One Year Later: Restoration Roundup Podcast Reaches 1200 Listens

As natural resource managers, researchers, and policy makers continue to combat water quality challenges in the Lake Champlain basin connected to stormwater runoff and phosphorus, Lake Champlain Sea Grant works to educate the public about water quality issues and how to mitigate them.

Alison Adams, Watershed Forestry Coordinator with Lake Champlain Sea Grant, began a podcast, Restoration Roundup, a year ago to address water quality in Lake Champlain. This monthly podcast invites guests from local government and nonprofit organizations to discuss the work they are doing in riparian forest restoration around the Lake Champlain basin. Guests on the podcast have discussed many topics including invasive species, how riparian buffers support pollinators, the shortage of native trees and shrubs for restoration, and much more. Throughout the year, Adams produced 11 episodes, with 22 guests. Her podcasts have gotten more than one thousand downloads from listeners!

Her latest episode called “Process-based restoration at the Hubbardton River Clayplain Forest” discusses The Nature Conservancy’s project to add wood and revegetation to restore the Hubbardton River Clayplain Natural Area in West Haven, Vermont. Adams speaks with guests Gus Goodwin (Senior Conservation Planner, The Nature Conservancy VT), Shayne Jaquith (Watershed Restoration Scientist, The Nature Conservancy VT), and Kristen Balschunat (Conservation Water Quality Project Manager, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps) about why they are adding wood, how our rivers have gotten to the state they are in, and what the future for this site and other similar riparian sites might look like.

Adams has fostered partnerships with government and non-government organizations across the basin and invited them as guests on the show. Guests represent organizations including the US Forest Service, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Intervale Conservation Nursery, Vermont Department of Forests Parks and Recreation, Audubon Vermont, University of Vermont, the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Akwesasne Native Plant Nursery, and more.

In addition to making forest restoration news more accessible and easier to stay up to date on, this podcast has been a great vehicle for mentoring undergraduate students who are interested in communications, education, and the environment. Along with the monthly guests, Adams works with undergraduate students at the University of Vermont to create the show. Last year, undergraduate Liz Woodhull, an environmental studies major, assisted in producing and hosting the podcasts. This year, Adams has another podcast assistant, Cate Kreider, who is a senior environmental studies major with a minor in reporting and documentary storytelling.

"Working on the Restoration Round Up podcast is putting me in touch with a part of the Vermont environmental scene that I haven't interacted with before” says Kreider. “I'm excited to be learning about these projects from around the state, as well as learning audio editing and information formats, and sharing the information with people who use that information to further their own work in the field."

Part of our mission at Lake Champlain Sea Grant is to communicate science-based knowledge about Lake Champlain and its watershed to local community members. Adams’s podcast is a great way to communicate what organizations across the basin are doing on riparian forest restoration and how this affects our shared water resources.

“I originally started this podcast because practitioners I spoke to told me they wanted to stay up-to-date on new research, best practices, and interesting stories from the field, but often didn’t have time to do that kind of research between busy field schedules and other commitments,” shared Adams. “I’ve gotten great feedback that the podcast has made it easier for the practitioners we work with to access this information, and it’s reached an even broader audience than I had originally anticipated. We just passed 1,200 listens!”

The monthly podcast is part of the Watershed Forestry Partnership, a program housed within University of Vermont Extension and Lake Champlain Sea Grant. All podcast episodes are available through our website and on Spotify. This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement (LC00A00695-0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with Lake Champlain Basin Program.