White River 
Natural Resources Conservation District

Trees For Streams
Conservation Districts across Vermont offer a Trees For Streams program to assist landowners in planting riparian buffer habitats along lakes and streams.  In the past few years, the White River Conservation District has planted 1,468 trees! This has been possible through the help of partnerships with West Fairlee Conservation Commissions, Rivendell Academy, Samuel Morey Elementary School, Blue Mountain Union High School, Northwood Stewardship Center, Redstart Consulting, and volunteers from the communities.
Please contact us if you have streams along your property that you would like to see restored!
  Agriculture Best Management Practices: Development and Implementation
White River NRCD received a grant to provide outreach and education to farmers in the 1st and 3rd Branch of the White River, and to identify, develop, and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs).  The program aimed to enhance relationships between the WR NRCD and the agricultural community and assist farmers technically and financially in implementing BMPs that will improve water quality.  Small BMPs include, but are not limited to; riparian buffers, installing barn roof runoff diversions, improved animal walkways and heavy use areas, exclusion fencing, alternative water sources, and improved manure storage areas. Between 2013-2016, the district visited 45 farms and installed 12 BMPs on 9 separate farms. This grant will continue until 2018 in the Branch 14 watershed, focusing on the towns of Vershire, Tunbridge, Strafford, Fairlee, and Thetford. Contact us if you would like more information and a farm visit to explore possible BMPs!
Nutrient Management Planning (Formally Agricultural Outreach Initiative)
In the past three years, the district has worked with 27 farms to provide soil and manure samplimg for Nutrient Management Planning courses.  Nutrient Management Plans help farmers become better stewards and managers of their manure storage, where and when they spread it, management of fertilizers, and ultimately improve soil health and crop quality.  NMPs are now also required of Certified Small Farm Operations. If you are interested in soil samples, or taking a Nutrient Management Planning class, please contact us!  We are gearing up for the 2017 fall sampling and looking for interested farms for the next course. If you already have a Nutrient Management Plan and are looking for someone to come take your soil samples. the district can provide this service for $30 per sample.
  No Till Drill Rental Program
In 2015, the district received an Ecosystem Restoration Program grant through VT Department of Environmental Conservation to purchase and initiate a No-Till Drill Rental Program for farmers in Orange and Windsor county.  Cover cropping and inter-seeding have become important practices in reducing soil loss and improving crop yields and quality.  Through the grant, the district purchased a Haybuster 107C and sent it out to farms to help start improving soil health! The No Till Drill now costs $3/acre to help cover administrative and maintenance costs.
To sign up to use the drill you can call Steve at (802)369-3167 or email [email protected] Please check out our Resources page to learn more about the No-Till Drill Program! 
Grassed Waterways Implementation Assistance
This program is funded Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to offer cost share and incentive payments for farmers to seed down cropland adjacent to waterways and drainage areas for a period of ten years. In addition to receiving 90% of the cost of seed down, including farm labor and equipment usage fees, eligible farms can receive a $500 per acre incentive payment . The farmer may graze or harvest the hayed area but cannot spread manure and must maintain it for a period of 10 years from the contract date. Contact us for more information and to schedule an eligibility farm visit.
  BLUE Conservation Education Program *In Progress*
The popular BLUE Conservation Education Program has not operated since 2011.  The district is working on reviving and renovating the BLUE program to provide school-aged children with hands on, place based learning in relationship to conserving natural resources.  The district is currently seeking funding, and community input on the education program to help develop a direction for the program.   A transition from the week long summer program is likely. If youor a farmer you know is interested in being a host for a program such as this, please contact us!

If you are interested in any of these programs, please contact us!  These programs are designed to serve the landowners and residents of the White River District, many of them starting with local interest. The district encourages and relies on community input to help direct our soil and water conservation work.