In early 2015 a landowner in West Haven contacted PMNRCD to talk over planting possibilities in an area which is prime aquatic and riparian habitat. The landowner is committed to building this area as a wildlife corridor.
In Spring 2015 the site was discussed by Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District and NRCS, who wished to find appropriate conservation sites on Coggman Creek (a watershed on which both groups wish to focus). Additionally, the property is located in an area of West Haven which The Nature Conservancy hopes to return to native Clayplain forest.
Vermont DEC Scientist Shannon Pytlik visited the site and found it to be a stable site, appropriate for Trees for Streams planting. Trees for Streams (TFS) is a locally driven program to stabilize eroding stream banks, establish forested riparian buffers, and deliver watershed education & outreach. The site identified is of high priority due to its location, stabilizing and buffering Coggman Creek from animal pastures, providing a corridor for wildlife, and returning significant and now-rare clay plain habitat to the area.
This project planted a 3.9-acre section of buffer along Coggman Creek with approximately 360 – 400 stems per acre. The natural community in this area is Valley Clayplain Forest, which is comprised of a rich assemblage of species, with an especially high percentage of masting nut trees. This community-type was once common in the clay-soil-containing areas of the Champlain Valley, but due to conflicting land uses has not re-established after colonial clearing like its upland neighbor the northern hardwood forest community. The site before planting was predominantly a stand of dying elms, canary reed grass, dogwoods, a few black willows, and small oaks with invasive buckthorn in one patch along the creek.
The project brought in many partners including Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Champlain Valley Native Plant Restoration Nursery (CVNPRN), US Fish and Wildlife Service, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Green Mountain College, Stafford Technical Center, Mill River Union High School and The Tutorial Center.
This successful project was completed on May 18th.
Support of this blog is made possible with funding through Lake Champlain Basin Program.