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Volunteer Site Steward Spotlight

September 29, 2023 by Amanda Garland
Hancock Brook in Worcester

In our mission to protect and maintain public access sites throughout the state, we rely on volunteer site stewards to help us keep these areas safe and open to the public. The tasks of a VRC Volunteer Site Steward vary greatly, based on the needs of the site as well as the interests and capabilities of the volunteer. Although a VRC staff member visits each site annually, given our conserved areas span the state, we rely on our volunteer site stewards to give us updates and prompt alerts to changes and challenges. Site stewards clear trails of downed trees, interact with visitors, mow on a monthly basis, pick up litter, and more. 

Caleb smiles into the camera.Caleb Deane is the site steward of the Arthur Buck Winooski River Access in Moretown. The site welcomes anglers and boaters with a mowed path for walking, clear signage, and a well-maintained unloading and parking area. Caleb has been instrumental in the development of the site from the beginning. Using his own machinery, Caleb helped create the parking area, placing boulders strategically to restrict access, and digging holes for tree planting. He continues to mow, remove litter, and interact with the public who park there, on a regular basis. He does so in honor and memorial of friend Craig Elwell, who was the Moretown Road Foreman for 22 years. 

Brian stands alongside the river at Hancock Brook.Brian Stern is our newest Volunteer Site Steward at Hancock Brook River Access in Worcester. Brian’s love for rivers and his desire to be connected to them motivate his maintenance of the site. He also does this in service of his community, as a way to create a space in nature for people to enjoy. He will be keeping an eye on activity around an illegal dumping site which has seen truckloads of asbestos piping and tires in the last few years. He will also be working with the neighboring landowner to ensure their private property is being respected, through spreading the word and helping VRC staff with boundary signage.   

All of us at VRC want to extend a thank you to all who have given their time and dedication to the sites we manage. Your volunteerism means a lot to those in your community and helps VRC move forward with conserving and protecting additional lands for recreation and the conservation of sensitive habitats.   

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Site Steward of a public river access in Vermont, please fill out the volunteer form on our website.

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