Back in October, Corrie Miller stepped down from her role as Friends’ Director after leading this organization for the last eight and a half years. Her leadership helped our Mad River Valley community tackle issues of climate change, flood resilience, and watershed health. We have been so lucky to have Corrie on our team these last few years and now, as she begins her new job with the Lake Champlain Basin Program as the Aquatic Organism Passage Restoration Specialist, we want to celebrate all she has accomplished.
Early in her tenure as director, Corrie worked with twenty community members to lay the foundation for Ridge to River, and then led the 5-town coalition through extensive explorations of the challenges and opportunities posed by a watershed-wide focus on flood resilience, water quality, and increasingly, the realities of a changing climate. Stemming from Ridge to River, Corrie led the development of critical stormwater management projects across the Valley. She developed Road Roundtables to bring Valley road crews and Select boards together to solve common challenges and enhance communication. In 2018, she was joined by Ira Shadis, Friends Stewardship Manager, and the two worked to develop the Storm Smart program which has since worked with dozens of community members to find opportunities to build resilience at more than 120 properties across the Valley.
Corrie’s ability to bring together strong conservation networks was a hallmark of her tenure. She led a partnership of federal and state agencies, contractors, and road crews to reconnect native trout to their upstream habitat. This work leveraged more than $1.5 million dollars and countless hours of scientific expertise to replace critical town road infrastructure and restore healthy streams and fish habitat.
Starting in 2020, Corrie and Ira led an expansion of the Storm Smart program with partners that brought the Valley-originated program to the greater Winooski River and Lake Champlain basins.
And just in the last year, Corrie has been instrumental in the early success of the multi-partner Mad River Valley Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative grant by spearheading important conversations about how to strike a balance between healthy ecosystems and great recreational opportunities in the Valley.
Corrie’s leadership was instrumental in all phases of Friends work. Since she came on as director she has driven the technical work of identifying and implementing real projects on the ground, fundraised and leveraged partnerships across the state to help make our community more resilient, and provided vital technical assistance to countless community organizations and individuals.
While we will certainly miss her, Friends board and staff are eager to congratulate Corrie on her successful tenure as executive director and wish her the best at the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
of the Mad River