AROUND TOWN

Rutland County Audubon May 19 — Audubon West Rutland Marsh Monitoring Walk, full 3.7 mile loop or go halfway, in this National Audubon IBA (Important Bird Area). Kids, new birders and non-members always welcome. Meet at the marsh boardwalk on Marble Street at 7 a.m. May 19. For more information, email birding@rutlandcountyaudubon.org

May 21 — Annual Century Count, a day devoted to scavenging the county for all species of birds, with the hope of totaling 100 or more. Meeting time will be 7 a.m. Bring lunch and wear boots appropriate for hiking. Email birding@rutlandcountyaudubon.org if you would like to be member of a group.

May 22 — Female Bird Walk at the West Rutland Marsh to identify female birds. Meet at the old boardwalk on Marble Street in West Rutland at 7:30 a.m. May 22, (not the new boardwalk on Whipple Hollow Road). For more information, call (802) 598-2583.

Trout stocking changeGOSHEN — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department announced that trout originally planned for the 2022 stocking season at Sugar Hill Reservoir, also known as Goshen Dam, in Goshen will be diverted to other area waterways for anglers: Lefferts Pond in Chittenden, Smith Pond in Pittsford, Silver Lake in Leicester, and Prentiss Pond in Dorset.

The reservoir was slated to receive an April stocking of 1,350 yearling brook trout. A drawdown for dam improvements on the 58-acre waterbody will be in place again this summer. This dam safety project is expected to be completed during the 2022 construction season with refill beginning potentially by the end of the summer. Water levels this year will be similar to those in 2021.

AROUND STATE

Exercise more

BERLIN — Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Vermont invites the public to enjoy Mountain Days, an annual event that brings people of all body types and abilities to the top of a mountain. The in-person event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Mount Wantastiquet Mountain Nature Area Trails, 244 Mountain Road, West Chesterfield, New Hampshire. This mountain serves as Brattleboro’s backdrop, rising up over the Connecticut River.

No RSVP is required, and the event is open to all.

For Vermonters for whom Brattleboro is too far of a trek, Blue Cross will host a virtual event from Saturday, May 7, to Saturday, May 21, inviting people statewide to post a photo of you, your family or friends conquering a mountain, or a nature trail, on the Blue Cross Facebook page for a chance to win a 10-day park pass voucher. email events@bcbsvt.com or submit your photo by USPS to the attention of our Community Wellness team.

EAB Awareness Week

Vermont, along with the rest of the country, will recognize National Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, May 22-28. The week is designed to draw attention to the impact this invasive species, a native of Asia, can have on ash trees. In Vermont, the emerald ash borer (EAB) was first spotted in 2018 in Orange County and is now confirmed in all but Essex County. The beetle attacks all three species of ash that grow in the state.

Although it can’t be eradicated, increased EAB awareness can help slow its spread. Vermonters are encouraged to get involved by organizing a community activity or posting on social media or Front Porch Forum.

An online Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Toolkit is available at go.uvm.edu/eab-toolkit to provide ideas and information. The Vermont Invasives website (vtinvasives.org) has a number of resources, including videos and maps indicating infested areas, to help homeowners, municipalities and forest landowners and managers identify, understand and control the spread of EAB.

The week’s public events include:

May 24, 6 to 8 p.m. U-32 Middle and High School, East Montpelier. Join the East Montpelier Resilient Roads committee and Joanne Garton, Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program technical assistance coordinator, for a walk and presentation.

May 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nulhegan Basin Visitor Center, 5396 Vt. Route 105, Brunswick. Join Abenaki craftspeople and basket makers to learn about the significance of black ash trees in Abenaki culture and their use in basket making. Lunch is a potluck.

Visit go.uvm.edu/vtucfevents for more information.

Leave young wildlife alone

Watching wildlife is enjoyable, especially when young animals appear in the spring. But it is best to keep your distance. Picking up young wildlife can do more harm than good, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and it is also against the law. Bringing young wildlife into a human environment often results in permanent separation from their mothers and a sad ending for the animal. Handling wildlife could also pose a threat to the people involved. Wild animals can transmit disease and angry wildlife mothers can pose significant dangers. Some helpful tips are:

— Deer and moose nurse their young at different times during the day, and often leave young alone for long periods of time. These animals are not lost. Their mother knows where they are and will return.

— Young birds on the ground may have left their nest, but their parents will still feed them.

— Young animals such as fox and raccoon will often follow their mother. The mother of a wildlife youngster is usually nearby but just out of sight to a person happening upon it.

— Animals that act sick can carry rabies, parasites or other harmful diseases. Do not handle them. Even though they do not show symptoms, healthy-looking raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats may also be carriers of the deadly rabies virus.

— Many wildlife species will not feed or care for their young when people are close by. Obey signs that restrict access to wildlife nesting areas, including hiking trails that may be temporarily closed.

— Keep domestic pets indoors, leashed or fenced in. Dogs and cats kill many baby animals each year.

— Avoid projects that remove trees, shrubs and dead snags that contain nests during the spring and summer.

For more information, call the Vermont Rabies Hotline at 1-800-4RABIES (1-800-472-2437).

Hiking trail rebuild

Green Mountain Club (GMC) announces the largest trail rehabilitation at one of Vermont’s popular hiking destinations will begin this summer. In partnership with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR), GMC will participate in a top-to-bottom rehabilitation of the Burrows Trail in Camel’s Hump State Park.

This effort is made possible with investments from the State of Vermont in stewardship of outdoor recreation assets. GMC, Vermont State Trail Crew, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Northwoods Stewardship Center and National Civilian Conservation Corps will provide on-the-ground trail crews for the rehabilitation that will start in June and continue for the next three years.

The Burrows Trail will remain open to hikers throughout the project, though hikers are advised to be aware of trail crew traffic control when passing through work sites. Formerly known as the Huntington Trail, it has been used as a footpath for over 100 years. The day hike winds 2.1 miles before intersecting with the Long Trail to access Camel’s Hump summit at 4,083 feet.

Do you have an item you would like to see in Community News? A milestone? A public announcement? A short news release about something entertaining going on in your town? Simply email the information to us at news@rutlandherald.com. Be sure to put For Community News in the subject line. (Note: We do reserve the right to edit for length.)

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