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Reflections: Spring Co-Director Update

May 25, 2023 by Kassia Randzio and Erin De Vries

Redwing blackbirds. Peepers. Bloodroot. Fiddleheads.

Dream up your favorite sign of spring, and you dream of waters: wetlands welcoming back a kaleidoscope of songbirds, miniature frogs raising giant voices into the night, starbright petals balanced atop wet-footed greens, and furled ferns stretching towards light.

Each sign of spring, no less miraculous this year than the year before, sparks optimism for the days ahead.

This optimism is at the heart of our conservation work, rooted in our rivers and the idea that – with a little nurturing via land protection, and a little prodding via tree planting and regrading – nature can regain a foothold. We’re helping too-wet farmland to once again become vibrant wetlands. We’re protecting shady headwaters where hummocky soils absorb snowmelt and rainfall. Alive with the sounds of peepers and songbirds, these natural sponges make our communities more resilient – they filter pollutants out of the water we drink, and store water to protect against flood and drought.

Visit a swimming hole, and you’ll hear optimism in children’s joyous laughter, or see it in the youngest’s wide-eyed wonder. We protect swimming holes that let kids know the timeless joys of a Vermont summer, paddlers’ put-ins that offer restful afternoon floats, and shady trails where riffles mesmerize people young and old – places that nurture resilience of mind, body, and spirit.

In this same spirit of growth and new beginnings, we now have a team of six staff working full-time for our rivers, putting more people-power behind our mission than ever before. We set a goal to protect 23 places in 2023, and we’re a quarter of the way there. Together with you – our supporters, volunteers, and partners – we’ll sustain this pace of protection – nurturing vibrant communities of people, plants, and wildlife.

Happy river season!

Erin De Vries and Kassia Randzio


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