Vermont Land Trust recently received a small land gift. Like many small gifts, its impact far exceeds its size.
Three brothers, Hank, Tom, and Doug Amon, own land in Newport that has been in their family for many generations. The property is just across the road from Bluffside Farm, which VLT bought in 2015 and which is now used by the community for recreation, food, and education.
Some years ago, the City of Newport relocated part of Bluff Road. This caused about three-quarters of an acre of the Amon land to be orphaned from the rest of their plot. That sliver of land was now directly adjacent to Bluffside Farm and came to be treated largely as if it were part of the farm; the farm’s previous owners, the Scott family, tapped the maples there along with others in their sugarbush.
This year, the Amons donated the small parcel to VLT. “The Amon family has been very supportive of VLT’s purchase of and work at Bluffside Farm,” said VLT’s Tracy Zschau. “We’re very glad to receive the gift, as it clears up the boundary at Bluffside.”
The Amon family has been connected to the Northeast Kingdom for many generations. Their grandmother, Ethel Tripp Coffin, enrolled in the Derby Academy in the late 1800s. She and her husband, Harold, had a “gentleman’s farm” on the property now occupied by the North Country Hospital. “The Amon family’s roots in the Northeast Kingdom run deep,” said Tom Amon. “We are therefore privileged to donate a small parcel of land to the Vermont Land Trust to help support its stewardship and enhancement of the Bluffside Farm property as a recreation destination.”
The Amons also participated as a family in the fundraising campaign for the Bluffside Recreation Path project last summer, which will result in a seven-mile, car-free waterfront recreation path connecting downtown Newport to the Canadian border and beyond.
VLT is grateful to the Amon family for their ongoing support. Bluffside Farm continues to grow: it provides fresh, local food to community members and the hospital in the summer, it offers hiking and ski trails to explore in the fall and winter, and it serves as an outdoor classroom for the high school during the school year. The recreation connector trail is moving ahead, too!