The Resilient Right-of-Ways project lead towns in a collaborative and integrated approach to advance forests, individual trees, and other vegetation in roadside environments as part of a larger ecosystem of roadside vegetation. Funded by the US Forest Service, the project extended to both rural and urban communities and produced the following overarching guiding resources.
Read more about right-of-way vegetation and its place in Vermont's Urban & Community Forestry program in this City Trees article, Resilient Right-of-Ways: A Tale of Urban Forestry in a Small-Town State.
Over three years, VT UCF collaborated with ten towns in the Lake Champlain Basin to conduct rural roadside vegetation assessments and refine recommended best management practices that create and maintain healthy tree canopy, diverse plant habitat, and safe and beautiful roads. Fieldwork and meetings in each town informed vegetation action plans that reflect the present and possible future of roadside ecosystems, evaluate the capacity of the community to undertake roadside vegetation maintenance and planning, and outlined plans for emergency preparedness with respect to storm damage and the effects of tree pests and diseases. Results from these assessments inform updated state-wide outreach material describing typical vegetated roadside communities and the challenges and best practices associated with maintaining them.
Contact Joanne Garton with questions about the Rural Road Resilient Right-of-Ways initiative.
VT UCF collaborated with staff from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and a consulting landscape design/graphic design professional to increase municipal capacity to support green stormwater infrastructure. The team tailored their support to ten priority Lake Champlain basin communities based on explicit local need. Examples of the work completed for each community includes
- municipal bylaw review
- recommendations for specific language changes to enhance municipal policies and documents
- urban tree canopy assessment
- the creation of photo simulations to highlight the aesthetic impact of green infrastructure elements at specific locations in the municipality (see examples below).
The ten community partners of this work (2017-2019) were Burlington, Colchester, Essex Junction, Milton, Montpelier, Rutland, Shelburne, West Rutland, Williston, and Winooski. By understanding where green infrastructure could be introduced or strengthened, Vermont municipalities stand to reduce stormwater runoff and associated costs of “grey” infrastructure while beautifying their downtowns and increasing public benefits that come from shade trees.