For three days in May, the banks of the East Branch of the Passumpsic River in Burke were the site of a flurry of activity and hard work as local schools, conservation groups and community members came together to replant the riparian buffer in an area above the former dam, which was removed last year.

Riparian plantings of native species, including willow and dogwood, will grow to provide shade, improve water quality, and increase fish and wildlife habitat along the East Branch. The project was sponsored and partially funded by The Mad Dog Chapter of Trout Unlimited through the national “Embrace the Stream” program.

Volunteers used saplings sourced from Drinkwater’s Nursery in Waterford and the Intervale Conservation Nursery in Burlington, a facility that has been involved in riparian restoration projects throughout Vermont since it’s founding in 2002.

Volunteer work, organizational help and funds were provided by members of the following groups: Lyndon Institute, Newark Street School, The Riverside School, The Burke Town School, The East Burke School, Trout Unlimited, Burke Conservation Commission, Connecticut River Conservancy, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Burke Cares, Kingdom Trails, VT Dept of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife, Americorps and the Northwoods Stewardship Center.

Volunteer Hank Butler described the project as a “pretty wonderful day for volunteerism, community partnerships and of course, the river!”