Saturday, Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. — CHITTENDEN – Chittenden Reservoir Day, the annual cleanup and celebration of the 750 acre hydroelectric and recreational facility owned by Green Mountain Power, will be held Oct. 4 at the dam. The annual event, which includes a free barbecue, will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This year marks the 100th birthday of the Chittenden Powerhouse and GMP is excited to team up with the Chittenden Historical Society to commemorate this piece of history. Tours of the hydro facility will be given every half hour for anyone interested.
“The variety and concentration of wildlife continues to grow, making Chittenden one of the region’s most special recreational assets,” said Steve Costello, GMP’s vice president. “Reservoir Day is intended as an annual reminder of the importance of protecting that area and giving back a little bit as we celebrate it.”
Each year, hundreds of canoeists, kayakers, boaters and hikers attend Chittenden Reservoir Day. Castleton State College’s Recycling and Sustainability Club is teaming up again this year with GMP for the cleanup effort.
Chittenden Reservoir Day began in 2002, shortly after the state banned water skiing and set a 5 mph limit on power boats. The popularity of the lake, which was already a draw for fishing, paddlers and hikers, ballooned after that decision by the Water Resources Board.
Up to 300 volunteers have turned out each year to paddle and walk the entire shoreline of the reservoir, cleaning up after a long summer of use. The event includes a barbecue, activities for kids, educational tours, found art making, and other events. The first 100 people in attendance will receive commemorative T-shirts, while free food and soft drinks will be available to everyone who attends.
In the first year, more than two tons of trash was collected, much of it apparently dumped years earlier. In recent years, far less trash has been found, as older trash was removed and people began treating the area with greater respect. Casella Waste Management has provided a free dumpster for the event each year.
Chittenden Reservoir is a GMP hydroelectric facility. The company owns 75 acres of land around the reservoir, the land under the water, and the dam and public access area, which is leased to the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife. The U.S. Forest Service purchased most of the surrounding lands in 1997. The area is home to loons, ospreys, bald eagles, moose, deer, beaver, river otters, several species of ducks, common mergansers and dozens of other bird, fish, mammal and reptile species.
For more information, call 802-793-4031.