Building Bridges for Grand Hike to the Essex Inn
We built some bridges in preparation for the May 14th Grand Hike to the Essex Inn. Using materials purchased by a Creating Healthy Places grant, we placed boardwalks and short bridges on the new “Wadhams Highlands Trail” and the Field and Forest Trail. This year, we are starting the hike in Wadhams and starting a little later—between 12:15 and 1:30. Sign up now so you can enjoy this amazing hike. Click here for details and to register.
Trail of the Week
Spring is an especially great time for hiking to the top of Coon Mountain in Westport, a nature preserve owned by the Adirondack Land Trust. It has a fabulous display of wildflowers in the ravine where you climb the steep stone stairsteps through the small beech-maple forest community. This moderate 2 mile round-trip hike begins on Halds Road 3/4 of a mile west of Lakeshore Road. It features fabulous views of the Champlain Valley and Adirondack High Peaks.
Conservation Easements: Success Story #2 – Full & By Farm
[See the previous posts discussing conservation easements here.]
When the Eddy Foundation bought a large property in Essex featuring Boquet Mountain about fifteen years ago, the primary purpose was to conserve the forest because it is part of the Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor connecting Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. The property came with a run-down farm with untended fields along Leaning Road.
Several years later, James Graves and Sara Kurak, who had come here to work at Essex Farm and were looking for their own farm, made an arrangement with Eddy and began renovating the farm. It’s best for farmers to own their farm so Sara and James made an arrangement with Eddy Foundation so they could buy the farm at a price they could afford. That was done through their donation of a conservation easement that keeps the land open for farming, provides wide vegetated buffer along the Boquet River to protect clean water, and encourages farming practices that preserves wildlife habitat. The donated conservation easement provided income tax benefits and a credit on their state income tax worth 25% of their property taxes. Their “Full and By Farm” became one of our area’s first “community supported agriculture (CSA)” farms providing outstanding local farm products to its happy members. It has also spawned several other new, young farmers who are making the Champlain Valley known for productive local farms growing food we all enjoy.
CATS Executive Director
- Weasels of Our Home: Aquatic Mustelids (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Split Rock Wildway: A Critical Wildlife Corridor (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Champlain Area Trails Honors Founding Member Bruce Klink (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Serpentine Splendors: Snakes of Split Rock Wildway (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Split Rock Wildway: Creating and Protecting a Wildlife Corridor (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
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