Environment

Skip Brown

Voters in Fairlee, West Fairlee and Thetford will decide next month whether to finance a new dam over Lake Fairlee. The old one is in bad shape and the owner, a Maine resident, can’t afford to replace it. The re-design process has hit a few snags but community leaders in charge of the project are confident it will go forward.

Engineers warn that if the dam fails, water levels would drop so much so much that lakefront property would border on mud flats.

A Windham County initiative aims to convert 20 public buildings to wood heat. Vermont's 45th annual Green Up Day is Saturday, May 2. The law that allowed for the creation of town and city forests in Vermont turns 100 this year.

Chloe Boyce / Green Up Vermont

Saturday, May 2 will be the 45th annual Green Up Day in Vermont. The first Green Up Day was held in April 1970, just days before the first Earth Day. Now the annual event is held the first Saturday in May.

VPR

One hundred years ago, Vermont lawmakers passed a Municipal Forest Law allowing for the creation of town forests. Next week a year-long celebration gets underway to commemorate the 1915 law and Vermont's tradition of  towns owning and managing their own forests for public benefit.

Krupp: Birds in the Bush

Apr 20, 2015

The Bird Friendly Maple Project is a partnership between local Audubon biologists, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, and the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association with support from the Proctor Maple Research Center and the Vermont Community Foundation.

Turns out there's more to maple sugaring than boiling sap into sweet syrup - and it's all about the birds. Each May, many maple sugarbushes ring with the songs of migratory birds such as the wood thrush, scarlet tanager, the Eastern wood pewee and black throated blue warbler.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Believe it or not, bathing suit weather is coming. But for the fourth summer, residents in Norwich will not be cooling off in their popular natural swimming hole. After Tropical Storm Irene washed out the dam over Charles Brown Brook, Norwich began tangling with the state over a plan to re-make the pool.

If you drive along a Vermont highway and look out over miles of trees, it might come as a surprise that, for the first time in a century, the state is actually losing forest land.

That’s according to a new study from the state Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

To learn why, VPR's Alex Keefe stopped by the offices of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, an environmental advocacy group, and talked with Forest and Wildlife Program Director Jamey Fidel.

He says the culprit is something called forest fragmentation.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

This week, children in the Upper Valley have been exploring the banks of the Connecticut River. It’s part of a multi-media collaboration between Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center and other non-profit groups celebrating a much more distant river: the Nile. One of the educational events  is a trek along the banks of the Connecticut River in an unlikely place, behind a shopping mall in West Lebanon.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A new business is mushrooming in St. Johnsbury. Literally. 

At Mushroom King, a new venture at the former site of a lumber kiln, shiitake, oyster and reishi mushrooms are sprouting. The farmers, Bob and Lisa Brown, hope to sell the thousands of pounds of exotic fungi to local restaurants and to a produce distributor.

The Birds Are Back In Town

Apr 13, 2015
Jane Lindholm / VPR

The spring migration is beginning, and more and more birds are arriving in the region. So, get out your waterproof binoculars and download the latest birding app and let us know what birds you’ve spotted or what avian behavior has perplexed or inspired you.

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