new conservation plans

The Fund for North Bennington has proposed new management plans for its conserved land. We welcome public comments through January 31, 2022.

Draft management plan for The Mile-Around Woods and surrounding area
Draft management plan for Lake Paran, the Paran uplands and Robert Frost’s farm.

The Fund has long managed its woodlands and open meadows for conservation purposes. Our management has been “hands off.” We do not harvest trees for timber. We do not build structures or develop facilities. We have aimed to be stewards of a healthy and sustainable landscape.

Our aims will not change as we look ahead to the next ten years — and far beyond. However, we now recognize that a profusion of invasive species threatens our goals. If we keep hands off, the invasives will prevail. Our ecosystem may crash. It certainly will not thrive.

We now propose to attack the problem directly. We will plan to commit the resources necessary to remove the invasive species from our woods and fields. We will plan, in places, to plant native species. We will find opportunities to make our lands a classroom for the Village School, and a laboratory for older students. We will make our meadows and forest edges hospitable to pollinators and native bird species. “Hands off” no more, we aim to restore a sustainable landscape in and around North Bennington.

This will require considerable expense. The plans are drafted to mesh with priorities for federal funding available from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. We aim to make these plans achievable as well as aspirational. If federal funding becomes unavailable for managing invasive species, it will be extremely challenging for us to find the funds necessary to achieve our goals.

Please take a close look at the draft plans linked above, and tell us what you think. We welcome your comments and questions. You can reach us here.