Woodbury Mountain Preserve at the headwaters of the North Branch of the Winooski © Zack Porter

Resilient Rivers

For people and wildlife, from headwaters to downtown.


We restore rivers for people and wildlife.

In the face of climate change, every model predicts Vermont will see more drought and more flooding. This is bad news for fish, wildlife, and communities. The good news is that there’s something we can do about it:  protect land along rivers.

Our signature River Corridor Easements let landowners keep using their land as farms, forests, or wetlands, but they agree to let the river flow across their land. Instead of straightening riverbeds or lining banks with old tires, landowners let rivers run their course. These protected stretches let rivers meander in big, long S-curves, spreading out over the land. As a result, water slows and the land holds more water, decreasing the amount and speed of water crashing into downstream homes and businesses, and storing up groundwater for times of drought. Plus, these seasonal flooded areas create important wetland habitat for animals like wood turtles, heron, and otters – a win, win for landowners, neighbors, and wildlife.

No matter where we work, we use the right tool for the job. Sometimes, this means holding a conservation easement on 5,000 acres to protect old forests and headwater streams. Other times, this means buying 12-acres in downtown Brattleboro, hauling out a century of industrial fill, and giving the city a restored floodplain and community park.

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