What a year it’s been!
Thanks to our many supporters, members, landowners, and partners, it’s been a successful year for conservation.
Ten families bought their first farm and eight others expanded their land base. Two town forests were created, 38 miles of ski trails secured for future fun, and over 7,500 acres of forest will remain open to hunting, walking, and more. Ninety miles of streams and 11 miles of river frontage were protected to keep our water cleaner. And nearly 150 people joined us on the land to learn about better approaches to land management.
We are happy to share our annual report with you and some of the stories that exemplify our work.
Tucked away in the small town of Woodford sits Prospect Mountain Nordic Ski Center, a network of 30 kilometers of skillfully groomed trails with consistently good snow. The mountain is a hub of activity with skiers of all ages and abilities exploring the trails, and college and high school ski teams using the area to train and race. But, a few years ago when word spread that the ski center would be up for sale, the fate of Prospect was not clear. That’s when the tight-knit community surrounding the mountain declared that it was unwilling to let their cherished ski area go. Keep reading…
In her 44 years of farming in Monkton, Norma Norris put her family farm at the heart of the community. She and her husband started out dairy farming in 1973. In ’95, they switched to what had been Norma’s sideline: delicious strawberries. They added veggies, more berries, and rechristened Norris Dairy Farm as Norris Berry Farm. Norma was widowed in 2004, but she kept farming. Keep reading…
On a perfect summer day, 40 foresters gathered on woodland in Rupert. They were here to learn more about managing forests with ash trees, given the threat of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The larvae of this invasive beetle chew tunnels under the bark; this cuts off water and nutrition and usually kills the tree. EAB was first found in Vermont in 2018; it’s confirmed in 10 towns today.” Keep reading….
Cliffords have been farming in Starksboro since the family first arrived from Scotland in 1790. “What history has told us,” says eighth-generation farmer Eric Clifford, pointing east from his kitchen window, “is because Mr. John Deere hadn’t invented the steel plow yet, farming took place in the foothills of his mountain, up here on the lighter soils. Then, after the plow was invented, they moved down closer to the river and the heavier soils.” As a young man, Eric traveled and considered other careers, but he says he always knew he wanted to be a dairy farmer. Keep reading….
Sally Schlueter grew up on a Kansas farm with horses, dogs, and cats. She raised sheep and goats as part of her local 4-H youth club and loved walking along streams and climbing trees. “I was always very connected to being outside and enjoying the natural world,” she says. Sally went on to become a veterinarian and practiced in Kansas, Maryland, Texas, and even Cairo, Egypt. In 1994, the search for a rural home led her to St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Keep reading…
Twenty years ago, the largest land sale in modern Vermont history resulted in the protection of some 132,000 acres of woods in far northeastern Vermont. It is one of the largest and wildest swaths of forest in the state. Initially known as the Champion Lands after the paper company that had owned and logged it, the property has since been renamed the Kingdom Heritage Lands. Success at this scale happens only when many organizations, funders, and agencies work in tandem. Keep reading…
Dan and Peg Arguimbau are long-time supporters of VLT. They love Vermont so much they chose to honeymoon in Stowe. Over the years, they’ve visited VLT-conserved farms—including three “pilgrimages” to the Bromley Farm in Danby—and befriended many of the landowners. “What makes it so beautiful is the combination of farms, forests, and mountains,” says Dan. “That’s why I love Vermont so much… all of these, the Vermont Land Trust has preserved. Keep reading…
It’s because of their shared passion for the outdoors that Rod and Betty Vallee have been VLT members for 35 years, conserved nearly 500 acres in Georgia, Vermont, and hosted VLT events. “We love seeing the land being kept open,” Rod says. “We feel it’s a very valuable asset to the community.” Keep reading…