Intervale Center: Trail Extension Project
2016 Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants
Intervale Center: Trail Extension Project - Initial Grant Award: $8,400 (actual check: $11,722.82)
The Intervale Center’s mission is to strengthen community food systems. In the face of the massive challenges of hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and climate change, they believe in the power of good food to change the world. The Intervale Center will extend their existing riverside trail along the Winooski River to enhance public recreational opportunities in the Intervale. With this extension, community members will be able to enjoy a full mile of riverside hiking trails, stretching the full length of the land the Center manages in Burlington. This project will add 4,500 feet of trail, nearly doubling the length of trail currently available along the Winooski River, and add over two acres of forested land to protect against agricultural runoff.
The Intervale Center received funding from City Market’s Seedling Grants program in 2016 to support trail work in the Intervale. We proposed to extend the existing riverside trail along the Winooski River, planting trees to create a restored riparian – or riverside – buffer along 2.2 acres of trail, extending the existing trail the full length of the property, and adding directional signage.
- Trees Planted
This spring, early in the planning process, we recognized that resources needed to be redirected toward mechanical maintenance of the planting site. We weeded, cleared dead trees and propped trees upright that we planted in 2016, and cleared areas for planting. A hail storm then disrupted the first scheduled planting day. Ultimately, we planted 300 trees and stewarded the full 2.2 acres of forest. In the coming year, we will remove tree tubes and continue to steward these acres as new forest is established.
- Signage Installed
We designed and printed ten signs to be installed this spring along the trail. These directional signs will provide clear guidance to users as they navigate wooded areas and identify trails and buildings.
- Trail Extended
We extended the trail along the river up to the end of our property as originally proposed and also formalized two spurs from the trail back to Intervale Road. Once these paths were cleared, we spent significant time maintaining them to reduce regrowth and help them become established.
- Positive Feedback
It is clear that these trails are well trodden. They also are popular with mountain bikers, who can access the wooded trails directly from Burlington.
We faced significant challenges in implementing this project which led to project delays. As noted above, weed pressure and weather delayed tree plantings and resulted in a change in scope. Other challenges included trash pick- up and homeless encampment management. Finally, signs were first printed in the wrong color, which led to a six month delay in their installation. In the end, we will be able to complete the work by the 2018 hiking season and have included labor costs associated with sign installation and the ongoing maintenance of this important community infrastructure in our 2018 budget.