2000 Trees Planted in Celebration of Earth Day on Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
On April 20th and April 22nd, 2023, the Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District, in partnership with the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, were joined by dozens of fantastic volunteers to plant nearly 2000 trees in a 4.4 acre former cornfield between the banks of the Missisquoi River and Monument Road in Swanton. The buffer planted was 1,080 feet long and an average of 180 feet wide from the streambank.
Nannyberry, Hackberry, Quaking Aspen, Cottonwood, Hornbeam, Basswood, American Elm, Serviceberry, Gray Birch, Arrowwood Viburnum, Silky Dogwood, Elderberry, Red Maple, Silver Maple, Swamp White Oak, Black Willow, Box Elder, Chokecherry, Grey Birch, and Speckled Alder were all planted in an attempt to jump start tree growth at this former cornfield that is being allowed to regenerate and return to forested riparian areas. We are hoping that all of these plants will thrive in this location, but if not, we will learn through this process which species are able succeed in these particular soils with the flooding patterns at this site.
The goal of this planting is to add woody material to the floodplain to stabilize and prevent erosion of the soils on the cornfield and enhance habitat and corridor connectivity. We are hoping to give this space back to the river to slow down floods, create clean water, and support the wildlife all around it.
The 2023 theme for World Earth Day is "Invest in Our Planet" calling for businesses to shift towards sustainable practices - at Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation District, we see opportunities to "Invest in Our Planet" by creating spaces for the community to contribute in hands-on ways to restoration and protection of our local natural resources. We are so thrilled that so many faces of our community showed up to help restore this special place. Thank you to everyone who made this possible including the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and the Natural Resources Conservation Council who funded this project! And thank you especially to all of the volunteers who spent their days helping us!