Hinesburg launches campaign to protect and expand Town Forest

Photos of Caleb Kenna

Vermont Business Magazine Community leaders launched a fundraising campaign of $ 120,000 to help purchase 291 acres of forest land and trails in addition to the Town of Hinesburg Forest. The existing municipal forest and the addition will be permanently protected and accessible to the public. The combined land is located in an expanse of 4,400 acres of connected forest land identified as a priority for conservation by the State of Vermont. It includes spring pools, unique natural communities and miles of headwaters in the Lake Champlain basin.

The Hinesburg Town Forest, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to 15 miles of trails and is a popular regional destination for hiking, biking, hunting, bird watching, and more. The 291 acre addition connects with an additional 10 miles of multi-use trails on land south of Lincoln Hill Road and the VAST Trail. This would also make it possible to secure access to the city‘s forest from the south.

“I see every day, right here in the village, what it means for people to go out into the woods,” said James Donegan, a resident of Hinesburg. “Generations of my family have taken care of the Hinesburg Town Forest over the years. It will be good to know that he will be there for the community for generations to come.

The Carse family, current owners of the 291-acre parcel, are proposing to sell the land to the City rather than listing it on the open market.

“This addition to the city forest is a unique opportunity that will give us more space for wildlife and people,” said Pat Mainer, chairman of the city of Hinesburg forest committee. “We are learning more each year about the importance of connected forest lands, and we should not pass up this chance to protect this land from development forever. “

The total cost of the project is $ 420,000. The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board has committed $ 225,000 for the project, in addition to the $ 20,000 pledged by the City of Hinesburg and $ 55,000 from the Vermont Land Trust.

“We only have $ 40,000 left to raise to reach our goal,” said Paul Wieczoreck, board member of the Hinesburg Land Trust. “A generous member of the Hinesburg community has offered to offer up to $ 20,000 in gifts, so we need contributions of all sizes to make that happen.

More information can be found and donations can be made online at www.vlt.org/hinesburg.

About the Hinesburg Land Trust

The Hinesburg Land Trust is a non-profit, all-volunteer, community-based organization founded by local citizens interested in land planning and conservation issues. For over 35 years, HLT has helped conserve over 3,000 acres of agricultural, natural and heritage land in Hinesburg.

About the Vermont Land Trust

The Vermont Land Trust is a non-profit, member-supported land conservation organization. Since 1977, the Vermont Land Trust has protected over 2,000 parcels of land covering over 600,000 acres. This includes more than 900 active farms and farmland plots, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive forest land, and many plots of community land. For more information visit www.vlt.org.

Source: HINESBURG, VT — Vermont Land Trust 11.4.2021

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