Trees planted for Saxtons River floodplain protection

Grafton Elementary students helped plant native trees and shrubs along the Saxtons River. Photo provided

GRAFTON, Vt. – It was a beautiful day June 6 to be outside along the banks of the Saxtons River. The Saxtons River Watershed Collaborative organized a riparian buffer tree planting along the Saxtons River along with its partners the Windham County Natural Resource Conservation District, the town of Grafton, Grafton Elementary School, and Vermont DEC.

With shovels in hand, 53 community volunteers, Grafton town representatives, and students and staff from Grafton Elementary School planted native trees and shrubs on a Grafton town-owned property. This planting represents a culmination of many years of hard work to restore this Tropical Storm Irene damaged property back into productive floodplain habitat. By planting native trees and shrubs, the buffer will help reduce future erosion and flooding in high-water events.

Volunteers planting in the floodplain. Photo provided

In addition to the support from the project partners, this project was also generously assisted with donations of services, equipment, and materials by MJS Lawn Care and Landscape and Ivor Stevens Grounds Maintenance. Additional plants were donated Noralee Hall and Pat and Peter Jeziorski. Volunteers from the town of Grafton include neighbors Cathy Siano-Goodwin, Kirk Goodwin, and Craig Moore as well as Meg Gonzales, Chris Tole, Cynthia Gibbs, Joshe Hearne, Danny Taylor, and Sam Battaglino. A special thanks to the Grafton Elementary School third through sixth graders and school staff who did a tremendous job getting their hands in the dirt and planting the trees and shrubs.

The Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District is developing streamside buffer plantings for the fall of 2019 and spring of 2020. If you would like to have a parcel evaluated for participation in an upcoming planting, please contact the WCNRCD at 802-689-3024 or email

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