Healthy Living and Intervale Center Partner to Raise Water Quality

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From April 14-May 12, Healthy Living Market and Café and the Intervale Center are partnering to raise awareness about the importance of water quality to Vermont’s vibrant community food system. The campaign will highlight the Intervale Center’s Intervale Conservation Nursery, which will plant 15,000 trees across Vermont this spring – from Isle la Motte to Quechee and Wolcott – to protect water quality, restore native habitat, and mitigate climate change. Since 2002, the Nursery has planted over 185,000 native trees in Vermont, restoring about 925 acres along rivers and streams.

During April and May, Healthy Living will highlight the Intervale Center’s efforts during their Front End Fundraiser, during which customers can choose to add on a donation in increments of $1 to their bill to support healthy Vermont landscapes. The Intervale Center will also be tabling in Healthy Living’s foyer on Monday, April 27 and Friday, May 8 from 11 AM – 2 PM, providing educational materials and selling native trees for community members to plant in their own backyards. The Intervale Center’s “Love Your Mother (Earth)” campaign will be running simultaneously, inviting participants to donate $35 to the Intervale Center in honor of their mother or another loved one. The Intervale Conservation Nursery will plant a tree in the honoree’s name and will send the donor and the honoree a postcard explaining where the tree was planted. Customers will be able to sign up to plant a tree in their mother’s honor by visiting the Intervale Center table in the store’s main entrance.

In addition, Healthy Living is sponsoring an invasive plant removal day, “Have a Heart, Pull a Weed” in the Intervale on Saturday, May 2 from 9 AM – 12 PM. Thirty volunteers will pull invasive species like common buckthorn and multiflora rose, which compete for resources for native plants and negatively impact the ecosystem. The volunteer day will close with a celebratory lunch, provided by Healthy Living; the natural foods market and café also sponsored the purchase of two new weed wrenches for use during the volunteer day and in future invasive species removal projects. “Have a Heart, Pull a Weed” is also supported by a grant from Keurig Green Mountain.

“We’re beyond thrilled to grow our partnership with the Intervale Center and Conservation Nursery this year – it’s an organic and symbiotic partnership,” said Nicole Driscoll, Healthy Living’s Director of Marketing. “We’re long-time supporters of the Intervale Center and their work, as they provide opportunity for small local farmers to grow, preserve a beautiful, fertile piece of land right in Burlington and provide a community gathering place. Now the Conservation Nursery is going one step further in strengthening our local food system by helping protect and clean our waterways, which are vital to healthy farms and a resilient local food system.”

Not only does this partnership provide the Intervale Center with financial support during the spring season, “It expands our reach,” said the Intervale Center’s Executive Director, Travis Marcotte. “Many people don’t know about the importance of native trees and healthy waterways to a vibrant, resilient community food system. Native trees prevent erosion, filter pollutants from our waterways, and provide a biodiverse habitat for native wildlife, including pollinators – all of which are essential to sustainable agriculture. We’re excited for the opportunity to share this important work with our community.”

Other ways to get involved with the Conservation Nursery include volunteering throughout the season to propagate, plant, weed, and harvest. To participate, interested community members should contact Intervale Conservation Nursery Assistant Manager, Seth Gillim, at [email protected].

About the Intervale Conservation Nursery
The Intervale Conservation Nursery, a social enterprise of the Intervale Center (www.intervale.org), was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to growing native, locally sourced trees and shrubs for restoration projects throughout Vermont. All plants are grown in an ecologically sound manner without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. The Nursery works with landowners, farmers, watershed organizations and government agencies to restore and protect Vermont’s waters. For more information: www.intervale.org