Restoration on the Battenkill

Here is an Outdoor Journal special on restoration work the Batten Kill Watershed Alliance (BKWA) has been doing on the Battenkill. The story is from 1:30-12:50.

This is a Vermont PBS production. Editing or modifying is prohibited.


Big brown with radar tag implant 2003

 Trout populations are back on the rise since the start of BKWA’s restoration work on the Kill.

Big tree - for Twin Rivers project

A combination of large trees with root wads and stone have been carefully placed at each site to create more cover and shelter for trout.

1 year later - Flyfisherman in LWD project site

Southwestern VT TU are proud to have partnered with the BKWA on a multi-stage project at the Dufrense Pond site on the East Branch of the Battenkill.


SWVT TU President Jackie Jordan getting her hands dirty

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 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.

Grant for Reforestation on the Battenkill

This week in the Bennington Banner, Keith Whitcomb Jr. interviewed Greg Peters of the National Forest Foundation about an exciting opportunity to help fund a reforestation project on the banks of the Battenkill.  The National Forest Foundation has entered Odwalla’s “Plant a Tree” contest in hopes of winning a $10,000 grant for the Green Mountain National Forest.  The funding would go toward planting trees between 4 and 5 feet high on the west side of the Battenkill that suffered erosion during Hurricane Irene.  These larger trees will help to stabilize the affected areas and trap sediments from being deposited into the river.

During the months of April and May, people can log onto and vote for the project of their choice. The ten organizations that receive the most votes will receive a $10,000 grant.

The article states the Green Mountain reforestation project will cost more than the $10,000 and the U.S. Forest Service has limited funds for reforestation projects, most having gone to repair roads damaged by Irene. More funding is being sought.

To read the full article, click here.

Note: When you go to vote for this project, it is on the second page listed in the “Boston Area”.  Just a little confusing.