SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – If you’re a regular user of the Toonerville Trail recreation path in Springfield, you may be curious about the marked in the green strip between Route 11 and the paved path. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Black River Action Team and members of the Springfield Trails and Rural Economy Advisory Committee, some new, native plants will be gradually growing up to appeal to the eye as well as to the ecosystem.
Many factors were considered when selecting the plants, and all relevant parties were consulted before installation. From arrowwood to witch hazel and several more, a total of 18 stems were planted strategically Saturday morning, May 15.
In addition to offering a pleasing aesthetic to those on the path, the lower growth of the shrubs and spacing will still allow Route 11 drivers to see the Black River. As native species, these plants will provide habitat value for wildlife; several of the shrubs will boast small berries or seeds.
As retired forester and lead volunteer Barb Schultz explains, “For the first year, they ‘sleep;’ the second year, they ‘creep,’ and the third year they ‘leap,’” indicating that folks won’t see much growth the first year, just a little the second, and more noticeable growth by year three. Barb guided the small group on planting protocols and was invaluable in siting the specific plants.
Shrub varieties were selected based on suitability for the site and were all supplied by the Black River Action Team through generous donations in recent years – most recently, from the Greater Upper Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Learn more about GUVTU at www.greateruppervalley.tu.org.
Also hard at work were committee member John Bond and BRAT volunteers Vicky Moore, Pam Lane, and Armando Stettner with his mom, BRAT Director Kelly Stettner.
If people are interested in learning more about the project or to lend a hand with the watering regime, please reach out to Kelly Stettner at email@example.com or by leaving your contact information at 802-738-0456.