To date, VLT has helped create and conserve nearly 30 town forests. These are places where people can get outside, learn about nature, and explore.
The newest town forest is in Fayston. It includes a special spot where one can stand on a high knoll and take in sweeping views of the Green Mountains, the rolling hills of Fayston, and the Northfield Range.
The future of these 93 acres—now known as the Boyce Hill Town Forest—had been uncertain. What had been a cow pasture until the 1960s was further cleared in later decades in preparation for residential development. An unpaved road was built to the height of the land, where old stone walls, apple trees, berry bushes and young trees flank the stunning summit. In addition, an eight-lot subdivision was permitted that was still in place when Christina Castegren bought the parcel in 2011.
After considering different options for the land, Christina grew concerned that the development of houses would decrease public access and forever alter its character. So she decided to give it to the community. This winter, she donated the land to the Town, which conserved it with VLT.
“I think these views should be shared,” said Christina. “The beauty of this place provides a sense of awe and peace that people seem to need these days. I hope this land will help bring people together.”
“I’m just blown away by Christina’s generosity,” said Fayston resident Sally Dwyer, whose family has hiked on the hill for generations. “It’s a spectacular and unique property. It has something for everyone.”
By working with the town and residents, VLT will help make sure that the land is cared for and that the unique features that make this land valuable to the community are protected for future generations. “People will continue to hike, hunt, snowshoe, ski and picnic there, and the community will be part of its stewardship for generations to come,” said VLT’s Liza Walker.