Intervale Conservation Nursery Environmental Grant

The last mention in Patagonia’s mission statement reads, “use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” In 1985 Patagonia started funding grassroots, action oriented environmental organization, through the creation of an environmental grant program. Since the program’s conception, the company has been able to award $89 million dollars in funding to it’s grantees. You can connect and learn more about all of Patagonia’s grantees on Patagonia Action Works.

Intervale Conservation Nursery Environmental Grant InstructionAs a locally owned and operated store, Patagonia Burlington is fortunate enough to collaborate with local action-oriented organizations. These groups are spearheading projects to implement positive change to our community and environment. Last year through Patagonia’s environmental grant program, Patagonia Burlington partnered with Burlington’s Intervale Center and their conservation nursery to create a grant proposal. The proposal focused on raising awareness within our community about the importance of riparian buffers for the health of our rivers, streams, and Lake Champlain. After being reviewed by the environmental grant board, the proposal was awarded $5,000 dollars in funding.

Riparian Buffer - An area of vegetation that borders a body of water, usually a river or lake, that helps to protect the water quality and ecosystem health from adjacent land uses.

As a way to raise awareness about the importance of riparian buffers, the grant proposal outlined the completion of three community planting projects. One of these projects was on one of the Intervale Center’s farm fields that borders the Winooski River. To execute this tree planting, the Patagonia Burlington staff shut down the store for one day in May 2017 for a field day where they stewarded and planted nearly 300 trees and shrubs to strengthen a weakened area of an existing riparian buffer. You can check out a short film we made about the experience below.

To continue pushing this project forward, in January 2018 the Intervale Conservation Nursery resubmitted the grant proposal with a few additions. Along with building on previous community planting projects and continuing to find creative ways to raise awareness of the importance of riparian buffers, the new proposal also focuses on the growth of the conservation nursery itself. This May, we received spectacular news as the new proposal was awarded $25,000 dollars in funding.

Intervale Conservation Nursery Environmental Grant High FiveThis spring the Intervale Conservation Nursery staff have already been able to propagate 47,000 new trees and shrubs, and have started transplanting said trees into a growing field that will host 100,000 trees in 2018. Their team has also planted 32,000 trees this season, with 8,000 more to be planted this coming fall. By increasing the number of trees grown at the Intervale Center Conservation Nursery the hope is to increase the survival rate of trees that make up our landscape, and the riparian buffers that are being planted. Trees grown and shipped from conventional midwest nurseries have a 50% survival rate in the Vermont landscape, while trees grown at the Intervale Center Conservation Nursery have a 75% survival rate.

On Wednesday, June 6th our staff is excited to lock the doors for another field day and head back down to the field where we stewarded and planted trees last spring. Our goal is to check in on the progress from last year’s planting, and move further down the farm field to plant another 300 trees to better strengthen the riparian buffer on the farm field.

Stayed tuned for photos, another short film and a few community events to check in on the progress of our environmental grant work with the Intervale Conservation Nursery. If you are interested in taking action, be sure to check out all of the volunteer opportunities the Intervale Center has to offer.