Mobbs Farm conserved with strong community support and partnerships

JERICHO, VT — The Town of Jericho, VLT, and the Jericho Underhill Land Trust (JULT) worked together to conserve 232 acres of Mobbs Farm, a recreation area owned by the Town of Jericho. There are nearly ten miles of trails that wind through fields, woods, and along Mill Brook.

“Mobbs Farm is truly an asset for the community and we’re delighted to help protect it for the future,” said Bob Heiser, Project Director for VLT. “Depending on the season, you may find people cross country skiing, walking their dogs, biking, sledding, hunting, riding horses, or swimming in Mill Brook.”

Protecting a natural and recreational asset

Long a hillside farm, the land belonged to the Mobbs family in the mid-1900s. The town of Jericho bought the land in 1968 and maintains its fields, woods, trails, and a community orchard.

Over its long history, the property has been threatened multiple times by development proposals. In recent years, community members became focused on protecting it as a natural and recreational asset. At the 2021 Town Meeting, Jericho voters supported the conservation of the Mobbs property by more than a ten-to-one margin.

“As residents of Jericho and members of the Mobbs Farm Committee, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the establishment of the Conservation Easement for Mobbs Farm,” said Pete Davis, chair of the town’s Mobbs Farm Committee. “Working together on the project for the past three years with the Vermont Land Trust has been a very rewarding experience, especially considering the overwhelming support from the voters in Jericho to protect this unique property.”

“I am glad to see this is going through,” said Paula Carrier, Jericho assistant town administrator. “It was my grandfather’s land, and it’s amazing to see all of this. It is exactly what he wanted.”

Over 350 species of plants, animals, and fungi

The property also has important natural features, with forestland, open land, frontage on Mill Brook, and a wetland area of a type uncommon in Vermont. Over 368 species of plants, animals, and fungi have been documented here, in citizen-science ‘Bio-blitzes’ coordinated by the Jericho Conservation Commission in 2020 and 2021. The land is part of a larger stretch of forestland and abuts the University of Vermont’s 476-acre Jericho Research Forest.

Funds to cover the costs of conservation were raised by JULT, VLT, and the Town of Jericho’s Conservation Reserve Fund.

“The Jericho Underhill Land Trust is very pleased to assist with the conservation of Mobbs Farm,” said Livy Strong of JULT. “This scenic, town-owned land offers many recreational opportunities along with diverse wildlife habitats. It is a sincere pleasure to know that future generations will continue to enjoy Mobbs Farm.”