The scenic Lake Champlain Islands stretch 30 miles south of the Canadian border. This summer, Tom Bellavance of Sunset Lake Farm conserved 53 acres of open and forested land on the southern-most island, South Hero. The cropland on the property will be used to grow corn and hay in rotation. The dairy rents a substantial amount of farmland, so securing land is essential to its long-term success. This parcel will help feed the 240 cows located on another conserved Sunset Lake Farm property in South Hero.
The land has a few wetlands and several streams that drain into a larger stream that winds dramatically through a hemlock forest, with banks 10 to 20 feet high in some places; ultimately, it flows into Lake Champlain. Over half a mile of streams on the property are now protected to promote clean water and support wildlife habitat.