A virtual trip through Champlain Valley wetlands, rivers and creeks

The Intervale Center, Healthy Living Market and Cafe and the Lake Champlain Land Trust partnered to plant over 350 trees and shrubs at the Upper La Platte River Natural Area in Shelburne to protect the water quality of Lake Champlain last week.
The Intervale Center, Healthy Living Market and Cafe and the Lake Champlain Land Trust partnered to plant over 350 trees and shrubs at the Upper La Platte River Natural Area in Shelburne to protect the water quality of Lake Champlain last week.

Members of the Lake Champlain Land Trust and adventurous paddlers gathered on Oct. 28 at Main Street Landing to celebrate the land trust’s recent accomplishments and listen to an engaging presentation by Cathy Frank and Margy Holden, authors of the new guidebook A Paddler’s Guide to the Champlain Valley.

The authors described many exciting paddles up Lake Champlain’s tributary rivers and creeks, several of which pass by lands conserved by the Lake Champlain Land Trust. Frank shared her favorite trip—a meandering excursion up the Lower Winooski River with a surprisingly wild feel. Holden encouraged attendees to explore the Missisquoi River’s sinuous and wildlife-filled delta.

Lake Champlain Land Trust Executive Director Chris Boget detailed the organization’s successes protecting water quality and conserving critical lands across the Champlain Valley. Boget also highlighted the important role volunteers are playing in tree planting workdays and forest restoration programs, as well as the Lake Champlain Land Trust’s free educational hikes that connect communities to the land. Boget also noted the Lake Champlain Land Trust’s work to restore critical riverside forests, including plans to plant over one thousand trees over the next year at the Upper La Platte River Natural Area in Shelburne.

Frank and Holden also discussed their first-hand accounts of the river erosion problems along some of lake’s tributaries. This fact drives home why the Lake Champlain Trust—a group with water quality at the core of its mission—is also focusing on conserving and restoring lands along rivers like the La Platte. The La Platte River flows into Lake Champlain’s Shelburne Bay, a source of drinking water for over 60,000 residents.

Those who missed the annual celebration and presentation are encouraged to visit the Lake Champlain Land Trust website to read about the group’s land protection efforts and exciting community partnerships. Aquatic explorers may pick up a copy of A Paddler’s Guide to the Champlain Valley at local bookstores.

The Lake Champlain Land Trust assists communities and individuals to conserve properties that protect the beautiful islands, shorelines, trails, farms, and forests in and around Lake Champlain. Since 1978, the Lake Champlain Land Trust has conserved 17 islands, 19 miles of shoreline, and more than 6,000 acres—including more than 25 public access natural areas. To learn how you can get involved protecting Lake Champlain’s lakeside habitat and water quality, visit www.lclt.org or email info@lclt.org.

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