Dummerston Biodiversity Inventory Report
The Dummerston Biodiversity Inventory Report was fueled by a partnership between the Dummerston Conservation Commission and the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center. This report was inspired by the Vermont Biodiversity Project, which suggests that inventories be carried out on a community/town scale. Using the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife's document "Conserving Vermont's Natural Heritage" as a guideline, these two organizations came together to develop a conservation plan that would revolve around the areas in Dummerston of greatest ecological importance. For approximately three years, project partners and volunteers conducted surveys, sought out preexisting knowledge, and used GIS mapping technology to evaluate the biodiversity present in town. Riparian corridors, vernal pools, and deer wintering areas represent just a few types of essential habitat chronicled through the study. After documenting, summarizing, and synthesizing the inventory's findings, the groups were able to manifest a reliable and extensive report that can be referenced by conservation commission members and citizens to inform future decisions.
partnerships, water, wetland, wildlife
The project was successful in mapping and documenting some of the most ecologically rich areas in town. Additionally, the report succeeded in summarizing assets on multiple levels (landscape level, community level, species level...etc). Although most findings were expected, the study found that there are higher levels of species richness in developed areas than previously thought. The project also succeeded in creating a comprehensive document that combined information both old and new.
Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center
Dummerston Conservation Commission
A Watershed Grant from the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife was critical for funding this project. A realistic timescale (years) also contributed the project's success. Having someone who could convey the essence of the project to land owners was a must, as this allowed for surveys of private lands to take place. In this case, an intern was extremely useful in completing a lot of this work. Seeking out and utilizing the skills of conservation commission & community members also added to the breadth of knowledge able to be included in the report.
Mobilizing volunteers is easier said than done. Finding folks who are willing to do phone-work is a challenge, as is finding someone who is knowledgeable about GIS mapping. Moreover, connecting to people with the specialized knowledge necessary to conduct surveys can be difficult. Summarizing the information and delineating what is most important was also difficult, considering the vast amount of information that was collected.