers and ramblers joined us for the 2nd Annual Onion River Race and Ramble from Bolton Dam to Richmond.   We had entries in ten categories including two new categories for this year.  Ramblers was an untimed category for non-competitive folks who just wanted to join in the fun and get out on the water.  Community Teams were groups of four representing a business, organization or school.  Find out results and more details at the race website

A big thank you to all of our volunteers and to our sponsors: Umiak Outfitters, the Richmond Grange, who provided a great lunch and the Vermont River Conservancy. 

Top photo courtesy of Jeremiah Johnson (www.vermontsup.com). Bottom phot courtesy of the Waterbury Record

Spring Accomplishments

Riparian Restoration: The Friends, our partners and volunteers planted 2400 trees and shrubs at four sites: Crossett Brook in Duxbury; the North Branch in Montpelier and the Winooski mainstem in Marshfield and Cabot.   

Stormwater Mitigation Workshops and Projects:Stormwater runoff is rain or snow melt that does not soak into the ground.  It carries pollutants to the streams, contributes to flooding and destabilizes stream channels. It is generated from buildings, parking lots, lawns, farm fields and roads and driveways. 

  • In Worcester, we hosted a workshop for landowners to learn about what they could to protect  water resources and save money by reducing runoff and erosion from their driveway or private road.
  • We hosted a workshop at the Smilie School along the Joiner Brook in Bolton for landowners to learn about what they can do to reduce runoff.  We conducted a tour of potential mitigation practices we had identified for the school.
  • In Richmond, the Friends held a 'build your own barrel' demonstration along with discussion about other ways to control stormwater on residential properties.
  • In Williston, we installed a bioretention practice that will treat runoff from surrounding properties and street. 

Spring Volunteer Opportunities

As usual, the Friends have long list of events, workshop and volunteer opportunities this spring.

Riparian Restoration: We will be planting approximately 2400 trees and shrubs along the Winooski River or its tributaries.  Woody vegetation has many benefits. Woody vegetation with deep roots helps to hold soil in place and reduce erosion. Overhanging riparian vegetation keeps streams cool, this is especially important for trout populations. Riparian vegetation slows floodwaters, thereby helping to maintain stable streambanks and protect downstream property.  The riparian zone also traps sediment that would other otherwise degrade streams and rivers.

Check out our Events page for where, when and how to volunteer.

Water Quality Monitoring: The Friends organize and manage three volunteer monitoring programs throughout the watershed.  Check out ourWater Quality Monitoring page to find more about these programs including results and how to volunteer. 

Living in Harmony with Streams: A Citizen's Handbook to How Streams Work

The Friends are extremely excited about our most recent publication: Living in Harmony with Streams: A Citizen's Handbook to How Streams Work.  In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, there were lots of questions about how to manage our streams.  Should we dredge?  Should we armor the banks?  How do dredging and armoring banks impact the aquatic life?  How do they impact downstream communities? This handbook describes the natural processes of streams and how human development and actions impact those processes.  It also describes the Vermont Rivers Program, stream geomorphic assessment and corridor planning.  After you have read through the handbook,  visit theVermont River Management pageto find many more resources including a list of completed corridor plans.  

You can also view a short presentation on the guide here. This presentation was created from the guide with funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program.