We are thrilled to announce that we received a major grant that will go toward creating a four-season waterfront recreational trail through our Bluffside Farm property in Newport. This portion of the trail would be one phase of an effort to create a seven-mile trail that would connect downtown Newport with bike paths in Quebec.

The $425,000 grant was awarded by the Northern Border Regional Commission.

“Receiving the support from the Northern Border Regional Commission, at this level, is the critical first step in creating the waterfront trail,” said Tracy Zschau of the Vermont Land Trust. “With these funds in hand, we look forward to working with partners in Newport and private and public funding sources to secure the rest of the money needed to begin construction.”

We purchased the farm in 2015 and held many public meetings and tours to learn what the community wanted for the land. Recreation was high on the list of community priorities.

“It is very exciting to begin implementing one of the ideas that came out of the meetings,” said Tracy. “Given the farm’s location between Prouty Beach and the Beebe Spur Rail Trail, and the current work on an additional waterfront path at Waterfront Plaza, this is such a unique opportunity to fully connect the downtown to the rail trail and beyond.”

The grant was announced on August 10 at a ceremony in Hardwick attended by Senator Leahy, Governor Scott, and representatives of NBRC and Vermont’s congressional delegation. The grant will go towards the construction of a boardwalk and one-mile recreation path through the farm, which is located on Lake Memphremagog.

“We want to thank the many community members and groups who have been working with us on this effort,” said Tracy. “These include Newport City Rennaissance Corp, City of Newport, Northern Vermont Development Association, Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation, AARP- VT, Memphremagog Watershed Association and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.”

“We also thank the NBRC, our congressional delegation and the State of Vermont for this grant,” she added. “It is the first funding committed to this exciting project and puts us on the path to making it a reality.”

Learn more about the Bluffside Farm project