Our Goal is a Clean, Healthy, Resilient Winooski Watershed.

We want to engage people who live, work, and play in our watershed to learn about the challenges to the river, and help us work to solve some of those challenges, and celebrate the progress that we make. 


Working For Your Rivers

The Friends of the Winooski River needs your help to build our capacity to restore and protect the waters of the Winooski Watershed.

I love the Winooski River! Every season of the year, I can find beautiful places along the river that take my breath away. It's the water of life for those of us lucky enough to live in her watershed.

Jeanne, Burlington


Tons of trash removed from the Winooski River


Habitats improved


Water quality samples analyzed


Trees and shrubs planted

June 4th
08:00 am to 02:00 pm

Onion River Race and Ramble

Launch from Bolton dam, take out at Richmond town green

The Onion River Race and Ramble is a 10.5-mile paddle from Bolton to Richmond on Vermont's Winooski River. The Race and Ramble attracts serious racers as well as paddlers looking for a fun time on the water.

Learn More

August 30th
06:00 pm to 10:00 pm

River of Light

Heineberg Bridge Access

Get your friends and family together to start planning your lighting scheme for the 6th-not-exactly-annual River of Light: Paddling by the Light of the Moon. We will meet at the Heineberg Bridge Access (on the Colchester side of the Rt 127 bridge over the Winooski River) at 7:00 PM. Participants will leave their boats and drive their cars to the Colchester Point Fishing Access. There participants will organize self-shuttles to come back to the put in. The goal is to launch at sunset and paddle the 2.5 miles to Lake Champlain.

Learn More

September 30th
09:00 am to 01:00 pm

Plainfield River Clean-Up

Recreation Fields, Plainfield VT

Meet at the Recreation Field at 9:00 AM for orientation and equipment, and get assigned to a site. Volunteers should come prepared to get wet and dirty! You would be surprised just how much fun can be had removing riverbank treasures. Looking for what to wear or what to bring? Here’s our advice! old sneakers or heavy closed-toed sandals (no mud boots as they may fill with water and become dangerous), heavy duty gloves (more than one pair, if possible), long pants and long-sleeved shirt, face mask, bug dope, Specialty Items: If you’ve got them and want to bring them, please do! heavy duty sled – the kind for hauling wood, etc., winch, rope, hip waders, pry bar, cutting tool: knife or box cutter (bring extra blades), shovel – spade, not flat edge, If you have a 5 gallon bucket you would like to donate, please bring it along as we’ll use the buckets to gather smaller trash. Protection from the elements including sun, rain, and ticks is recommended. The cleanup will happen rain or shine with the exception of severe weather or high water levels. For more information: [email protected] / 802-323-6211. If the cleanup is canceled, we will update our social media and website.

River News & Information


Join Us for Dinner

Celebrate 25 years of working together to restore the health of our watershed!  We’ll enjoy live music by Colin McCaffrey, recognition of some of our outstanding volunteers, and a presentation about beavers in the landscape by Tyler Brown, ...

Mar 18 2023

Slow the Rain, Montpelier!

A lot of the conversation about the health of Lake Champlain focuses on agriculture, so it isn't surprising that many people don't realize that one acre of developed land -- roofs, driveways, streets -- can shed more 

Oct 11 2019

Sponsor our Paddle Program

Do you love to get out on the water? We have three paddling events this summer, and we're seeking Sponsors. We have been sponsored in the past by Ben & Jerry's, Concept2, Seventh Generation, and many

Oct 11 2019

Water Wise Woodlands

Whether you have 5 or 500 acres of woodland, you can help prevent flood damage and produce one of Vermont’s most important forest products—clean water!  Healthy woodlands can absorb, 

Oct 11 2019