UPDATE: MARCH 20, 2017
Thanks to the generosity of many Westford residents, we have met our initial private fundraising goal of $50,000 to help acquire our Town Forest and permanently conserve the historic Jackson Farm.
All remaining gifts that we receive will go to the town’s stewardship of the land and improvements to public access.
Every tax deductible donation to the Jackson Farm and Forest Project will reduce the Town’s reliance on future grants to fulfill these goals for the stewardship and public enjoyment of the Forest!
Completion of sale is expected sometime in June. We will keep you posted on the official completion of the project and a community celebration in late summer or early fall.
Help save the Jackson Farm and create a new Westford town forest!
With your help, the scenic Jackson Farm, located across from the Westford School, could be permanently protected as a farm and town forest. We have just $10,000 left to raise!
When the public learned the land was going to be sold, community members came up with a plan to save it from development and expand recreational opportunities. A volunteer committee has worked with the landowners, the Vermont Land Trust, and farmers Donald and Dale Pouliot, who hope to buy the farmland. All have now entered into contracts to buy and protect the land.
To succeed, money will need to be raised to buy the forestland and conserve the farmland. We are 98% of the way to meeting the fundraising goal, but still need to raise $10,000 from the community. Please join us!
If we are successful…
A New 130-Acre Town Forest and Trail Network
Located on the edge of the village, the new town forest would be available for public recreation, student education, and as a timber resource for the town.
A network of trails in the town forest could connect over the farmland to trails on the Westford School parcel. Portions of two beaver ponds on the property provide opportunities for an outdoor classroom directly across from the school. A trail along the farmland on Brookside Road would help create a pedestrian way from the village to the school. A conservation easement would permanently protect the land as a public resource.
A Working Farm
Forty-two acres of meadows will be permanently protected from development and remain in agricultural use. Tying the land’s value to farming rather than development will make the meadows affordable to the Pouliots, nearby dairy farmers, who will buy the land to support their herd. (Photo, left, by Amber Haller)
Protection of a Historic Stone Wall
The stone wall along Brookside Road and the surrounding scenic meadows will be protected. (Photo, below, by Amber Haller)
Secure Town Wastewater Capacity
Part of the northern meadow, which will be included in the town forest property, has soils suitable for an in-ground leach field near the village center should the community decide to pursue that in the future. Securing this area will preserve options to expand housing and economic activity in the center of town.
On November 8, the community enthusiastically voted for a town contribution of $185,000 to this conservation effort.
The project budget is $630,000. We are 98% of the way there thanks to a grant from the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, overwhelming support from
town voters to allocate town funds to the project, and individual donations. We need to raise just $10,000 more by April 1!
We hope you can help with a tax-deductible contribution! Click here to donate online, or mail checks, with “Jackson Farm” in the memo line, to:
Vermont Land Trust
8 Bailey Ave
Montpelier, VT 05602