Warren Conservation Commission Project Funding
Hello. My name is Jito Coleman, and I am the chairman of the Warren Conservation Commission. This year the commission has a team of interns running two significant projects: Warren's Knotweed Control Program and the Wildlife Corridor Enhancement Program. The interns need additional funding to finish this year's knotweed control work, which is anticipated to continue into September, and kick off our Corridor Enhancement program. We need to raise these funds in order to take advantage of $2500 of matching grant money that we have raised from Lawson's Finest, American Flatbread, and the East Warren Community Market.
A little bit about our programs:
Warren Vermont's Knotweed Control Program, now four years in the running, is focused on stopping the spread of knotweed in the upper reaches of the Mad River watershed. Knotweed is a highly invasive Asian plant that was introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s. It creates an impenetrable wall along our river's edge, which weakens the soil and outcompetes native plant life. Much of the infestation in higher elevations originated from contaminated gravel used to make road repairs following Tropical Storm Irene. These patches are swept downhill by rains and snowmelt, contaminating the creeks and ending up in the Mad River. Our knotweed control team has made significant progress in managing knotweed at over 120 sites in Warren; however, continued diligence is necessary to fully eradicate this highly invasive plant. This requires us to visit infestation sites regularly to knock back new growth.
The Wildlife Corridor Enhancement Program began in earnest this past winter (2021-22) with a detailed environmental assessment of the Brook Road Wildlife Corridor, a primary north-south protected connector used by deer, foxes, bears, and many other local species. Our next step is to provide individual land owners with professional guidance on how they can protect and enhance wildlife corridors that cross their property. These funds will add to those already approved by the Town of Warren to be spent on the project.
In both cases, the funds raised will enable our hard-working summer interns and spread professional environmental guidance.