Riverstone Preserve Trail

Riverstone Preserve Trail

West River Trail, Riverstone PreserveI walked on the new Riverstone Preserve trail yesterday, along the shoreline, that the VYCC crew created.  It’s lovely!  But I missed the new steps!  Are they hidden?
Here’s an invitation to come out on the West River Trail and find the mysterious new stone steps.  When you find them, let me know where they are!

Riverstone Preserve Steps

Riverstone Preserve Steps

If you’re out on the trail this gorgeous sunny summer morning for the monthly I-91 Bridge Project Trail Talk, why not continue on to see the beautiful stone steps created earlier this summer by the VYCC crew.

Thanks again to the crew from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) for their hard work building the new steps at the Riverstone Preserve on the lower section of the West River Trail. Beautiful work! Thanks to Alex Wilson for the photos of the steps and to Jason Cooper for the crew photo.

The Riverstone Preserve Trail Work

The Riverstone Preserve Trail Work

A huge thanks to the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps crew for their good work on the West River Trail.

Posted on behalf of Alex Wilson: A few weeks ago, it was such a nice day that I decided to bike into work on the trail. I spent a while with the VYCC crew and checking out the new trail along the river in the Preserve. The new trail along the river in the Riverstone Preserve will be a better trail for walking than biking, since it’s pretty twisty. About a thousand feet of new trail represents about a day-and-a-half of work. Work that day included raking, gathering stone, and constructing steps for the access down to the water. Also pictured is a Canada Lily from the protected part of the Preserve. It was nice to see five or six of these beautiful, branching lilies in the Riverstone Preserve.

All photos taken by Alex Wilson.

Riverstone Preserve Presentation

Riverstone Preserve Presentation

riverstone preserveRiverstone Preserve presentation PPT
Click the link above to view a presentation of the River Stone Preserve.

At the recent annual meeting, FWRT board members Lester Humphreys and Paul Cameron gave a presentation on the Riverstone Preserve, a 23-acre parcel which the group acquired in 2013. The land sits one mile north of the Marina restaurant in Brattleboro, between the West River Trail and the river itself. The southern section subcommittee purchased the land for $97,000. One-third of the purchase price was raised in donations and the rest came from a grant from the Vermont Housing Conservation Board. The Vermont Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the property.

Cameron gave an overview of the plant communities in the Riverstone Preserve, which include a sugar maple ostrich fern flood plain community; a river shore grassland that is home to several rare plants such as the great lobelia; and a river cobbleshore, where the FWRT are working to control invasive Japanese knotweed, the worst of several invasive plant species in the preserve. Cameron also reported that last spring a volunteer group formed to develop a management plan for the preserve. So far the group has completed a drainage project, built a trail connector with a board walk, removed an old shed, and continues to work removing invasive species. FWRT would like to build stone steps, picnic table, a pavilion or shelter of some type, and an information kiosk. More volunteers are needed for projects happening this summer, please be in touch if you are interested in volunteering. 

West River Trail Update & Annual Meeting Report

West River Trail Update & Annual Meeting Report

WRT at MarinaThe West River Trail is open. Please be aware that there are intersections between construction access and the trail path, and users should exercise extreme caution at these intersections. As an additional safety precaution, users of the West River Trail are reminded to keep pets on a leash in this area. Trail users should be aware that snow removal operations on I-91 may cause snow to fall on the trail.

The next Trail Talk will be held on February 21. Check the I-91 bridge construction website for details.

Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT) in the news. Story published in The Commons issue #292 (Wednesday, February 11, 2015), page B2. Written by Sarah Buckingham.

LONDONDERRY—Work is about to begin to restore the former Newfane depot for use as a railroad museum. The Friends of The West River Trail (FWRT) learned more about this project, and others, when the group held its annual meeting at the former South Londonderry depot last month.

Laura Wallingford-Bacon, president of the Windham County Historical Society in Newfane, said her organization purchased the 1880 building for $42,000 from the children of Fannie and Bill Mantel last fall. It had been in the Mantel family for around 50 years. The railroad went out of business in the 1930s. The purchase price includes historical artifacts in the station. The historical society plans to restore the building and incorporate a collection of artifacts from the West River Railroad that currently resides at the county history museum. South Londonderry and Newfane are the only two of the 10 original depots from the West River Railroad that still sit at their original sites. Other surviving depots that were later relocated can be found in West Dummerston and Williamsville. Wallingford-Bacon said the historical society hopes to raise funds to offset the purchase price and to restore the property and they have received an “encouraging response” to that campaign. The restoration will take place in six phases, with an estimated total cost of around $50,000. The first, and most urgent, phase — addressing drainage and replacing the roof — is expected to cost $16,000.

At the annual meeting, FWRT board members Lester Humphreys and Paul Cameron gave a presentation on the Riverstone Preserve, a 23-acre parcel which the group acquired in 2013. The land sits one mile north of the Marina restaurant in Brattleboro, between the West River Trail and the river itself. The southern section subcommittee purchased the land for $97,000. One-third of the purchase price was raised in donations and the rest came from a grant from the Vermont Housing Conservation Board. The Vermont Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the property.
Cameron gave an overview of the plant communities in the Riverstone Preserve, which include a sugar maple ostrich fern flood plain community; a river shore grassland that is home to several rare plants such as the great lobelia; and a river cobbleshore, where the FWRT are working to control invasive Japanese knotweed, the worst of several invasive plant species in the preserve. Cameron also reported that last spring a volunteer group formed to develop a management plan for the preserve. So far the group has completed a drainage project, built a trail connector with a board walk, removed an old shed, and continues to work removing invasive species. More volunteers are needed for projects happening this summer. FWRT would like to build stone steps, picnic table, a pavilion or shelter of some type, and an information kiosk.

The FWRT board of directors elected Greg Meulemans as board president and treasurer. Humphreys was voted in as vice president of the board and assistant treasurer for the trail’s lower section subcommittee, and Sharon Crossman the assistant treasurer of upper section.

Meulemans reported that FWRT has received a grant for mile markers which will be modeled after railroad markers and be installed along the trail this summer.

 

Birding on the West River

Birding on the West River

birding on the west riverRegistration is open for the Birding on the West River walk sponsored by the Vermont Land Trust.
River corridors provide important habitat for migratory and breeding birds. Grab your binoculars and look for birds along the West River Trail.
DATE: Saturday, May 17
TIME: 7:30 –10:00 AM
PLACE: Riverstone Preserve, West River Trail, Brattleboro, VT
Sponsored by The Vermont Land Trust. Click HERE to register. If you have questions, contact Sharon at 802-262-1241 or sharon@vlt.org.