The Big Picture

Think of all we value in the landscapes that enfold us here in southwestern Vermont:

  • Our streams, rivers and lakes - the clean waters they transport, the opportunities for recreation they provide, the organisms (trout! loons!) that live in them.
  • The forests that cloak our Green Mountains and Taconics - the natural areas and wildlife habitats they represent, the clean air and dark skies they protect, the timber and other resources they offer.
  • Our working farms - the fresh and healthy products of all kinds they make available to us, the agricultural economy they sustain, the scenic vistas they preserve.

The Bennington County Conservation District works to conserve them all, for all of us.

IN THE NEWS

Portions of a gully draining about 41 acres of forest, field and residential land in Rupert’s Mill Brook subwatershed were stabilized this summer. The project was sponsored by BCCD and was supported by funds from the state’s Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP). The gully was highlighted as a priority project in a stormwater master plan produced for the Town of Rupert by Fitzgerald Environmental Associates (FEA) in 2015. That planning process was also funded by an ERP grant.

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps Strike Crew 1, with guidance from EAF staff and lots of help from the Town’s road crew, took charge of the project. Over the course of a week the eight-person crew moved tons of rock and dozens of freshly cut and heavy black locust logs to build eight check dams. The dams will stop much of the headcutting and some of the side slope failures that characterize the gully, which has a slope of about 30% over much of its length.

It was challenging work for the crew, which had been deployed only a week earlier and was still figuring out how to be a team. It rained at least a little every day. Boulders had to be dug up to make room for the check dams. And to communicate with headquarters, crew leaders had to make a trip to Sherman’s Country Store, a West Rupert landmark.

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The Final Management Plan for the 168-acre Greenberg Headwaters Park in Bennington was been completed by BCCD and its partners in 2016. To view the Plan, click here. One of the improvements called for in the Plan is a kayak launch. The first phase of the project, a boardwalk, was completed earlier this summer.