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Vermont River Conservancy partnered with Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity to protect conservation land and create opportunities for new affordable housing. We purchased 11 acres along the LaPlatte River, and then Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity constructed a cluster of new homes. A significant portion of the conserved area near the houses is available for gardens.
Vermont River Conservancy also holds a unique River Corridor Easement here, ensuring the LaPlatte River will always be able to meander across the landscape. When the river floods each spring, it will be able to overflow its banks onto the undeveloped parts of the land, providing seasonal wetlands for migratory songbirds and allowing the open land to do its part to filter pollution out of the water.
This kind of project is especially important in the Champlain Valley, where River Corridor Easements can help keep waterways clean and keep downstream communities safe.
Though the Champlain Valley is known for its rolling farmland and verdant fields, unfortunately many of the area waterways are polluted with runoff from manure, pesticides, and development. This is a big challenge for local communities: 145,000 people get drinking water from Lake Champlain, and kids’ favorite beaches are sometimes closed when there are poisonous algae blooms.Also, too often, rivers are “channelized,” forced to flow in a straight line along roads, across fields, or around homes and businesses. This makes water flow quickly, and erodes riverbanks and carries more pollutants into the lake. Projects like this help address these problems by using River Corridor Easements to protect sections of rivers.
This project made possible thanks to the support and partnership of: