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Richmond Conservation News

  New Dam for Gillett Pond

Taking Shape 

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Great progress continues on Gillett Pond's new dam, with the first of several vertical sections now complete. The temporary coffer dam (basically bags of sand bags) is doing a great job creating space for construction crews to dig a 250-foot-long trench, build forms in it and fill them with concrete for the footings and wall. (This required lowering the Pond level a couple of feet, so paddlers and anglers may find access over the muddy shore a bit difficult. Better days are coming, though!) 

We still need your help

Thanks to the more than 10 years of incredible community support, we've raised over $1.1 million to acquire the Pond and build the dam. We're now less than $10,000 away from being able to complete the dam, make the Pond even more enjoyable for its many visitors, including with a four-season parking area the Pond has never had. We'll install a kiosk, benches and other amentitie. And we'll be able to put aside enough funds to cover the costs of maintaining the dam and protecting the Pond long into the future.

Please help put this important project over the top. There are many ways to help. You can donate by:

-- Using our online form, or, by

-- Mailing a check directly to us at the address below and payable to "Richmond Land Trust", with  “Gillett Pond” written in the memo area, or

-- Reach out to our Treasurer, Jonathan Smith, through our Contact Form or by getting in touch with any of our other board members with questions or about other arrangements.

If you're 72 or over, you might also be able to land a major tax deduction ot available to others by making a donation from your retirement fund. Ask your financial advisor for details.

Huge thanks to everyone who has got us this far. And endless thanks as well to those who'll finish this campaign to save the Pond and ensure its survival for generations to come! 

Warming Up Winter for Local Families

Clearing the dam construction site yielded a truckload of logs we donated to Wood4Good, an area non-profit that provides heating assistance to families in need.

 

So far this year they've given away over 140 loads of wood to Vermont families, including to some in Richmond and Huntington. If you know someone who might need heating assistance this winter, encourage them to contact the organization at wood4goodvt.org. (And thanks to Bob Low for the photo!)

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Middle-Schoolers Pitch in
to Protect a Preserve
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For decades, the towering ferns and other plants and trees that make for such a striking -- and rare -- landscape at RLT's Beeken Rivershore Preserve have been under assault.

Highly aggressive, non-native plants are doing their best to elbow out the forest's ostrich ferns and silver maple trees -- along with the dozens of other native species that make the place so special.

Meanwhile, the Winooski River gnaws at its banks, as rivers will, threatening parts of the Rivershore Trail and even Cochran Road.

However, in recent years help has arrived when school buses unload scores of kids ready for hands-on lessons in ecology, land conservation and environmental stewardship.

Stopping the spread
Some 15 years ago, wildlife biologist Jon Kart volunteered his time to launch the Great Richmond Root-Out, aiming to control the spread of non-native plants throughout town. That's included bringing science students from Camel's Hump Middle School to the Preserve and other conserved lands in town not only to learn about their ecological importance but also to help protect them.

On a late May morning, for example, the CHMS Polaris team came to the Preserve. After a quick orientation from Jon the kids tore into stands of knotweed and clumps of garlic mustard. They also removed protective tubes around tree trunks in a grove Jon designed a few years ago to help anchor soils against the relentless efforts of the Winooski River to shift its course into the Preserve.
Other CHMS teams have tackled similar projects, such as cutting knotweed at the Town's Overocker Park, planting trees near the river at Volunteers Green and uprooting barberry bushes at the Preston Preserve. 

Thanks to Jon and the Great Richmond Root-Out program he founded -- as well to the CHMS students and teachers who've been so willing to pour their own energy into the project!

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Pop Quiz!

How many times did people visit the Triple Buckets area of our Huntington River Gorge Preserve between late May and late August of 2021?

a. 127  b. 830  c. 1,263  d. 11, 141

The answer blew us away. It's "d" -- 11,141!

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