The Deerfield River Enhancement Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation Announces $46,534 in Grants to Support Conservation and Education Efforts in the Deerfield River Watershed
image courtesy of Southern Vermont Natural History Museum
The Vermont Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the Deerfield River Enhancement Fund grant program, managed in partnership with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and Great River Hydro, LLC, has awarded $46,534 in grants to six organizations. Grant funding will support conservation efforts and educational facilities, materials, and programming in the Deerfield River Watershed.
The Deerfield River Enhancement Fund was established in 1999 by Great River Hydro’s predecessor for the environmental preservation of the Deerfield River Watershed. Grants are awarded for new initiatives, one-time special projects, or continuing funding for outstanding, existing programs. The fund seeks applications in support of watershed conservation, development of low-impact recreational and educational facilities, and planning, design, maintenance, and monitoring of such facilities in the Deerfield River Watershed.
“The need to increase education and conservation efforts around our rivers was driven home this summer across both Vermont and Western Massachusetts,” said Meredith Lewis, director of community impact and partnerships at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. “The organizations funded through this grant will help create safer and more accessible ways for people to enjoy rivers in the future. We’re particularly excited to see multiple efforts to educate the community at large and students in Franklin County, Massachusetts about the impact and the importance of the Deerfield River.”
The Deerfield River Enhancement Fund grant program runs on a four-year cycle and will reopen in 2026. Visit vermontcf.org/dref for more information.
Deerfield River Enhancement Fund 2023 Grant Recipients
- Connecticut River Conservancy received $10,000 to upgrade a culvert and remove a dam in Wilmington, VT, to improve water quality, brook trout habitat connectivity, and flood resiliency in Beaver Brook.
- Green River Village Preservation Trust received $9,500 to improve and maintain the Green River Meadows Property. Funds will be used to remove invasive plants, plan for a riparian buffer, construct steps to four river access points, and improve parking and signage.
- Mohawk Trail Regional School District received $7,955 to construct an outdoor education area. The education space will be close to the woods for classes to explore the area and will be available for public use and events.
- Southern Vermont Natural History Museum received $5,540 to add a stream table to its educational resources, a centerpiece for the “What is a Watershed” program. The stream table will simulate a real river and be used to teach river processes.
- Southern Vermont Trails Association received $9,600 to complete an access trail that connects a parking area to two trail loops within Stratton Town Forest.
- Windham Regional Commission received $3,939 to expand the “Explore Your Watershed” educational programming, to include a brochure mailing and accompanying programs to watershed landowners in several towns.