Volunteers Needed to Rescue Migrating Amphibians Crossing River Road in April

The Duxbury Land Trust is collaborating with the North Branch Nature Center to rescue amphibians this month. Salamanders and frogs migrate by the thousands in spring, often crossing roads at great peril. Three rescue events will take place in April on the River Road in North Duxbury. Rescues take place in the rain and dark and squashed frogs may be unsettling for some. Exact dates will be determined by weather conditions.

Cara Capparelli, lead Citizen Science Collector, will provide a training session at the site on Saturday, April 6 from 1-2 p.m. The site is the “pond” area at the bend on the left side of River Road, approximately .7 mile from the bottom of the Camel’s Hump Road, going west, toward Richmond. If interested in volunteering, join us on Saturday and park along the road before the site. Dress appropriately for wet and muddy conditions. To prepare for the training, we suggest reviewing the Volunteer Manual and Protocols on https://northbranchnaturecenter.org/ “Citizen Science” and then “Amphibian Conservation”. For more information contact: Rachel Mirus: rachel.marie.sargent@gmail.com.

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Town Forest Walk: 16 March 2019

On Saturday, March 16, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., the Duxbury Land Trust (DLT) will lead a walk to some properties conserved by the organization. The final destination will be determined that morning and, if conditions permit, the walk will take place on the Duxbury Town Forest, established in 2017. Alternatively, participants will be guided along the River Road to view former State Farm land also conserved by DLT.

Meet at Crossett Brook Middle School at 1:00 p.m. to carpool to the site as parking is limited. Wear appropriate footwear for snowy paths or, possibly, encountering early thawing on the River Road.

For more information: Audrey Quackenbush, audreyq@myfairpoint.net or 244-7512.

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Nature Event at Duxbury Town Forest – August 11

The Duxbury Land Trust is hosting a free nature event on Saturday, August 11 from 10 AM to 1 PM at the Duxbury Town Forest. Come explore, get your feet wet and use microscopes and magnifiers to discover the micro-world of cells, algae, and protozoa in the Duxbury Town Forest.

Join Duxbury naturalist, Rachel Sargent, for an introduction to micro-worlds and learn hands-on about a whole new tiny ecosphere of life! You’ll take plant and water samples from the forest and look at collections of life in each sample. All ages welcome.

Bring water, dress appropriately, and wear or bring waterproof boots. Meet at Crossett Brook Middle School at 10 AM to carpool to the site. Rachel has been an educator with the Fairbanks and Montshire Museums and loves exploring Duxbury’s town forest ecology. For more information, email Rachel at rachel.marie.sargent@gmail.com.

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Green Up Day is May 5!

Green Up Day is on Saturday, May 5th. Volunteers are needed for all Duxbury town roads (NOT Route 100 – VTrans does Route 100).  Only roadside trash is acceptable: no household trash or furniture, hazardous materials, electronics, or personal tires.

Bags are available at the following locations:

  • at the Town Clerk’s office, or after hours, in the black mailbox outside
  • in South Duxbury at the home of Carmel Kelley, 648 VT Route 100
  • in North Duxbury at the home of Jen Dean, 134 Camel’s Hump Road.

Bring filled bags to either of these drop sites:

  • the town garage in the dumpster used for Green Up day
  • the pull-off on River Road in front of the railroad gate (from Camels Hump Rd, go past the road to Bolton dam – the turnoff is on the left).

Please let Audrey Quackenbush know where you will be working and how many bags you’ve taken:  audreyq@myfairpoint.net or 244-7512.

Green Up Day has been coordinated by the Duxbury Land Trust since 1996.

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Town Forests – Unique Community Assets in a Long Vermont Tradition

On Tuesday, April 10, the Duxbury Land Trust will host its 2018 Annual Meeting featuring Phil Huffman, Waitsfield Conservation Commission Chair.  He will speak about the value of town forests from both a local and statewide perspective, and give a snapshot of Waitsfield’s experience with its two town forests – the 750-acre Scrag Mountain Town Forest and 143-acre Wu Ledges Town Forest. The talk is timely given that the Town of Duxbury acquired 169 acres from the State of Vermont in 2017 for use as a town forest.


Stream in Duxbury Town Forest

Phil is Director of Landscape Conservation and Policy for the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.  He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College and Master’s degrees from Yale University in both Environmental Studies and Public and Private Management. He has served on the Waitsfield Conservation Commission since its start-up in 2003, and has been chair for the past three years.

The event will be held in the Crossett Brook Middle School library April 10, 6:30 p.m. on Route 100 in Duxbury.  It is free and all are welcome.  For more information:  audreyq@myfairpoint.net or 244-7512.

Photo credit:  Kelley Taft

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Duxbury Town Forest Walk

On November 4, 2017 DLT members Kelley Taft, Trevor Cole and Alan Quackenbush accompanied Kalev Freeman, Jesse Rufenacht and Peter Dicicco of the newly-formed Town Forest committee, along with a few dogs, for a walk-over of the Duxbury Town Forest.


We decided to walk the boundary of the former “Hospital Block” of the Camel’s Hump State Park.  One side was well marked with VT Forests and Parks boundary markers. All pins of the corners were located.  The most western border, also the highest topographically, had been blazed in the past as well as the rest of the boundary. We were able to find most of the blazes back to the starting point at the former “Father Logue” parcel.

The forest is a typical mix of hemlock and northern hardwoods. There was no evidence of recent maintenance or logging activities, as compared with lands beyond the boundary. The land is a series of ledges and plateaus, starting right at the entry to the forest at the end of Hart Road. A stream flows through the property, with many small cascades over bedrock outcrops. There are several small wetlands at the higher elevations that contribute to the hydrology of the stream; they may also function as vernal pools – worth checking out next spring.   We also observed many bear-scarred beech trees.

On the way back, we wanted to check-out the pond, but the mucky wetlands at the upper end were too wet to cross without waders or tall boots. Another feature to explore this year.

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