University of Vermont

Office of Community-University Partnerships & Service Learning

UVM Students Put Wetland Restoration Study to the Test

originally published by the Burlington Free Press on May 1, 2012

University of Vermont student Kindle Loomis of Blue Hill, Maine, tries to keep her feet dry as students in Prof. Bill Keaton's class help restore a degraded stretch of land around a tributary to Lewis Creek in Charlotte on Monday, April 30, 2012. / GLENN RUSSELL, Free Press

Sixty years after Charlotte farmers ditched and drained a low-lying meadow, a crew of University of Vermont students labored by hand Monday to restore it to wetlands.

Sunglasses aside, they might have passed for their agricultural forebears. 

About 40 of them, most in their early 20s, wielded hoes, shovels, saws and axes — tools familiar to their agricultural forebearers — to bring serpentine meanders back to an adjacent tributary of Lewis Creek. 

They stooped to plant native trees and shrubs which might, with the passage of time, displace a 25-acre thatch of invasive reed canarygrass that had for years served as a hay crop, but had starved the wetlands of biodiversity. Continue reading...