Woodstock Project Adds Trees, Removes Invasives

Woodstock — A recently completed river restoration project at Billings Farm in Woodstock included the planting of 1,300 native trees and shrubs along the Ottauquechee River.

A grant from Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources to the Connecticut River Watershed Council supported the replanting, designed to replace vegetation destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene. The newly planted trees and shrubs will address a top water quality priority in the Ottauquechee River, the watershed council said in a recent news release.

“The lack of vegetation along our rivers is a major cause of water quality and habitat problems,” said Marie Caduto, Watershed Coordinator for ANR. “The simplest, most efficient and most cost-effective way to improve and protect water quality is to plant more trees and shrubs along our rivers.”

The project, overseen by CRWC River Steward Ron Rhodes, also included the removal of invasive plants, such as honeysuckle and barberry, that can crowd out native plants, suppress tree growth, and spread to nearby properties. That work was supported by donations via the crowd-funding website CleanWaterFuture.org.

A six-member work crew from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps worked for two weeks to manually pull invasive plants and plant the five-foot tall trees and shrubs, which included box elder, red maple, silky and red osier dogwood, red oak and shrub willow. — Staff report