Mission and History

The Friends of the Winooski River is dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Winooski River. Our goals are to reduce pollution, improve habitat, increase river stability and encourage passive and sustainable enjoyment of the river. The organization was founded in 1998. It is primarily a volunteer organization with a three, part time staff: an Executive Director, Project Manager, and Outreach Coordinator.


Since the mid-2000's we have undertaken multiple projects to achieve our goals of restoring and protecting the Winooski River and its tributarties. Some of major accomplishments include:

  • Facilitated the creation of two tributary based partnerships;
  • Completed 90 miles of stream geomorphic assessments;
  • Completed one permanent corridor easement (only the 2nd in Vermont) and worked with numerous other landowners on stewardship;
  • Completed the Landowner Assistance Guide and Winooski Watershed Recreation Map;
  • Tested 220 stormwater outfalls for contamination and worked with municipalities to make several corrections resulting in immediate reduction in pollutants entering the river;
  • Initiated several fish passage improvement projects;
  • Provided on-water programs including our 6-day annual Winooski River Sojourn to increase appreciation and stewardship of the river;
  • Planted approximately 5 miles of riparian buffers;
  • Conducting river clean ups that annual remove fifty+ tires and 1-2 tons of other debris from the river;
  • Maintaining an ongoing relationship with Spaulding, U32 and Montpelier high schools to integrate river science into the curriculum;
  • Supporting volunteer water quality monitoring programs in the Headwaters and the Barre-Montpelier-North Branch area;
  • Hosting our annual Onion River Race and Ramble from Bolton to Richmond