Our Tree Planting Project on the Battenkill’s East Branch

NOTE: We are looking for volunteers to help with our next planting on Sunday, October 5th, at 10am. Please bring work gloves, shovels, and appropriate clothing for the weather. If you have a pry bar or pick, please bring it to help with any rocks we encounter. Please email us at info@tuswvt.org if you are interested. Directions to the site can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last summer the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department removed the dam at Dufresne Pond on the East Branch of the Battenkill in Manchester, VT. The state-owned structure was in poor condition, creating a safety hazard, and repairing it would have cost a great deal of money. Expected benefits from its removal include aquatic organism passage and sustaining cooler water temperatures during summer in the downstream stretch.

VT F&W is committed to making the re-established channel at the Dufresne access site a high quality recreation opportunity in the restored condition. This year VT F&W planned to get started planting along the new banks to help with stabilization, and the Batten Kill Watershed Alliance and our Southwestern Vermont chapter partnered to help. Once the new channel has settled, habitat restoration will take place through installation of cover and shelter structures.

The below photos show a site meeting with Ken Cox, fisheries biologist from VT FWD, Cynthia Browning of Batten Kill Watershed Alliance, and SWVT TU board members on May 21st.

The first round of planting took place along the lower level of the far bank on May 24th, with over 100 dogwood and willow whips that were provided by BKWA were planted by TU volunteers. The plan is to plant larger native tree species on the far higher bank in the Fall of 2014 and Spring 2015. Once all the in-stream habitat restoration has been completed, we’ll begin to vegetate the near side of the river.

We also took a fun time lapse video of everyone’s hard work on the site and posted it on our Facebook page [be sure to like us on Facebook and share with your friends]. Click here to see the video on Facebook.

 If you want to visit the site you will be able to find directions to the State access here. If you look across the river you will see the lower and upper terraces where we have begun plantings.
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