Riverstone Preserve: Update on Invasive Plant Treatments

Dan Healey of Long View Forest and Jackie Comeau of Vt Fish & Wildlife survey invasive treatment results on the Riverstone Preserve. 

Don’t be concerned about all the dead plant material you are seeing from the trail along the Riverstone Preserve area! This past Tuesday morning, lower section steering committee members Kathleen,  Alex and Malcolm, had a tour of the results of the invasive plant treatments that were done on the Riverstone Preserve last fall, with Dan Healey of Long View Forest (who directed the treatment) and Jackie Comeau from the VT Dept of Fish & Wildlife (who monitors the work for the  EQIP grant funds from the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) . In order to receive grant funds to pay for follow up treatments, at least 90% of the invasive species that were treated last fall had to have been eradicated. As the photo illustrates, the effect on invasive plants was dramatic.  Long View Forest will do a follow up treatment on the japanese knotweed and black swallow wort later this summer, and a third treatment in 2020.  After that, volunteers will be needed to keep these plants (that will inevitably make a come back) at a manageable level.  Along with the knotweed and black swallow wort, asiatic bittersweet, honeysuckle, multiflora rose, barberry and buckthorn were treated. It was lovely to see lots of ferns and other native plants springing up around the treated invasive plants–evidence of the effectiveness of the targeted treatment.  For more information about this project, you can email lowersection@wrt.org.

West River Trail Work Day May 15th

West River Trail, Trillium

Volunteers needed for West River Trail work day! 
Wednesday May 15
4 PM to 6:30 PM

We will meet at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, May 15 at the Marina Trailhead and plan to head out on the trail at 4 PM. We will mostly be doing drainage clearing, though a few people will be chainsawing downed logs. All in all the trail is in great shape, but we need to clear the leaves and debris out of the drainage ditches along the wetter areas of the trail. Bring mud boots, gloves, bug dope, water and an iron rake or hoe if you have one. We have extra tools, if needed. Optional gathering at the Marina Restaurant afterwards! For more information, contact lowersection@westrivertrail.org. We look forward to working out on the trail with you!

Support the West River Trail

West River Trail Marina TrailheadAs 2018 draws to a close, we invite you to include the Friends of the West River Trail in your year-end giving.

At a recent meeting of the Lower Section Steering Committee, we paused to take stock of all that has been accomplished this year and acknowledge how good we are feeling about the trail.  The trail is in great shape, largely because of generous donations received from all of you.

With these funds, we were able to hire Jason Evans Excavation, this fall, to do  major repairs to the large, deep washouts on the trail access from Fox Farm Road.  He also fixed some smaller washouts along the trail under the power lines and added gravel to widen and improve the trail surface there.

Other accomplishments in 2018:

  • Two productive volunteer trail work days in the spring and the fall.
  • Recent receipt of a permit from the Town of Dummerston to reconstruct the kiosk at the Rice Farm Road trail head. The kiosk will be set in place next spring.
  • With funds from a USDA grant, we hired Long View Forest to treat the invasives on the Riverstone Preserve this fall.  90% of the buckthorn, barberry, multi-flora rose, oriental bittersweet and japanese knotweed was eradicated. The black swallow wort will be treated next spring/summer and we will receive more USDA funds to do follow up treatment in 2020.
  • Jeff Nugent, of the Windham Regional Commission, updated the trail map, which will be found at the trail heads and around the community soon.  (Printing generously donated by C&S Wholesale Grocers).

Your year-end gift will help us to continue our work on:

  • Repair and maintenance of the trail surface and drainage culverts
  • Control of invasive species in the Riverstone Preserve
  • Protection of rare and endangered species along the trail
  • Extension of the trail to the downtown Brattleboro railroad station, and south from there to the old railroad bridge that connects to a large network of New Hampshire trails
  • Potential acquisition of additional land adjacent to the trail
  • Creating and printing a map of the Riverstone Preserve Trails
  • Promotion of trail usage through distribution of maps as well as through our website and Facebook page
  • Amenities, such as benches along the trail, a picnic table near the I-91 bridge, and a shelter on the Riverstone Preserve

If you have not visited the trail recently, please do!  The trail is seeing more and more usage, year-round, by hikers, runners, cyclists, skiers and snowshoers.

If you love the West River Trail and want to see it continue to be protected, improved and even extended, please support the Friends of the West River Trail with a generous donation. Click here to make a secure online donation. If you prefer to donate by check, please feel free to contact us at:
West River Trail, Lower Section, 138 Elliot St, Suite 3, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301.

Thank you! 

