River Clean Up

There is nothing more satisfying the pulling junk out of a river!  Whether you have been helping us for years or a first-timer, please join us on September 9th in Montpelier for the clean up. We will meet at 8:30 and be done by noon. 

Please come prepared to get dirty and wet.  It is more fun that way!    Wear closed-toed shoes and bring heavy gloves if you have them.  The Friends will also have some gloves. 

Click here for more info.  Or if you are ready to commit, sign up here

River of Light: Paddling by the Light of the Moon!

Get your friends and family together to start planning your lighting scheme (and theme!) for the 2nd River of Light: Paddling by the Light of the Moon on September 6th.

We will meet at the Heineberg Bridge Access (on the Colchester side of the Rt 127 bridge over the Winooski River) at 6:00 PM. Participants will leave their boats and drive their cars to the take out at the Rivers End Marina. The goal is to launch at sunset and paddle the 2.5 miles to Lake Champlain.

Click here for more details including directions. 

Admission is free, however, a $10 (or more!) donation to help the Friends of the Winooski River protect and restore the watershed is greatly appreciated.

If you have any doubts as to whether you want to participate, check out these links from the Burlington Free Press and  Seven Days from last year's event.


Dog River Floodplain Restoration

Friends of the Winooski River has been a key partner to the Town of Northfield on the Dog River Floodplain Restoration and Water Street River Park Project.

In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene devastated the Water Street neighborhood of Northfield, which is adjacent to the Dog River between Norwich University and downtown. Nine of the fourteen buyouts that resulted were concentrated in one area of Water Street (the half-moon shaped area on the map above.) This area, now owned by the Town of Northfield, is slated to become the Water Street River Park.

The Friends used a grant from the State's Ecological Restoration Program to analyze how different alternatives for the floodplain restoration site and other areas, upstream and downstream, could help mitigate flooding in the neighborhood and further downstream. The Friends and the consulting firm, Milone & MacBroom, reviewed the analyses with Town officials and the State River Management Program to select the set of options that has the greatest impact. The final engineering designs are being completed this summer. 

Led by the Northfield Conservation Commission, the Friends and partners have also been running a newspaper series related to Irene recovery, river science, climate change, and the park, this summer in the Northfield news.

Support the Friends Today

The Friends of the Winooski River's mission is to safeguard and enhance the natural resources of the Winooski River watershed in order to create a healthy balance with its human communities. We pursue this mission through restoration projects, monitoring, partnerships, education and outreach.

Membership support is critical to our mission. We ask you to support our mission and programs through membership.

With member support, we achieved the following and more in 2016:

  • Planted 2250 trees and shrubs on five properties throughout the watershed;
  • Constructed two stormwater runoff reduction practices at the Cabot School;
  • Completed a floodplain restoration design in Northfield on the Dog River;
  • Created stormwater master plans for the Huntington town garage; the Smilie School in Bolton and for a neighborhood in Barre;
  • Worked with volunteers to collect water quality data at 36 sites throughout the watershed.

In 2017, we look forward to working on a number of challenges such as:

  • Working with landowners on riparian protection and restoration projects;
  • Constructing stormwater management practices in several towns;
  • Restore floodplain function along the Dog River in Northfield that will protect water quality and public and private infrastructure; and
  • Conducting education and outreach programs throughout the watershed.
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