Of Rivers & Resilience: Stewardship Season in Review

Each year, I approach our stewardship season with both excitement and trepidation. Will permits and funding fall into place? Will our interns and volunteers perform effectively? Will our infrastructure function as planned? And will the weather cooperate? I’m happy to report that despite numerous challenges, we had an incredibly successful season!

I am so grateful for all who make our work possible, especially our interns Ethan Israel, Jonah Yaffe and Kate Wimberly, and the 43 volunteers who joined us during seven waterway work trips. Thank you! Together, we completed 20 projects:

  • Installed steps and a privy at the Moore Primitive Campsite, along with stone steps at the Woodsville Community Ball Fields Access, both along the Connecticut River
  • Constructed 35 stone steps at a paddlers’ campsite on Lake Champlain’s Valcour Island
  • Repaired bridging and improved drainage with stone turnpike along NY’s Indian Carry, and replaced docks and privies at four Upper Saranac Lake campsites
  • Constructed two boat lock stations in Saranac Lake
  • Installed stone steps at two river access trails along Vermont’s Passumpsic River
  • Installed stone and timber steps at the East Richford Access, Upper Missisquoi River
  • Improved three access points along the Androscoggin River in Gorham, including constructing a floating dock and stone steps
  • Maintained Maine’s Rapid River Carry, including repairing bog bridging, adding  stone-lined fords to protect water quality, replacing a bridge, and completing a trail re-route around a rocky section
  • Established two new campsites on Moosehead Lake
  • Reconstructed Moosehead Lakes’ historic Northeast Carry, including constructing a gravel base and adding a gate to limit damage from spring motor vehicle use

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, dozens of volunteer site adopters served as our eyes and ears along the trail, making repairs from winter storms, and assessing impacts from summer floods.

Nearly 20 years of working along rivers has taught me to be observant, flexible, patient and humble. Our ability to complete this work despite family and medical emergencies that left us short staffed, coupled with one of New England’s biggest flooding events in recent history, is a testament to the strength and resilience of our trail and the community behind it. I have learned that these traits are rooted in respecting nature, embracing teamwork and building community. Thank you to all who believe in our work and support our vision!

Thank You to Our 2023 Volunteers

Mark Blackwood
Henry Blanchette
Katy Bland
Jim Bourne
Lorraine Brink
Cassandra Burdyshaw
William Conner
Allison Courtemanche
Quena Crain
Margaret Curtis
William Eiseman
Anne Eiseman
Jim Farrell
Chris Fithian
John Freeman
Paul Glasscock
Gary Golden
Rachel Gordon
Kristen Grant
Worth Gretter
Eric Hanson
Martin Hatcher
Steve Hern
Tim Hille
Jaci Kessler
Griff Keating
Marshall Kim
Chip Kimball
David Kocieniewski
Kelly Lagrander
Bob Lagrander
Delia Lagrander
Teddy Lagrander
Bruce Lindwall
Laurie Lindwall
Stephen Magneson
Sara Mele
Pamela Mitchell
James Mudie
Jim Noland
Emily Pettit
Bethany Poulin
Peter Roderick
Bryon Rosenberg

Thank You to Our 2023 Partners

Lake Champlain Basin Program
Athletic Brewing
Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund
Great River Hydro
Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund
Quimby Family Foundation
Maine Bureau of Public Lands
Maine Recreational Trails Program
NH Charitable’s Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund
Town of Gorham
Vermont River Conservancy
The Davis Conservation Foundation
Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust
Northern Waters Outfitters
Huber Resources
Maine Appalachian Mountain Club