University of Vermont

Service-Learning Projects

 

Riparian Zone Restoration Project

Will Brennan, Erik Homstead, Kristen Simard
Spring 2006
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Project Summary
Goals
Strategies
Measurements of Success
Restoration Plan & Photos
Student Profiles

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Project Summary

Our project centered on restoration work to rehabilitate a riparian area affected by a nearby forest access road. Streamside Forests act as riparian buffers that control non-point pollution such as sediment and nutrient discharge. At our project site, a logging road occupies the riparian area and  discharges sediment into an intermittent stream. The original road was of a steep grade and was in too close proximity to an intermittent stream, it presence creating problems with both soil compaction as well as erosion and sedimentation of the stream. A new road was created that better met acceptable management practices with less ecological impact, which in affect replaced and closed the portion of the road impacting the riparian area. Our restoration work sought to address these negative impacts by constructing a number of water control devices, as well as sample plots demonstrating different restoration techniques that the public could implement on their own forests. As such, the problem that this project hoped to address was the impact of the original road, and a need to address this and present an example of sustainable forestry practices at the Jericho Research Forest in an educational manner to the public.

 

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Goals

Restore ecological integrity of a forested riparian zone, while telling the story of this site so that others may learn from our experiences.

 

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Strategies

  •  Relocate road.
  •  Establish waterbars and haybale dams on original portion of road to control sediment.
  •  Use hand raking and staking to break up compacted soil and increase infiltration.
  •  Seed new relocated portion of road to stabilize soil.

 

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Measurements of Success

The success of our efforts will be measured by monitoring our restoration plots. If the sample plots we established prove to restore more favorably than the remaining portion of the road that was left to natural regeneration than our techniques were successful. Success can also be measured by monitoring the impacts on the riparian area, and whether or not sedimentation and runoff problems are decreased with the implementation of our various water control devices.

 

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Restoration Plan & Photos

Download our restoration plan [PDF]


The original road before restoration work


The impacted intermittent stream


Example of sedimentation occurring in the stream due to runoff from the road


Haybale dam to filter sediment out of water


Staking to break-up compaction and provide passageways for air and water as stakes decompose


Hand excavated sample plot accomplished by raking soil to break-up compaction


Large water-control device created by bulldozer


Kristen and Will discussing the project with community members during the Earth Day Celebration at Jericho


The new relocated portion of the road

 

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Student Profiles


Erik Homstead is graduating with a degree in Resource Ecology. For the past four years he ha been a member of the UVM Pottery Co-op. He is currently working for a plant nursery in Bristol, VT where he will continue to work after graduation.


Kristen Simard is graduating with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Forestry. She enjoys going on walks with her dog Moose. After graduation she will work as a naturalist in the marine lab on Star Island, NH.

Will Brennan is graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies. He has spent his time at UVM as a member of its ultimate Frisbee team. After graduation he will begin work as a Forest Service trail crew leader out of Jackson, WY.

 

Last modified April 19 2007 06:53 PM

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