Citizens measured water quality and again found excessive levels of E.coli and phosphorus which impair the recreational value of the stream and contribute undesired phosphorus levels to the waters of Lake Champlain. LCA volunteers from Hinesburg, Charlotte, Starksboro, and Bristol recorded the physical condition of 12 miles of Lewis Creek to prioritize and implement much needed restoration work. Natural plant and animal communities were surveyed by ecologists in Charlotte, Monkton, Hinesburg, Starksboro, and Bristol to help LCA continue this area of data collection and assessment and to prioritize conservation activities.
CVU and Mt. Abe classes used LCA's Vermont standards-based curriculum, waders and kicknets for water quality monitoring fieldwork. 100 residents attended LCA field trips to learn about wildlife and help with habitat enhancement work in abandoned orchards and important natural areas. LCA worked with its new neighbor, the LaPlatte Watershed Partnership, to strengthen citizen based conservation work in the LaPlatte region.
LCA's GIS software program has been touring towns to provide easy build-out visualizations and analysis for informed town planning and zoning regulations. A Watershed Resource Manual is now ready for each town office to further guide land use planning and decision-making. New watershed maps of core habitat and natural communities will soon be ready for town planners and conservation organizations.
With help from NRCS and US Fish and Wildlife~Partners for Wildlife, Scouts, citizens, and many students planted several thousand plants and native tree seeds to revegetate the river corridor in Ferrisburgh, Charlotte, and Starksboro.
Four land conservation projects are occurring in partnership with Conservation Commissions in Ferrisburgh, Monkton, and Charlotte, Hinesburg and Charlotte Land Trusts, Champlain Valley Green Belt Alliance, Vermont Land Trust and Vermont Fish and Wildlife. Recent completion of the Pierce farmland conservation project transferred ownership to Roland and Sabrina Ayer of Ferrisburgh thanks to very active and generous citizens, towns, and LCA partners listed above.