Managing Recreation in Riparian Areas

Kathryn Wrigley (VT Forests, Parks & Rec), Duncan Murdoch (The Intervale Center), and Leila Faulstich (Montpelier Parks & Trees Dep't)
November 29, 2022

View or download a copy of the episode transcript here.

By Cate Kreider

In this month’s episode, we decided to talk to some stewards from Vermont’s riparian areas that also serve as recreational spaces. Oftentimes the priorities of restoration can be focused on the ecosystem side of things, ensuring wildlife passage, native species health, and the long-term well-being and function of a forest. However, there are many areas that need to balance those goals with the need to make an area safely accessible to people looking for recreational spaces in Vermont's forests and rivers.

Duncan Murdoch, the Natural Areas Stewardship Coordinator at the Intervale Center, Leila Faulstitch, the supervisor at the City of Montpelier Parks and Trees Department, and Kathryn Wrigley, the Recreation Specialist with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) are well experienced with this dilemma. They joined us to talk about the balancing act of protecting natural spaces while also fulfilling the Vermont culture of getting out into the mountains by discussing common problems, strategies, and hopes they have for the future.

Listen in on some of the background work that goes into keeping your favorite hiking trails, swimming holes, and river access points healthy and well-maintained while also helping visitors stay active, educated, and engaged in natural spaces.

If you're interested in working with our guests on riparian and recreational projects or spaces, you can reach them at the following email addresses or via the links to projects they're involved in.

Duncan Murdoch (Intervale): duncan [at]

Intervale Volunteering:

Trail stewardship around Burlington:

Kathryn Wrigley (FPR): Kathryn.Wrigley [at]


This episode featured the call of the pileated woodpecker. The call was recorded by Melani Sledder in Middlesex County Massachusets, on Jan 20 2017. The hammer was recorded by Christopher McPherson in Hillsborough County, NH on April 3, 2019. We downloaded the song from

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 the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Image: One of the stewarded trails at the Intervale in Burlington Vermont. Image courtesy of Duncan Murdoch, Intervale Center. 

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