Town Report

NEWBURY CONSERVATION COMMISSION

2017 TOWN REPORT

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MISSION STATEMENT: To increase public awareness of natural resources in Newbury through educational campaigns and gathering resource data in order to provide residents with the information they need to make informed decisions.

Volunteers Wanted!  NCC is looking to add to our volunteer list.  If you would like to help out with events, trail work, fund-raising projects, tree planting, etc., let us know who you are!   If you are looking for projects for your church group, 4-H, Boys & Girl Scouts, service group, or school related community service, NCC can help you with project ideas that will benefit your group and our community. NCC meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Baldwin Library in Wells River at 7:00pm. All Newbury residents are invited to attend, share, and learn.

We dedicate this report IN MEMORY OF JIM HILL:   Jim was a long time NCC member and community resident.  He was an all-around good guy, very knowledgeable, an avid outdoorsmen, a BIG help with NCC projects, and a good friend.  Jim left this world in 2016 and is now hiking and canoeing the “Great Skies of beyond.” He will truly be missed.

Stephanie Taylor, Jim’s wife and best friend, resigned from the NCC after Jim’s passing in order to devote time to other pursuits.  Stephanie was also a long time member of NCC and her efforts will be missed.  We would welcome her back any time and wish her well in her future endeavors.

NCC WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS Carol Stoll, and Dianne Norton

Carol Stoll has been helping NCC with projects and programs for many years.  Carol has a great knowledge of Newbury, from living here most of her life and from her passion of hiking and exploring the hills, streams, lakes, and lore of Newbury. Carol will bring a great new energy and ideas to NCC.

Dianne Norton has been helping with NCC projects and events for many years. Dianne has also been our web-master, creating our web-page and updating and maintaining it from the beginning.  Dianne brings new energy and organizational skills that will help NCC better communicate with town residents and the public.

PROJECT REPORTS FROM 2016 and EVENTS FOR 2017:

NCC Public Outreach & Education:  NCC members took part in the Re-Newbury event, volunteering on the “Event Committee” to help promote the events, NCC sponsors, and new events. NCC supports the Re-Newbury effort and hopes it continues.  NCC has worked with students from Blue Mt. School – planting trees and other programs on the Wells River Conservation Land.  In August NCC worked with Newbury Elementary School, as part of their “Outreach to the Community”.  NCC coordinated work with the Cross Vermont Trail Association and the International Hiking Society for a day of work on the Cross Vermont Trail in Wells River, and a crew working on the Montebello Trail in Newbury Village.  This is NCC’s 3rd year working with Newbury Elementary School as part of their outreach, and we look forward to this year’s project.

Paddle the Border: [2017 is the 14th year] This event starts with a canoe and kayak paddle on the Connecticut River held semi-annually in both May and October. Event sponsors include NCC, Bradford Conservation Commission, Haverhill Recreation Commission, & Lower Cohase Chamber of Commerce. The Paddle is followed by a cookout provided by the Wells River/Woodsville Rotary Club, live music by Strawberry Farm Band, and displays set up by Community groups to promote historical, cultural, educational, and environmental information about the Connecticut River Valley. The May paddle goes from the Woodsville Community Field to Bedell Bridge State Park (2017 date Sunday May 21).  The October Paddle goes from the Newbury/Haverhill Crossing boat launch to Bugbee Landing in Bradford (2017 date Sunday October 1).

Trails Day Work Day: National Trails Day [2017 is the 20th year] is held every year on the first Saturday in June.  Volunteers can participate locally by joining NCC and CVTA in a workday involving the upkeep of local hiking trails.  This year we will be working on the Wells River Nature Trails.  Part of the Boltonville Nature Trail needs to be re-routed, and the Boltonville and Blue Mt. Nature Trails need new signage.   We meet at Blue Mt. School on Saturday June 3.

Trail Maintenance is a year round effort. The most effective way to maintain the trail system is by utilizing volunteers.  What a great way to enjoy the outdoors and assist others at the same time.  If you are not familiar with the hiking trails in Newbury and/or would like to volunteer your time, please contact any NCC member and we will gladly show you the trails.

Birding With Bill: This May event is held with Bill Shepard, Executive Director of the Connecticut River Birding Trails, and local host Alice Allen. The Group explores the Wells River Nature Trails, successfully calling and identifying a large variety of birds. This is a very popular event and group size is limited.  For more information on “Birding with Bill” call Alice Allen at 802-584-4077 or visit our web site.

CVT Fall Foliage Bicycle Ride: (2017 is the 20th year) This year’s annual ride on the Cross Vermont Trail, from Kettle Pond in Groton State Park to Blue Mt. School, saw a lot of new riders, both local and from out of the area. The CVT Fall Foliage ride is held every year on the last Saturday of September. (2017 date Saturday September 30).

Cross Vermont Trail Association News

Imagine a multi-use, four-season, off-road trail across the width of Vermont following the Winooski River & Wells River Valleys – a 90 mile greenway for cyclists, skiers, and walkers which would connect communities, their schools, and the natural areas between. This vision has steadily moved toward reality through the quiet work of the Cross Vermont Trail Association.

The Cross Vermont Trail Association, formed in 1999, is an incorporated, private non-profit organization that is member-based and volunteer-driven. We are funded by winning competitive grants and through individual donations from trail users. Residents of all towns through which the trail route passes are invited to get involved in the CVTA. Get better trails near where you live. Maps, guidebook, and more information on the trail routes are available at www.crossvermont.org, or call us at 802-498-0079.

Greg Western, Trail Programs Coordinator  ~  Michael Thomas, Regional Coordinator

NCC GOALS FOR 2017

  1. NCC will continue our “Public Outreach” by working with local educators at Newbury Elementary School and Blue Mt. Union. NCC will continue hosting educational workshops to increase community interest and involvement in local conservation efforts.
  2. 2. NCC will work towards establishing a Town Conservation Fund. This fund could be used as a match for grants, improvements for our trail networks, educational programs for our community and schools, or to support NCC members attending workshops, etc.
  3. 3. NCC will work towards improving our town forests by reviewing the forest management plans, and work towards developing a town forest policy that balances conservation, recreation, public access , education, and good forestry stewardship.
  4. NCC will continue improving our webpage and social media presence in order to reach out to residents and visitors to promote events, provide information, and share pictures, stories, and adventures in and around Newbury. This is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved!

For more info on all Newbury Conservation Commission events please view our website at

www.NewburyConservation.org or contact Michael Thomas 802-757-3960 or mikethom1@charter.net

Respectfully submitted by:  Ami Norton, Carol Stoll, Dianne Norton, John Fogarty, Michael Thomas