One driveway at a time

  • Published in Letters

To The Editor:

The five-town Ridge to River Initiative (, led by Friends of the Mad River, conceived a new program to reduce damage to our community in the face of a changing climate. Its pilot “Storm Smart Program” works with area homeowners to help them address soil erosion problems on their property. Some simple measures can help water sink into the ground instead of running off quickly into the streams, reducing flooding and keeping water clean. Best management practices (BMPs) include keeping private roads or driveways crowned and creating water bars to help the stormwater run into the ditch or yard instead of laterally down the driveway, adding check dams to driveway ditches to slow stormwater and dissipate its energy, and installing a bigger culvert at the base of your driveway to prevent erosion and culvert failure. These BMPS can significantly reduce soil erosion, improve the driveway and save time and money.

As part of the Storm Smart Program, I have been working with homeowners to apply these techniques in The Valley and will share what I’ve learned as part of Ridge to River’s Climate of Change Mad River Valley Community Forum on October 11 at the Lareau Farm pavilion in Waitsfield from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

I’ll have a model that demonstrates a few best management practices and photos of problem situations. Other community members will be there to share soil-building, forest stewardship, road maintenance, and green stormwater infrastructure tips!

Does your driveway need doctoring? If you could benefit from an assessment of your driveway and home site to reduce stormwater erosion problems, sign up for a site visit at the October 11 Community Forum by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 496-9127.

Ridge to River is a five-town coalition working toward clean water and flood resilience in The Valley. It is a project of Friends of the Mad River with support from the Mad River Valley Planning District and Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission. It is funded in part by the High Meadows Fund and Lake Champlain Basin Program. Learn more at

Please RSVP for the Climate of Change Forum by October 1 to help plan appropriately:  on Facebook at, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 496-9127.

Richard Czaplinski
Friends of the Mad River board of directors