Mad Dog Chapter tackles riparian planting at former dam site in Vermont

By Eliza Perreault

Laughter on a cool, rainy day in northern Vermont is not common, but when you have a group of dedicated volunteers ready to dig in and plant more than 2,000 trees, shrubs and willow stakes at the former East Burke dam site, the laughter and camaraderie spills over.

The site, on the East Branch Passumpsic River in East Burke, previously was cleared of invasive plants and was in need of riparian restoration. The Mad Dog chapter of Trout Unlimited took on the challenge, applying for and receiving an Embrace a Stream grant in order to make the restoration project a reality.

As they tackled the project, volunteers and professionals worked for three days to plant the native species vegetation, and also to create river access via stairs.

The work was hard and the conditions tough, but cheerful attitudes gave the volunteers the energy to complete the job, which will help others enjoy the river’s beauty as they bike, walk, fish, or paddle by.

Eliza Perreault is a conservation technician and education coordinator for Trout Unlimited’s New England Habitat Restroation Area.

By Mark Taylor. A native of rural southern Oregon, Mark Taylor has lived in Virginia since serving a stint as a ship-based naval officer in Norfolk. He joined the TU staff in 2014 after a 20-year run as a newspaper journalist, the final 16 as the outdoors editor of the Roanoke Times. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in Roanoke with his wife and, when they're home from college, his twin daughters.