Public Meeting Schedule Announced, First Meeting is March 29
Newport – (RealEstateRama) — Bluffside Farm, 129-acre property located on Indian Point and visible from downtown, is the focus of a conservation project spearheaded by the Vermont Land Trust. Following public walking tours of the property held in January, the land trust has scheduled its first public meeting to learn more about what the community would like to see happen on the land.
Three public meetings will be held in partnership with the Northeastern Vermont Development Association. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, March 29 from 6-9 pm at the North Country Career Center in Newport. It will be facilitated by Karen Geraghty, Economic Development Specialist for the Northeastern Vermont Development Association.
“We hope to tap into local knowledge and excitement to explore how the land can best serve the community,” said Tracy Zschau of the Vermont Land Trust. “The meeting will provide an opportunity to learn more about the property and the role of the land trust, but the main emphasis will be gathering input on the highest and best uses of Bluffside Farm that are aligned with community needs.”
The former dairy farm was headed to auction when the Vermont Land Trust stepped in to buy it—a decision that was made after a strong show of public support for the purchase during a meeting held in September 2015. The land trust took ownership of the farm at the end of December.
The farm had been in the Scott family for five generations. There are over 60 acres of tillable and pasture land with good agricultural soils. The entire property is enrolled in Vermont’s Current Use program and the woodland is subject to a forest management plan. It is the largest remaining agricultural property in Newport City. It also had nearly a mile of undeveloped frontage on Lake Memphremagog, including a natural sand beach area. Over half of the frontage is on Scott’s Cove, directly across from Newport’s Prouty Beach recreation area and campground. Historically the land has not had any public access.
The Vermont Land Trust does not intend to be the long-term owner of the farm.
The meeting agenda will include breakout groups to explore cultural and natural resources, health and recreation, agriculture and food production, and education. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome. Additional meetings to further the conversation and begin to focus on possible scenarios for future ownership will follow on April 28 and May 26.