Westford Conservation Commission
Starting in 2016 the Westford Conservation Commission, in partnership with the Vermont Land Trust, led an effort to conserve a parcel of forested and agricultural land across the road from the Westford School. Over the next two years, the WCC worked with VLT to bring the project to completion, conducting community outreach and fundraising and eventually acquiring the parcel in 2018. The 130-acre forested portion of the parcel was conserved and became the Maple Shade Town Forest (MSTF), and the associated agricultural land was conserved and sold to a local farmer.
In 2017, the Town was conveyed a piece of land on the other side of the road, directly behind the Westford School, which had previously owned by the Westford School District. This became the Misty Meadows Trails and Forest (MMTF). This parcel was already extensively developed for recreation.
As they sought to develop a management vision for the MSTF, the WCC decided to expand their management vision to include both the MSTF and the MMTF, calling the project the Westford Town Lands. In 2018, the WCC spearheaded a massive public process to plan how to manage different community objectives and uses of both of these parcels.
Agricultural Land, Forest Land, Land Management, Land Protection, Outreach, partnerships, Walks and Talks
The WCC created a comprehensive Management Plan for the WTL. By managing the MSTF and the MMTF for different uses and different objectives, a balance was struck. The plan for the MMTF was largely focused on education and recreation, and the MSTF was largely focused on wildlife habitat, connectivity, and hunting.
Chittenden County Forester
Vermont Land Trust