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Project Restores Riverbanks

Project Restores Riverbanks | Vermont NRCS

Vermont Water Quality Project Restores Riverbanks, Builds Partnerships

Restored Riverbank







It was a hard sell, but four farmers and other farmland owners are participating in a project that is the first of its kind in the State. The goal: to improve the health of the scenic Mad River – a key resource for recreation and tourism whose watershed contains prime fertile agricultural land. The river and the community will be helped by reestablishing some of the trees which came at no cost to the farmers and were planted by volunteers.

With NRCS spearheading the drive, the Winooski Conservation District and the Friends of the Mad River formed a partnership that offers money to farmland owners in exchange for putting eligible lands in the program.


The program targeted farms that grow crops that are tilled annually. In all, a total of 5.6 miles of riparian corridor was set aside. Farmers were compensated $166 per acre of hayfield and $218 per acre of cornfield entered in the program. The total budget for the program – $100,000 – came from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant.

The river is enhanced now by 25-foot grass filter strips, 35-foot forest buffers with trees and shrubs, buffer enhancement, and stream bank stabilization with rock wall riprap along the bank.


While river protection is important, the program is also gaining the cooperation of the farmers. Other landowners who did not qualify also did riverbank restoration as well.