Community raises money to save land from development
Williston – January 7, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Williston’s Mud Pond Country Park just grew by 39 acres according to the Vermont Land Trust. Today, the Town of Williston purchased and permanently conserved the land, announced the Vermont Land Trust.
For years, people have enjoyed the park’s trails, in addition to more than a mile of trails located on a privately owned neighboring property. When a six-lot subdivision was proposed for the private land, the Vermont Land Trust partnered with the Town of Williston to buy the parcel as an addition to the Mud Pond Country Park. The Vermont Land Trust, Fellowship of the Wheel, and community members worked together to raise the money to make the purchase possible.
The land has approximately a mile of multi-use trails maintained by Fellowship of the Wheel. They are used for mountain biking, walking, and cross-country skiing.
“We at Fellowship of the Wheel were so honored to work with the Vermont Land Trust to protect this property,” said Steven Fischer, president of the local mountain bike advocacy group. “Adding this land, which already has a novice multi-use trail on it, to a very popular town park is important. Many more folks are taking advantage of communing with nature these days; something we view as highly therapeutic to dealing with our busy, hectic lives.”
The property’s location is critical to Town’s vision of connecting the Mud Pond trails with the Lake Iroquois trails.
A town-commissioned study identified this area, located in southeastern Williston, as the most important to protect for wildlife habitat in part because it links forested parcels that offer quality habitat. The land has six acres of wetlands, including one with a grass species that is rare in Vermont.
The project wouldn’t have been possible without generous contributions from the local community, the Town of Williston’s Open Space Fund, and a grant from the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.
The Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board hold a permanent conservation easement on the land that protects it from subdivision and development and that makes sure that the public will always have access to it.
“It almost goes without saying that development pressures are very high in Williston,” said Bob Heiser of the Vermont Land Trust. “Unfragmented blocks of forestland are becoming less and less common. The proposed subdivision was a clear indication of the likely alternative use of this property. We are very happy that we were able to work with the community to protect this land for public use.”