The NorthWoods Stewardship Center Rocks Richford

We just wrapped up a majority of the stone staircase construction at Davis Park in Richford.  The NorthWoods Stewardship Center crew has been great.  They have been pulling 10 hour days moving large rock into an intricate puzzle-like structure on a bank leading down to the Missisquoi River.

A little cool October rain doesn't stop progress, or smiles.

Many people have come together to make this project a success.  We have been very fortunate to have  a skilled crew with strong backs from the Stewardship Center.  The crew has  consisted of Steve, Cody, Roland, and Will.  Luke O’Brien one of the NorthWoods Stewardship Center’s Program Coordinators has also put a great deal of time into the project.  There would be absolutely no way we would be able to accomplish all of this work without the support of the Town of Richford, especially the road crew, and in particular Gary.  The road crew delivered rock from some blasted ledge just down the road at the Canadian border.  Gary would find time between his busy schedule to show up at Davis Park with the loader/backhoe to move some earth and position some of the bigger pieces of rock.

Gary from the Richford road crew masterfully working the controls.
Gary dropping off the last two big step stones.
Gary and the crew working together to place the rocks.

We also had the support of Tim and Debbie, inn-keepers at Grey Gables Mansion Bed and Breakfast across the road.  They allowed the crew to pitch tents in a field near the inn and let them use the facilities.  Grey Gables is a beautiful place and just across from the Davis Park put-in making them a great stop on a trip.

The Davis Park gazebo and the ornate Grey Gables in the background.

When you have the opportunity to visit the Davis Park put-in on a future trip be sure to notice the design of the stone staircase.  There was much effort put into creating a structure that could hold up to the ice and shed the flow of the high waters without depositing too much sediment on the stairs.

It's nice having a pile of rock to choose from, the challenge is they are not shaped like perfect bricks.
Cody and Luke work a rock gingerly down the slope.
Steve and Roland enjoy one of the precious moments of October sunshine.

In the end, we’ve got a beef-cake staircase.  The real test will be ice-out and the high waters.  The plan is to have Richford be a site for one of next year’s Waterway Work Trips (WWT).  We hope to install a new campsite, a new kiosk at Davis Park, and gravel a path from the parking lot to the top of the new stone staircase.  If you want to become a piece of NFCT history keep tuned to the NFCT website in March for the posting of next year’s WWTs.


There are 2 comments

  1. I hope the crews who do the work on these projects realize how much the improvements are appreciated by paddlers. The old access at Davis Park was ugly and dangerous. Getting the canoes and gear down the broken concrerts slabs and unstable rocks was a real hastle. Thanks for the hard work.

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