The weather in Vermont the past few weeks has been wet. So wet that Lake Champlain and many rivers are at or above flood level. It is events like this that remind us of the importance of streamline work like that done by the Intervale Conservation Nursery.
In early June, the employees working in the Specialty Coffee Category Team based in Waterbury volunteered at the Intervale Conservation Nursery in Burlington, VT. The team spent the day planting Silky Dogwood and Black Willow seedlings that will eventually be used in riparian restoration projects. Tree growth along riverbanks helps greatly reduce pollution in rivers which then flows into Lake Champlain. Riverbanks without trees suffer from decreased soil quality due to run off of topsoil. Trees can also help to filter phosphate pollution that can create algae blooms in the lake.
The team activity was planned by Lesley Graham, a Waterbury CAFE Captain. CAFE Captains are employees who are passionate about volunteering and want to share that with others by planning their own volunteer activities. Lesley connected with the Intervale to determine what they needed help with, recruited her team to participate in the activity, and coordinated all aspects of the day. The team enjoyed their experience so much that they plan on going in the fall to plant mature native species along the riverbanks; Lesley is planning that activity too! Many GMCR employees have also volunteered with Intervale over the years and they greatly appreciate the support of all our employees.
The Intervale Conservation Nursery has been a grant recipient of the Vermont Employee Community Grant Program for the past two years. This year, our grant of $31,000 supports expanded volunteer and educational opportunities at the Nursery, the creation of an onsite outdoor classroom, and the growth of local trees and shrubs for riparian restoration projects in Vermont.