Impact Beyond Conservation
Our priorities in a time of rapid change
The Vermont Land Trust has spent much of our 43-year history on the leading edge of conservation. We see opportunities to advance our mission and we take action. Being pioneers in the development of the conservation easement in the late ’70s is one example; another is launching the Farmland Access Program over 10 years ago. Today we stand at a new point of inflection.
Vermonters want land conservation and land activation.
What does that mean? Conserving significant parcels of land will always be part of our mission. Now, so is creating a sense of wonder through our educational offerings; providing small grants to farmers on conserved land; opening up community gardens so families can grow food; and giving bow-hunters access to Bluffside Farm in Newport. In each instance, Vermonters (and Vermonters at heart) are joining us to derive meaning and value from conserved land.
Any person—whether they do or do not own land or support us financially—can have a place within VLT.
In these pages, you will read about our efforts to deepen our impact beyond conservation. You’ll read about Bea and Jim Thomas who made a significant donation to our COVID-19 Farm Relief & Recovery Grants Program and one recipient, Full Plate Farm, that was able to purchase CSA management software to support their transition to online sales.
You’ll also read about our efforts to advance natural climate solutions, which include restoring land, protecting the ecological integrity of wetlands, and conserving connected forestland—as we are doing with partners, including The Nature Conservancy and the Stowe Land Trust, in the Shutesville Hill area of Waterbury and Stowe.
One theme that ties much of this work together is our belief that everyone should have access to land and share in all that it provides. The story on Krista Scruggs, owner of ZAFA wines, and our work with her to support her ownership of farmland in Isle La Motte is an example.
The world looks different today than it did twelve months ago. What Vermonters need from us looks different as well.
Photo by Caleb Kenna: Farmer Angus Baldwin packs food for those in need at VLT’s Brewster Uplands property in Jeffersonville. This was originally published in our 2019-20 Annual Report.