With all best wishes,

FRIENDS OF THE WEST RIVER TRAIL

Lower Section steering committee:

  • Lester Humphreys (chair)
  • Jason Cooper
  • Niko Malkovich
  • Matt Mann
  • Malcolm Moore
  • Kathleen White
  • Alex Wilson

Fundraising committee:

  • Orly Munzing
  • Brett Morrison
  • Marcia Steckler
  • Tom Yahn

Successful Trail Work Day, October 20, on the Lower Section of the West River Trail!

west-river-trail-nov-2018 - 1Charlie, Jennifer, Sue, Jason and Malcolm, our enthusiastic trail crew for the day, got a lot accomplished. They planted a post for the chain at the Rice Farm Road Trailhead and cleared the area for the new kiosk (for which we recently received approval from the Dummerston DRB!) Grass was trimmed and overgrown brush was pruned back a mile along the trail from each end. Drainage ditches and culverts were raked out, leaving the trail in good shape! A big thank you to our volunteers!

WRT Volunteer Trail Work Day

cropped-milton-avery-in-vermontWe are having a Trail Work Day on Saturday, October 20 from 10 AM to 2 PM. We will meet at the Rice Farm Road Trail head. We’ll be doing some trimming along the trail, weed whacking under the power lines, clearing drainage ditches of leaves and debris, planting a post, putting up some new signs, etc. Wear boots, bring water, snack, work gloves. We will have tools, but you are welcome to bring your own, such as a shovel, clippers, pruner, rake. Lunch will be provided. It will be fun! We look forward to seeing you and are so grateful for your help. For more information or to let us know you’re coming, contact us at: lowersection@westrivertrail.org. Thank you!

River Loop Trail Closed Saturday, September 29 for Invasive Plant Treatment

riverstone-preserve-wrt-sept-2018-jeff-nugentThe River Loop on the Riverstone Preserve will be closed on September 29th for 1 day only. There will be signs about the closure posted at the junctions of this trail with the West River Trail, and at the Rice Farm Road and Marina trail heads. We are sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we deal with the important issue of invasive plant mitigation on this special piece of land between the river and the West River Trail.

West River Trail Volunteer Work Day

West River Trail Boulder Work - 3Save the Date! West River Trail Volunteer Work Day.
Saturday, October 20 (with rain date Sunday, Oct 21).
Time: probably 9 AM to 1 PM.
We will put in a post, put trail markers along the trail, clear ditches, do some mowing. Stay tuned for more info as the date gets closer. Hope you can join us!

Riverstone Preserve Trail Closure

riverstone-preserve-wrt-sept-2018-jeff-nugent
RIVERSTONE PRESERVE TRAIL CLOSURE UPDATE! The West River Trail will be open again from the Marina trail head to the Rice Farm Rd trail head, starting Wednesday, Sept 5, for the rest of the week and until further notice. The trails on the Riverstone Preserve will be closed this Wednesday and Thursday, due to the invasive plant treatment. There will be signage explaining which trails are closed.

There will most likely be more trail closures announced during the fall for this purpose.

Thank you for your patience!

RIVERSTONE PRESERVE TRAIL CLOSURE

The Friends of the West River Trail received a grant from the USDA and have hired Long View Forest, Inc to treat Bittersweet, Multiflora Rose, Black Swallowort, Buckthorn, Japanese Barberry (and possibly a few others).

Monday, Sept 3 and Tuesday, Sept 4 the Riverstone Preserve portion of the West River Trail will be closed for treatment on invasive plants. The main West River Trail will be closed where it passes along the Riverstone Preserve. Trails within the Riverstone Preserve will be closed. There will be signs at the trailheads at the Marina and Rice Farm Road, and at either end of the section of the Main trail that will be closed. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

6th Annual West River Trail Run

The West River Trail Run is an annual run and FUNdraiser to benefit The Collaborative’s long-standing programs like the After-school Program, Summer Camp, and Refuse To Use Program. The full 11 mile trail run starts at the South Londonderry Depot and ends at Jamaica State Park. This run is great for trail running enthusiasts of all skill levels. In addition to the competitive, unofficial timed 11 mile run for individual runners, it has a 3-leg relay option, walkers’ start time and a 5K Fun Run. We also have volunteer opportunities at the registration table and water stations. Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to learn more. We ask no dogs. If you would like to push a stroller, the 5K or the first leg of the race is best.

This is a great June race with ideal running weather, through a scenic route with gorgeous river, woods and mountain views. Runner perks include a custom design t-shirt, unique finisher medals, gift bags of Vermont goodies and a free day pass into Jamaica State Park. Overall winners (M/F) and top finishers for six different age groups are awarded. The race includes a post race celebration with food, music, raffles, and swimming hole cool off.

6th Annual West River Trail Run
Londonderry & Jamaica, Vermont
Saturday, June 2, 2018
For more information, please contact us HERE.

39 Steps at the South Londonderry Depot

The_39_Steps_1935_British_posterOn Tuesday, May 15, at 7 pm, the Friends of the West River Trail will present “The 39 Steps” a Hitchcock classic at the South Londonderry Depot.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.
South Londonderry Depot, 34 River St., South Londonderry, VT.