Project Listing

Stewardship of the Urban Landscape (SOUL) Tree Stewards Training

Beginning in 1996, Vermont Urban and Community Forestry began offering a course referred to as S.O.U.L Stewards training. This course is currently offered to the public with the goal of empowering citizens to become advocates of urban forests. Citizens that take the course are educated on policy, tree biology, and the principles of urban forestry, such as pruning. Additionally, this course helps to teach and develop leadership skills in the field.

Ash Tree Awareness Week 2014

In 2014, the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry held Ash Tree Awareness Week to provide education and outreach to the public about the Emerald Ash Borer. During the designated week, events were held throughout the state of Vermont to raise awareness of the damaging effects of the Emerald Ash Borer. Events included tree walks in every county that were open to the public, hanging posters on 1500 Ash trees with information about EAB, and teaching citizens of Vermont how to identify EAB.

Friends of the Mad River

In 1990, the ski resort Sugarbush began plans to use water from the Mad River in VT to make snow at their resort. This plan to begin using the river for snowmaking concerned community members that valued the river for its beauty and recreational use. Therefore, an increased interest in the health and protection of the Mad River grew and in 1995 a group of volunteers formed the conservation group known as the Friends of the Mad River. These volunteers quickly created a conservation plan that included 120 management recommendations to help protect the beloved Mad River.

Formation of The Richford Conservation Commission

In the 2008 the Cold Hollows to Canada organization and Jens Hilke, the Vermont State Conservation Planner, organized and held a community forum in Enosburgh, VT. During this community forum, members of the community were encouraged to look at maps of the area and circle places or resources that were of value to them. After circling many areas present on the maps, many of the forum attendees came to the realization that there were several places in their area that were of great value to them and that these places deserved protection.

Grassland Bird Conservation

Dairy farms are a prominent presence within the Vermont agriculture industry. Farmers depend on hay with high protein content to produce the highest quality and yield of milk from dairy cattle. A management conflict arises with grassland birds, such as the bobolink and savannah sparrow which are ground-nesting species. They depend on these grassland areas for breeding success in late May into mid-July. Bobolinks are most sensitive to the time of hay cutting in relation to their nesting phenology.

Science To Action: Bolton

Bolton has a lower population density than the other three towns involved in the Science to Action project. Over 50 percent of Bolton’s land is conserved which contrasts sharply with the towns such as Richmond or Jericho that face heavy development pressure. Bolton also experiences a reasonable amount of logging activity, and features a large ski resort that results in a constant process of reviewing proposed actions.

Science to Action: Jericho

Jericho faces the greatest amount of development pressure among the four towns involved in Science to Action due to its connection with Interstate 89 among other sources. Considering this fact, the town had a budget already allocated for the inventory process of the project which allowed it to be very comprehensive, including vernal pools and other details often left out of other inventories. Goals for the project in Jericho included improving wildlife crossings, reducing forest fragmentation, and efficiently planning development.

Vermont Biodiversity Project

In the mid-1990s, there was a growing sense of concern in Vermont that biodiversity was critically important for ecosystem integrity, but was at risk of serious decline. Stemming from this sentiment, the Nature Conservancy of Vermont organized numerous leaders of various conservation commissions and agencies across Vermont to work towards the common goal of preserving the viability of native community types and species across the state. This organization became the Vermont Biodiversity Project.

Vernal Pool Mapping Project

The Vermont Vernal Pool Mapping Project is a collaborative project that aims to identify and protect vernal pools across the state.

Science to Action: Richmond

Within the Science to Action project area, Richmond is under a significant amount of development pressure, so the town aims to improve zoning restrictions and bylaws that may protect natural areas. Richmond provided additional financial support for its inventory in light of this developmental pressure and therefore has a more comprehensive inventory than some of the other towns.