For Julie and Peter Parker, forest stewardship is a hands-on endeavor. They bought a farmhouse and 187 acres on the western slope of the Braintree Mountains in Granville in 1980. Over the next few decades, the Parkers purchased adjoining parcels that were heavily harvested or at risk of subdivision. While Peter pruned apple trees and studied growth in their white pine plantation, Julie spearheaded spring bird counts with the Mad River Birders. Together, they have delighted in the transformation of their historic hill farm into a vigorous forest with healthy habitat for wildlife and birds.
When a recent Harvard study showed that New England loses 65 acres of forestland to development per day, the Parkers felt compelled to protect their beloved forest. “It is a privilege, as well as our duty, to save our land in perpetuity through the Vermont Land Trust,” stated Julie. Now that Peter, Julie, and their daughters have conserved their 544-acre property, they can rest assured that their family forest will stay intact and productive for future generations.
Conservation protects many important resources on their land. The forest borders the Braintree Gap Road, a Class IV road, plus interior forest roads that are available for public, non-motorized recreation such as skiing and walking. There are streams, wetlands, and a sensitive, high-elevation forest of spruce and fir trees along the Braintree Mountains.