Riverwalk Park/Caleb’s Field in Montgomery provides a wonderful access point to the Trout River for swimming, wading, and canoeing. However, due to its popularity, the path down to the Park’s beach has eroded over the years. This August the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers Wild and Scenic Committee (UMATR) contributed a $5,000 grant towards badly-needed repairs at the site. A beautiful set of stone steps now leads down to the river, among other improvements. Read on to see our River Community Grants Program at work!
How was the Project done?
UMATR’s River Community Grants Program awarded funds to the town of Montgomery Recreation Department. The town then hired the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) for a week of work. VYCC is a nonprofit that sends a crew of young service members to work on projects across the state. The crew camps out on site and only uses hand tools in their work (no heavy machinery or power tools!). In June of 2018 the Town of Montgomery, the Wild & Scenic Committee, and the VYCC crew leader met to discuss and plan the project. The crew then arrived in August and spent a week
building steps and doing other work at the site!
Improvements and Accomplishments
In addition to the set of steps leading down to the river, the VYCC also
improved the trail system leading around the park and to the North
Beach. This path was previously inundated with knotweed- the pesky
invasive plant that lines many river banks in Vermont and is notoriously
difficult to eradicate. The crew cleared a path to the beach that can
now be regularly mowed by the town to keep knotweed at bay. They
also relocated a bench positioned at the top of the river bank to put it
at a safer and more stable distance from the bank, where it still
the scenic Trout River.
History and Future of Riverwalk Park/Caleb’s Field
The town of Montgomery has owned this property since FEMA helped purchase it after the devastating flood of 1997, which caused 8 million dollars of damage in Franklin County. Since then the town has tried to manage this fragile river confluence for recreation and for the health of the river. The new steps will provide a stable path down to the river that will not erode. The improved trail system to the North Beach will also provide enhanced access to visitors while controlling knotweed.
These improvements enhance the experience of the river for recreationists while helping to protect its health and natural beauty. The Wild & Scenic Committee is thrilled to fund such meaningful projects, and looks forward to our next round of grant applications.
The finished product
The bench by the river