This article was originally published in The Burlington Free Press on May 10, 2013. View the original article here.

Two tree plantings in Vermont this spring, funded in part by the Clear Water Carbon Fund, enabled people and “purchase” trees for planting in their local watersheds to offset the carbon emissions associated with commuting, conferences, weddings, vacations and other activities.

The first planting took place on Stony Brook, a tributary of the White River in Stockbridge. The White River Partnership led local schoolchildren to reforest one acre of functioning flood plain with native tree species.

Stony Brook is an important spawning stream for wild rainbow trout, native brook trout and Atlantic salmon.

The second planting was organized by NorthWoods Stewardship Center on the Pherrins River in Brighton. The Pherrins River flows into the Clyde River, which feeds Lake Memphremagog, an international body that has experienced problems with phosphorus and sediment build-up.

Reforested stream and riverbanks reduce carbon in the atmosphere while also protecting water quality and providing wildlife habitat.

The Clear Water Carbon Fund is operated by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences. These projects have received support from the Northern Forest Center, through the Northern Forest Investment Zone initiative as well as the Audobon Toyota TogetherGreen Leadership Program.