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: firstname.lastname@example.org or 244-7512.
Photo credit: Kelley Taft
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.
The Duxbury Land Trust will have a display at Town Meeting about the new Duxbury Town Forest. There will also be a drawing for new members. The winner will receive a $25 gift card for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Memberships start at $15 for an individual, and $30 for a family.
In July 2017, Duxbury joined more than 100 other Vermont towns that have town forests when the Dept of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) transferred 169 acres to the Town of Duxbury. The acreage combines the former Father Logue children’s camp and land managed by FPR as a non-contiguous part of Camel’s Hump State Park. The parcel contains many natural features including: hemlock-northern hardwood forest, bedrock outcrops, numerous small waterfalls, headwater streams, vernal pools, wetlands and a pond. It provides opportunities for hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, birding, and hunting.
More details can be found here.
Note – the event has been moved from Saturday to Sunday because of the weather.
The Duxbury Land Trust is hosting a free nature observation and writing event at the new Duxbury Town Forest on Sunday, August 13 from 1:00 to 2:00 P.M. Duxbury Naturalist, Rachel Sargent, will lead an introduction to nature journaling using tree identification. Meet at the Crossett Brook Middle School at 12:45 P.M. to carpool to the site.
Activities will cover the fundamentals of nature journaling, a selection of drawing exercises, and practice journal entries using local trees. Rachel will provide some art materials, but participants should bring their own preferred journal and drawing implement.
Rachel has been an educator with the Fairbanks and Montshire Museums and is a freelance nature writer and illustrator. For more information, you can email Rachel at email@example.com