Missisquoi River, photo by Dan Moriarty

Missisquoi River, photo by Dan Moriarty

The Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers are Vermont's first rivers to be added to the prestigious National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. On June 6, 2015, community members and partner groups will celebrate this recent designation with a dedication ceremony at The Abbey in Enosburg followed by a 6-mile group paddle along the Missisquoi River from Richford to East Berkshire. These events are free and the public is welcome to attend.

For five years, a community-led process identified characteristics of the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers that made it eligible for protected status. In 2009, the Vermont Wild & Scenic Study Committee formed to work through the qualifications for designation which included a detailed study and collaboration between the towns that share the watershed. In December 2014, congress officially recognized the two rivers as 'Wild & Scenic'.

The ceremony will take place 11:00am–2:00 pm with speakers, live music and free food. More than 25 exhibitors will be on hand to share the rivers and natural landscapes of the region.

From 2:30 pm–4:30pm there will be an easy, 6-mile paddling trip on the Missisquoi River from Davis Park in Richford to the confluence of the Trout River in East Berkshire. Participants must arrange their own transportation and provide their own boat, paddle and PFD.

This event is being sponsored by the Upper Missisquoi & Trout Rivers Wild & Scenic Committee, Missisquoi River Basin Association, Northeast Regional Planning Association, and Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

This event is one of many events, paddling trips, and a speaker series scheduled for locations along Vermont's Missisquoi River this summer. See more at www.celebratethemissisquoi.com.