Riparian Buffer Restoration Project Update

As described in an earlier post (LINK), one of the grants we have been awarded this year is for a demonstration project to improve the buffer along several residential shorelines around the lake. Three properties were selected, one in each of the three towns that border the lake.

Many hands make light work!


The lakeshore of the Shermans’ camp in West Fairlee received the first attention.  On Saturday, September 12th, a small group of volunteers comprised of lake residents and members of the West Fairlee Conservation Commission met on a crisp cool late summer morning.



The Shermans have a lawn right down to the lake, low enough that it can get flooded when the lake level is high.

Shermans' shoreline "before"

They have a small beach, some of which is covered by a removable deck.

Before planting

The job was accomplished in a scant two hours.  We left a four foot path, and planted a buffer on either side.  We emphasized to Lee and Norm that the single most important thing they could do would be to leave the buffer area ungroomed, unmanicured, and untended.  The leaves and detritus that accumulates on the ground constitutes nature’s best filter.

Here is the finished product.  The Shermans, who were out of town when the work was done, were thrilled with their new look.

After planting

We will be planting two more shorelines in the end of September and the beginning of October.  You can read about them when they are completed here.