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The 2023 Plant Sale is Now Accepting Orders!

The 33rd Annual Edition of the Windham County NRCD Plant and Tree Sale is now accepting orders. All orders must be picked up in person at Green Mountain Orchards in Putney, Vermont on Saturday, May 6th between 9 AM and 12 PM. We do not offer shipping and will not refund orders for customers unable to pick up their orders. For customers who prefer to order via paper order form via US mail, the order form can be found below. In order to give us the greatest opportunity to be able to fill your orders, please submit all mail orders by February 28. We will continue to accept online orders until April 30th (as the website updates inventory in real time). For more information about the plant sale please visit: 2023 Plant Sale The online store, where customers can place orders can be found at the bottom of this page. Please reach out if you have any questions about the plant sale.

Windham NRCD Prioritizes Invasive Species Prevention Through Education and Early Detection

The Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District has utilized a variety of funding sources and partnerships to make combating the spread of invasive plant and animal species a priority. By working with government at the local, state and federal levels and leveraging funds from private foundations, lake associations and companies, the district has created a broad and comprehensive approach to preventing the spread of invasive species through education and early detection. From public access greeter programs to assessments of town forests to aquatic invasive species surveys of waterbodies, this approach has built a coalition of partners dedicated to protecting Windham County’s natural resources for future generations.

Windham NRCD serves as the regional coordinator for aquatic invasive species prevention public access greeter programs at Lake Raponda, Somerset Reservoir and Harriman Reservoir. These programs use paid and volunteer greeters to welcome boaters, conduct brief inspections of watercraft to intercept possible invasive species and educate boaters about the importance of cleaning, draining and drying watercraft between uses. Greeters also collect some basic information that is used to identify likely vectors for future AIS introductions. The Windham County greeter programs are funded through support from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Great River Hydro, The Town of Wilmington, The Lake Raponda Association, the Lake Raponda Environmental Fund, and the Windham Foundation.

Greeters take part in a training with Olin Reed from VT DEC at Lake Raponda

Funding from the Windham Foundation was also used to support aquatic invasive species surveys of Harriman and Somerset Reservoirs by district staff. The results of these surveys will be used to plan future prevention and removal efforts. Funding from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation further supports the program by funding water chestnut survey and removal efforts along the Connecticut River. Water Chestnut, Trapa natans, is an aquatic invasive species that can spread aggressively and have serious effects on local ecosystems and human uses for waterways. The district worked with aquatic biologist Laurie Callahan and a host of volunteers to complete this work.

New to the program in 2022 were town forest assessment walks, lead by the district and Southeastern Vermont CISMA volunteers. CISMA (cooperative invasive species management association) staff visited town forests throughout Windham County to help local officials identify invasive plant species and plan removal efforts. These efforts were supported by funding from the Windham Foundation.

Funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service supported the creation of an early detection, rapid response plan for Japanese Stilt grass in Windham County. Stilt grass, Microstegium vimineum, is a new arrival to Windham County, with detections primarily along the Whetstone Brook in Brattleboro. District staff and volunteers from the Brattleboro Conservation Commission worked with landowners to find new infestations of this troublesome grass species. Outreach efforts in 2022 including a mailing to landowners within the early detection area followed by a door-to-door campaign. The district will be coordinating an aggressive effort in 2023 to map the extent of the invasion, implement removal efforts and launch a scaled up public education campaign.

Combined, these efforts represent a growing emphasis on protection Windham County’s beloved natural resources from a steadily increasing influx of invasives species. Windham County serves as the doorway to Vermont for many tourists. Unfortunately, this also places the county at the front of the line for newly arriving plant and animal species as well. Windham NRCD looks forward to continuing the fight in 2023 with our ever-growing coalition of partners.

Participants search for invasive species on a town property assessment walk in Wardsboro

If the Conservation District can be of assistance, please contact us. Our District Offices remain closed to the public due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Please reach out via email if we can be of assistance: [email protected]

All orders must be picked up in person at Green Mountain Orchards on Saturday, May 6th between 9 AM and 12 PM.

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