Chittenden Reservoir Day, an annual cleanup and celebration event in Chittenden, was commemorated in a special way this summer. The big reservoir, an important resource to Rutland County, is now 100 years old.
Central Vermont Public Service employees and local volunteers took charge of the traditional cleanup around the reservoir and Leffert's Pond. The cleanup was followed by a community hot-dog roast followed by guided hiking, kayaking and hydroelectric tours. Biologists from the Green Mountain National Forest attended and conducted sessions for youngsters about the dam's resource; they even included a few "secret" fishing tips.
Chittenden Reservoir was constructed over several years in the early 20th century. It began providing renewable hydroelectric power in 1909.
The 750-acre reservoir, and the land surrounding it, is owned by CVPS. A parking area and boat launch are leased by CVPS to the State of Vermont.
Besides its role as CVPS's largest hydro facility, the reservoir is usually considered by outdoor enthusiasts as being in the top tier of Vermont's pristine recreation sites.
Seventeen square miles of mountainous terrain help drain fresh water into the reservoir. While it's artificial, the reservoir is now a healthy habitat for dozens of species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and mammals. As a home to bald eagles, ospreys, moose, beavers and loons, too, the reservoir is one of the few undeveloped lakes in Vermont.