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Black River Action Team

Rating: 4.75 stars   4 reviews 231

Nonprofit Issues:

Address:

45 Coolidge Road Springfield VT 05156 USA

Mission:

To discover, celebrate and keep healthy the Black River and its watershed through hands-on fun, elbow-grease and responsible recreation.

Geographic areas served:

Windsor County, VT

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More Info

802-885-1533
http://www.BlackRiverActionTeam.org

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Reviews for Black River Action Team

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

We are a group of small communities. As a whole we care about all aspects of the life in Vermont. The rivers provide some of the most important visual and recreational lifelines that connect us all. From snow covered rocks and bridges to the cool refreshing waterfalls of summer to the kayaking and fishing to the actual water source our rivers are a mainstay of the Vermont land scape and our futures. When we can pull together even in the smallest way to keep the health of the rivers going. It is a personal shot in the arm and makes the rivers even more personal. I have been proud to help Kelly and her amazing efforts even if it has been minimal. I usually volunteer with corporate type fund raisers put on by professional folks with thousands of participants. To compare the love and emotion that goes into the events Kelly Stetter puts together for the rivers well, I just can't. When all the hoopla of the big events are over, it is the river I go home to and relax. I think of Kelly.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the change in how the community views the rivers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them lots of money to make more happen around the state.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

making changes.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Fantastic folks out to make a small change in a big way.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Get rid of a whole lot of waste still in the rivers from old factories.

Ways to make it better...

Nothing could have been better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Being too small and not enough money to really get big jobs done.

One thing I'd also say is that...

As a grassroots group, it has grown and keeps growing one shopping cart at a time.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This group is the brainchild and lead by an incredibly energetic, resourceful and well informed woman, a true environmental and river advocate. Because of these virtues she attracts like minded and energetic individuals who somehow are able to get many of the projects done. There are many educational opportunities to not only take advantage of but also to give! For those that are more attracted to the physical side of things, there are plenty of opportunities to aid the welfare of the river by hiking, kayaking, observing and recording for geomorphological surveys, BRAT surveys/studies/observations and also enjoying the fellowship of other fellow BRATs on team outings or functions. There are no formal meetings but we are well informed via email and the blogsite about what is going on, what needs to be done/opportunities and there is always the request for out input. How can this get better??

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Observing cleaner recreational waters and surrounding pathways as well as significantly increased my knowledge and awareness of river health and environmentally better habits.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Sue, thanks for posting; you're absolutely right, we do need to delve deeper into the ups and downs of stepping out on our own. It will likely open up a few more grantseeking avenues, and we should investigate what it would require initially as well as on an ongoing basis. Any resources you come across, including and especially your own experiences, would be most welcome. I'm so glad you have had such a positive experience with the BRAT! You mention that there are educational opportunities to give...I'd like to see more of that somehow, tap into the wonderful folks in the community who know the river in some way and engage them in sharing their knowledge, wisdom and experiences. Any thoughts on ways to do that, aside from organizing workshops?

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Kelly, founder and director of BRAT, has volunteered to present programs to children at the library that introduce them to creatures that live in the river and raise awareness of the river environment. These hands on programs are extrmely popular and generate lots of excitement amongst the participants. Most importantly, Kelly instills a feeling of stewardship for the river in the kids that will last a lifetime.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the kids reactions at programs and in seeing how clean the river is.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Most appreciated! I'm hoping that more and more kids will begin to appreciate what it means to have a clean and healthy river in their community, and will understand what it takes to keep it that way. Thanks for supporting our work!

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Walking over a bridge in 2000, I looked down into the water to discover shopping carts, tires and litter staring back up at me. I was disgusted; "Somebody ought to DO something about that!" I remember scoffing. My husband elbowed me and replied, "Well, YOU'RE 'somebody.'" And so began the first annual RiverSweep, an ongoing event to keep the Black River clear of trash of all kinds. Volunteers of all ages join the effort in a variety of towns throughout the watershed, and area businesses support our work with donations of goods, services and cash. Over the years, I've learned much more about what it takes to keep a river running in good condition. I do regular Bug Hunts, looking for aquatic macroinvertebrates that live on the bottom of the river and the streams that feed it. I conduct workshops on Japanese knotweed, an invasive exotic plant that can have a negative effect on river banks. And I am fortunate to be surrounded by volunteers who have many skills and ideas to offer, from leading paddling excursions to coordinating outreach events, from videography to mapping. We've been helping the Black River for 10 years now, and we have so many new projects that are just coming together; it's very exciting being a BRAT! I hope you'll consider joining the fun.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways, from seeing the bags of trash collected by intrepid volunteers each year to flipping through a working copy of the 2003 Visual Assessment that covers the bulk of the mainstem of the river to its mouth at the Connecticut River.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the opportunity for other projects; that is coming to pass, however, by building on existing partnerships and cultivating new ones.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting dozens of volunteers with a diverse array of experiences, perspectives and ideas!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very eager, involved, clever and energetic!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

hire a full-time director, build a river education center and museum, offer kayak tours, and so much more!

Ways to make it better...

I could get better at encouraging volunteers to take initiative and take the reins on more projects.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

time constraints to be able to do all the neat things we want to do.

One thing I'd also say is that...

people give what they can, when they can, whether it's a couple of dollars to buy a raffle ticket or an entire Saturday to clean the river. It is all appreciated and regarded as important!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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