Conserving Island View Park
Between 2011 and 2013 the Vermont River Conservancy (VRC)spearheaded an effort to acquire a parcel of land in Enosburg Falls with 1,500 feet of Missisquoi River frontage. The 7-acre property was purchased and turned over to the Village of Enosburg Falls in 2013. "Island View Park" is now available for permanent public access.
Comprised of beautiful river lands on the Missisquoi River many consider this property "Enosburg's Jewel" and the best location from which to view the Bridge of Flowers and Light and the Falls of Enosburg. It has been a favorite fishing spot for generations, with great bedrock from which to fish the long-time small mouth bass habitat and waters stocked with trophy trout since 2007. The site also makes accessing the Missisquoi and portaging around the Falls easy for paddlers of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.
For many generations of Enosburg residents, fishing and canoe access to the Missisquoi River had been available off Duffy Hill Road. But in 2011 the 9-acre piece of land was posted and anglers and paddlers could no longer access the river. One of the people who enjoyed fishing for the trophy trout in that section of river called Bernie Pientka, a fisheries biologist with the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife, and asked if something could be done to reopen access to the river. Pientka contacted the Vermont River Conservancy and the conservation effort began.
After meeting with the landowner, VRC began a major campaign to raise the purchase and project costs of $189,250. That goal was reached in August 2012. Habitat for Humanity will build two affordable housing units on one-acre lots on a section of the land. The house lots are located on a high field separated by trees from the riverbank and access points.
Directions: From Route 108 north heading into Enosburg Falls, turn left onto Duffy Hill Rd. immediately before the bridge over the Missisquoi River and park at the pull-off a few hundred feet ahead on your right.
East Montpelier, Eden
Land Protection, partnerships
The Village of Enosburg Falls now owns the conserved 7-acre Island View Park property and the river will peranently remain open for public enjoyment.
Enosburgh Conservation Commission
Enosburgh Conservation Fund
Field Pond Foundation
Habitat for Humanity
Lake Champlain Basin Program
Lake Champlain International
VT Dept. of Fish & WildlifeVermont River Conservancy
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
Vermont River Conservancy
other State and local organizations
many individual donors
The leadership of Vermont River Conservancy was critical to the success of this project.
The biggest challenge was trying to meet the fundraising goal within a very short time frame. Initially it was less than a year, but eventually was extended.