2014 Annual Report

April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014

The Duxbury Land Trust (DLT) observed its ninteenth anniversary in October 2013. Highlights of the 2013-2014 program year are as follows:

Completion of the State Farm Conservation Easements

The highlight of the 2013-2014 program year was the completion of the last two conservation easements on the former state farm, signed on March 3rd.  The first state farm easement was acquired in 2004 and includes 73 acres on Crossett Hill Road.  The recently acquired easements include 100 acres adjacent to the Town gravel pit and in the vicinity of CBMS.  As part of the original agreement with the department, it contributed $18,000 for ongoing monitoring of the three easements, which total 265 acres. The DLT has been in negotiations with BGS for ten years.  The project was finalized with the assistance of our state representatives Maxine Grad and Adam Greshin.  With the completion of this project, DLT reached a milestone of 319 acres conserved since 1994.

Conservation Project with CBMS Students

Board members met with Principal Tom Drake and other CBMS staff to discuss Crossett Brook stream bank restoration.  As a result of that conversation, a joint CBMS and DLT conservation project was planned.  DLT purchased seven sugar maples from Drinkwater’s Nursery to shade the outdoor classroom and add tree cover to the Crossett Brook buffer and floodplain.  The students were very pleased with their accomplishment and thankful for DLT’s assistance.  They will be caring for their trees as part of a service learning project.

Duxbury 250 Anniversary

DLT participated in Duxbury’s 250 anniversary celebration in June.  We had an exhibit entitled:  Duxbury’s Changing Landscape and sponsored a photo contest.  Contest winners were selected in January.  Cash prizes were awarded to first and second place winners in both the adult and youth categories.

Dowsville Headwaters Conservation Project

DLT supported the Forest Legacy grant application developed by Kate Wanner of the Trust for Public Land (TPL).  The project aims to conserve 2085 acres in the Dowsville Headwaters in South Duxbury.  If the grant is awarded, the land will be transferred to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation to add to the Camel’s Hump State Park.  We have recently learned that the TPL’s proposal has been ranked 7th in the nation.

Potential Conservation Projects

The DLT participated in discussions regarding two potential conservation projects during the program year.  Board members walked the former Donnie Chapman property on the River Road in August.  It was Donnie’s wish to conserve his land, which consists of 88 acres.  The Vermont Land Trust has expressed an interest in conserving the property.  The DLT has advised Donnie’s relatives of our interest in holding a conservation easement on this property should the VLT decide not to pursue the project.

In September, we were asked to participate in a project to conserve the historic Ward homestead on Ward Hill.  DLT proposed holding a conservation easement on approximately 30 acres of the property, including the 2 acre home site.  The project is currently on hold as we await more communication from the landowner.

Board Member Resignations

Two board members resigned during the year: Vince Franke and Garett MacCurtain.  Vince served on the board for 10 and Garett for 3 years.

Other Activities During the Year Included:

•    Publishing the newsletter;
•    Coordinating Green-Up Day for the seventeenth year.
•    Commented on and will continue to monitor S.119, An Act relating to Amending Perpetual Conservation Easements, should it be reintroduced in 2015.