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High School Students in VT Participate in American Chestnut Restoration

Students carefully remove chestnut seeds from burs. Photo by Kendra Collins

Students from the Center for Technology, Essex – the Essex Junction, VT technical high school, are participating in American chestnut restoration. Their natural resources teacher, Brian Japp, has partnered with the VT/NH Chapter and VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (VT FPR) to help out with the new seed orchard installed at VT FPR’s regional facility in Essex Junction. The students helped shuck the burs for the nuts that were planted this spring, did the tilling and site prep in the spring as part of their lesson on using tractor tools, and helped plant. This fall they also helped put the orchard to bed – sunk shelters, refreshed tree labels, replaced broken stakes, did a final weeding, and replenished the bark mulch. That’s a lot of commitment and labor from these young people and their teacher! Much of the work fits with their curriculum so it’s a win-win.

The partnership has also involved Yurij Bihun, president of the VT/NH Chapter; JP Powers and Warren Spinner of the VT/NH Chapter; Gary Sabourin of VT FPR; and Kendra Collins.