Around the State: Our Recent Work
Wondering what we’ve been up to? The pandemic may have slowed some things down and halted others, but here at VLT we’ve been busy!
Between January 1 and June 30 we
- conserved nearly 1,300 acres of farmland and 1,800+ acres of forest
- protected 50+ acres of land along rivers, 50+ acres of wetlands, 14 miles of streams and rivers
- planted over 2,800 trees and shrubs along rivers and streams for cleaner water
- helped enroll 8,000+ acres in a new forest carbon program.
A shout out to all the community members, landowners, and partners who work with us to conserve Vermont’s landscape! We could not do this with you.
Barre Town: Mark Booth and his three siblings protected 102 acres of prime farm fields on Airport Road, to fulfill their late father Gordon Booth’s dream. Conserving this land honors the area’s farming heritage and makes sure that it will always be available to future farmers. Funding from VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS). Learn more.
Bethel: Jeffrey Townsend protected 89 acres of farmland, including more than a mile of frontage on the White River; 57 acres along the river have special water-quality protections in the conservation easement. VLT will be working with the nonprofit White River Partnership and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program to plant trees on five acres of farmland along the river. Funding for farm conservation from VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS). Funding for river conservation from the Department of Environmental Conservation. Learn more.
East Montpelier: Fairmont Farm conserved 201 acres between Route 14 and the Winooski River. There are farm fields, forested and open wetlands, as well as riverbank areas and several tributaries. The land lies between two sections of the popular Cross Vermont Trail—Fairmont Farm also granted a separate easement to the Cross Vermont Trail Association that will enable the Association to build a trail corridor through this critical linkage. Funding for farm conservation from VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS) and The Nature Conservancy under a grant from Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. Funding for trail easement from VHCB and the Town of East Montpelier. Learn more.
Eden: The Atlas Timberlands Partnership, between VLT and The Nature Conservancy, sold 972 conserved acres in an internationally significant wildlife corridor to David Schurman. David operates a sugarbush in Jay and will collect sap from maples on the newly conserved land. Proceeds from the sale will be used to advance VLT’s forestland conservation efforts.
Fairfield: Seventh-generation Vermont farmer Dan Howrigan and his wife, Shelley, conserved 141 acres of pasture, fields, and woods. They’re growing corn and using the pasture for their organic dairy business, and rejuvenating a sugarbush with a pipeline system and 2,000 new taps. Funding from VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS). Learn more.
Greensboro: Brenden and Lindsay Beer conserved a 41-acre farm. Formerly the site of Hazendale Farm, a popular farm that served the community for over three decades, the land now hosts the Wilson Herb Farm and the Wilson Farm Market. The Beers grow organic medicinal and culinary herbs such as calendula and sage. Funding from VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS), the Greensboro Land Trust, and its Mary Witherbee Fund established at the Stoney Point Foundation. Learn more.
Middlebury: Hank Dimuzio and Rhonda Roberts conserved 132 acres that are home to LedgEnd Farm, the largest deer farm in the state. They raise Fallow deer, a European breed, and sell directly off the farm and to local stores and restaurants. Nearly 30 acres of rare clayplain forest were protected; these forests are important for wildlife and biodiversity, especially with our changing climate. Funding from the Town of Middlebury and VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS). Learn more.
New Haven, Weybridge: Armond Brisson conserved 73 acres and then sold the farmland to Four Hills, a large dairy based in Bristol. Neighbors had rallied to keep the land open when a development was proposed. By working with Armond, the town, and VLT, they were able to see it conserved. Funding from VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS), Town of Weybridge, and local donors. Learn more.
Pawlet: Diane and Seth Butler conserved a 267-acre farm in the Mettowee Valley, which has been in Diane’s family for generations. The Butlers produce pastured pork, meat chickens, grass-fed beef, and eggs. Funding from the Lookout Foundation and other private foundations. Learn more.
Shaftsbury: Solon and Hira Rhode conserved 408 acres of forest and farmland on the side of West Mountain. The mountain is part of the Taconic formation, which runs from the Hudson Highlands to Lake Champlain. Solon spent decades improving the forest for wildlife, encouraging vernal pools and waterways, and keeping the fields open yet wildlife friendly.
Shoreham: Scott and Bob Douglas protected 181 acres of Douglas Orchard, a popular destination for community members and visitors for decades. When they realized there wouldn’t be a next generation of Douglases to run the business, they decided to conserve the land and sell it to Bill Suhr of Champlain Orchards, making sure the community would enjoy the fruits of their labors for years to come. Funding from VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS). Learn more.
Shrewsbury: VLT supported the Shrewsbury Conservation Commission and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in protecting 527 acres of forestland for wildlife, forest health, and public access. The land is thickly forested with sugar maples, birch, and oak, and is critical wildlife habitat. It is now the state’s 100th Wildlife Management Area. Learn more.
South Burlington: VLT worked with VHCB and Bread & Butter Farm to conserve 191 acres. VLT bought the property using its new Farmland Futures Fund and is leasing it to Bread & Butter. In addition to the farmland, wetlands and land along Muddy Brook will also be protected. This project is part of a wider effort to conserve a large farm tract in an otherwise suburban area. Bread & Butter produces vegetables and beef, and is home to community events and a bakery and café at their home farm. Funding from VHCB. Learn more.
Topsham: Arthur and Sherie Schmauder donated 159 acres of woodland, open pasture, wetland, and meadows. Streams on the property flow into the Waits River. The diversity of habitats, including a rare fen wetland, makes the land valuable for wildlife. VLT will conserve most of the land before selling it; proceeds will be used to advance the land trust’s mission. Learn more.
Waterbury: Whitney Blauvelt protected 111 forested acres in the Shutesville Hill Wildlife Corridor, one of the most important wildlife regions in Vermont. The land abuts Route 100 along a high-priority wildlife crossing. The protection of this parcel adds to over 550 acres in this same corridor that have been conserved since 2018 by the Stowe Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and VLT. Funding from community members. Learn more.
Williamstown: David Pullman conserved his 60-acre farm on Baptist Street, including special protections for a headwater tributary of the Winooski River’s Stevens Branch. David operated a dairy there until 2017; the farm’s cropland is now leased to neighboring farmers. Funding from VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS).