WILLISTON, VT (March 26, 2019) – Land that hosts a beloved recreational destination is now New England’s newest community forest, thanks to grant support from the Open Space Institute (OSI) through its Community Forest Fund. The project, which was led by The Trust for Public Land (TPL) in partnership with the Town of Williston, protects the forest that is a major economic driver in this fast-growing Vermont community.
In addition to the protection of critical wetlands and forests, the land lies at the center of a 660-acre corridor of public and private conservation land — the largest core forest block in the Town of Williston, the fastest-growing town in Chittenden County. Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board now jointly hold a conservation easement that permanently protects the 392-acre property.
OSI’s Community Forest Fund, which enables the creation and expansion of community forests in Northern New England, provided support and capital funding to the project. In the Community Forest model, local citizens participate in the planning and management of forests, ensuring that everyone benefits from the land’s many economic, social, and ecological values.