Building Resilience in Vermont's Watersheds

For High Meadows , resilience means the capacity not just to bounce back from disruptive events, but also to plan and adapt ahead of those events. Flooding and erosive water surges are two of Vermont's most significant climate impacts. In order to reduce the risk from these events, communities must understand how their land use decisions impact their neighbors in the watershed. In 2015, High Meadows launched an initiative to encourage communities to work together to protect people, farms, homes, roads, and water quality, not just in their own town, but also upstream and downstream.

In the fall of 2017, High Meadows committed $160,000 to promote planning and action in four watersheds: 

  • A team from the Lake Memphremagog watershed is creating the Memphremagog Stormwater Collaborative and developing a strategic plan for stormwater management. For more information: Kendall Lambert, Memphremagog Watershed Association,

  • A team from the headwaters of the Winooski River is exploring the impact of upland forest management on tributaries and stormwater. For more information: Clare Rock, Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission,

  • A team from the Ottauquechee River watershed is building community connection to the river through educational programs and landowner outreach. For more information: Jessica Richter, Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commmission,

  • A team from the Green River watershed is establishing the Green River Watershed Alliance to connect communities and address flood resilience, conservation, and restoration. For more information: Emily Davis, Windham Regional Commission,

These four projects follow a first round of $249,000 in grants awarded in 2015 to teams across six watersheds. Read our report to learn more about these projects and the lessons we're learning from their work:

Explore the stories of some of our 2015-2017 watershed teams with these videos: