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Growing Native Plants to Protect Vermont’s Water Quality

by Chelsea on March 11, 2013

This week, Intervale Conservation Nursery staff, Mike and Seth, along with numerous interns and dedicated volunteers, are hard at work in the greenhouse starting hardwood cuttings (from the ICN growing fields in the Intervale) of black willow, elderberry, silky dogwood, shrub willow and red osier dogwood. These native shrubs and trees will eventually be planted along streams and rivers throughout Vermont to prevent erosion and reduce run-off, creating healthier ecosystems and cleaner water.

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Starting with empty plastic tubes and ending up with thousands of soon-to-be-rooted trees and shrubs that will one day line the banks of Vermont’s precious waterways is a pretty satisfying experience. Just imagine how many caterpillars will live in these trees one day, how many animals and people will walk through them along the shores of a healthy watershed, and how many tons of carbon dioxide will eventually be removed from the atmosphere by these tiny sticks. (One acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year.) The potential impact of the Intervale Conservation Nursery is powerful and far-reaching.

Want to learn more or get involved? Volunteer this spring with ICN – you’ll get your hands dirty and get back to your roots (pun intended) in nature. Email seth@intervale.org for more information!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA ICN Asst. Manager Seth Gillim watering silky dogwood cuttings

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