Volunteers plant trees in Moretown. Photo Ira Shadis

In Moretown, a remarkable transformation unfolded over three days when volunteers with Friends of the Mad River and Friends of the Winooski River planted 1,200 trees, each sapling representing a step in restoring a natural buffer to help with flood resilience and improve habitat for aquatic and wildlife. The trees were planted April 19, 20 and 22.




The volunteers hailed from diverse backgrounds and ages, with 70-plus volunteers joining from SunCommon, a Waterbury solar energy company, and five students joining from Harwood Union High School. The event was hosted by Don and Elise Wexler whose stewardship of the land was evident, according to Friends of the Mad River executive director Ira Shadis.

“In their every gesture, they provided invaluable guidance, support, apples, and coffee all week long,” Shadis said.

The three days of planting were marked by laughter, camaraderie, and a shared sense of purpose. The collaboration between community organizations, landowners, and volunteers showcased community, he pointed out and also highlighted the transformative power of collective action in protecting and preserving natural ecosystems, not just for the present, but for generations to come.

“The planting of the 1,200 trees symbolizes more than just a physical transformation. It represents a commitment to environmental stewardship, a celebration of community, and a recognition of the interconnectedness of all living things. It's a reminder that small actions, when undertaken with passion and unity, can have a profound impact on people, spaces, and beings around us,” he added.