Hinesburg Launches Campaign to Protect and Expand Town Forest

aerial view of people walking on trail with woods on either side - Vermont

For immediate release: November 4, 2021

HINESBURG, VT — Community leaders have launched a $120,000 fundraising campaign to help purchase 291 acres of forestland and trails as an addition to the Hinesburg Town Forest. The existing Town Forest and the addition will be permanently protected and accessible to the public. The combined land is located in a 4,400-acre stretch of connected forestland identified as a priority for conservation by the state of Vermont. It features vernal pools, unique natural communities, and miles of headwater streams in the Lake Champlain Basin.

The Hinesburg Town Forest, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hosts 15 miles of trails and serves as a popular regional destination for hiking, biking, hunting, birding, and more. The 291-acre addition connects to another 10 miles of multi-use trails on land south of Lincoln Hill Road and to the VAST trail. It would also secure access to the Town Forest from the south.

“I see every day, right here in the village, what it means for people to get out into the woods,” said James Donegan, Hinesburg resident. “Generations of my family have cared for the Hinesburg Town Forest over the years. It will be good to know that it will be there for the community for generations to come.”

Let's expand and protect Hinesburg Town Forest!

Learn more and see photos of this beautiful place.

The Carse Family, current owners of the 291-acre parcel, is offering to sell the land to the Town rather than listing it on the open market.

“This addition to the Town Forest is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will give us more space for both wildlife and people,” said Pat Mainer, Chairperson of the Hinesburg Town Forest Committee. “We learn more every year about the importance of connected forestland, and we shouldn’t let this chance to forever protect this land from development slip by us.”

The total project cost is $420,000. The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board has committed $225,000 for the project, in addition to $20,000 pledged by the Town of Hinesburg and $55,000 from the Vermont Land Trust.

“We have just $40,000 left to raise towards our goal,” said Paul Wieczoreck, Board member of the Hinesburg Land Trust. “A generous Hinesburg community member has offered to match up to $20,000 in gifts, so we need contributions of all sizes to help make this happen.”

More information can be found and donations can be made here.

 

Photo: Caleb Kenna.