Town Report

NEWBURY CONSERVATION COMMISSION

2018 TOWN REPORT

www.NewburyConservation.org               Visit Us on Facebook

                                                                                                                                                           

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 wants 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 both 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.

PROJECT REPORTS FROM 2018 and EVENTS FOR 2019:  

Tucker Mountain Town Forest:

The transfer of the 636 acre forestland that includes Tucker Mountain and southern half of Woodchuck Mountain was transferred to the Town in December. We are excited about taking part in the development of this new Town Forest.

The top of Tucker Mountain was cleared for pastures in 1810 and has remained open since then, with views in all directions.  The grassy meadows on Tucker Mountain are abundant with wildflowers and offer excellent habitat for nesting birds. The land includes a wetland of beaver ponds along the West Branch of Halls Brook and a large vernal pool. Hunters, hikers, cross-country skiers, snowmobiles, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and ATV riders all use the mountain for recreation. School groups from Newbury and Bradford make yearly treks to the top and have celebrated International Day of Peace there.

The NCC is prepared to work closely with the management committee in developing a management plan.  We are also eager to recruit volunteers and begin work on projects that will protect the land and promote recreational and educational use such as erosion control, signage, planning and laying out trails, and forest management.

Erosion on the top of Tucker is of serious concern.  Heavy vehicle use has caused old roads to wash out, creating gullies that grow deeper and wider with more exposure to rainstorms.  Drivers then create new trails over the meadows and these, too, begin to wash out.  We encourage everyone to be mindful of the damage and to avoid driving to the top, or at least to stay on established roads.  Erosion like this is difficult and prohibitively expensive to repair.  Now that the town owns the mountain, it’s our duty and privilege to care for it.

Paddle the Border:  This event starts with a canoe and kayak paddle on the Connecticut River held semi-annually in both May and October. Event sponsors include Newbury Conservation Commission, Bradford Conservation Commission, Haverhill Recreation Commission,  and Lower Cohase Chamber of Commerce with support from Upper Valley Land Trust and Upper Valley Trails Alliance. 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.    Join us in 2019 to celebrate the event’s 16th year!

  • The May paddle begins from the Woodsville Community Field and goes to Bedell Bridge State Park (Sunday, May 19th).
  • The October Paddle goes from the Newbury/Haverhill Crossing boat launch to Bugbee Landing in Bradford (Sunday, October 6th).

Trails Day Work Day:  National Trails Day is held every year on the first Saturday in June. 2019 will be the 22nd year of this important day. Volunteers can participate locally by joining NCC and Cross Vermont Trail Association (CVTA) in a workday involving the upkeep of local hiking trails.  This year we will be working on the Wells River Nature Trails and the Cross Vermont Trail behind Blue Mt. School.  We meet at Blue Mt. School on Saturday, June 1st.

Trail Maintenance is a year round effort. The most effective way to maintain the trail system is by using 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.

Cross Vermont Trail Fall Foliage Bicycle Ride: This year’s annual ride on the Cross Vermont Trail is also in its 22nd year. The ride starts from Kettle Pond in Groton State Park and goes to Blue Mt. School.  We had a great turnout in 2018 and 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. (Saturday, September 28).

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.

CVTA 2018  Achievements:

East Montpelier: Gained permanent trail easement building up to our Big Bridge Project, and built a temporary bridge where the railbed was washed out east of rte. 14.

Richmond: Help local volunteers rebuild the Johnnie Brook trail.

Williston: Helped get a Bike Path connection to be included in the design for the new highway crossing over Muddy Brook.

Marshfield: Working with landowners on the CVT and helping improve the trial where the railbed crosses the Martin Covered Bridge Park.

Groton: CVT worked with AmeriCorps volunteers on the Telephone Line Trail a side trail off the CVT. Congratulation to the Town of Groton for taking steps to protect the multi-use nature of five miles of town-owned  railbed, and reaffirming CVTA’s partnership with the town to help keep the railbed open as a trail info the future.

Newbury and Blue Mt. Union School: Began reconstruction of the trail/railbed near Blue Mt. School last fall. CVTA signed a new license agreement with the school and are planning on more trail improvements in 2019.

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 2019  

  1. 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 Forest & Conservation Fund. This fund could be used as a match for grants; for improvements for our trail networks; to help protect and preserve wildlife habitat and wetlands, working farm land, and historical sites; educational programs for our community and schools; and to support NCC members attending workshops etc.
  3. 3. NCC will work toward improving our town forests by reviewing the forests management plans, and developing a town forest policy that balances conservation, recreation, public access, education, and good forestry stewardship.
  4. NCC will join Upper Valley Trails Alliance. This will help NCC promote the trails we work on and our events like Paddle the Boarder and Trails Day Work Day. This will also give NCC more opportunity to network with other Conservation Commissions and like minded groups and help NCC expand our volunteer networks.
  5. NCC will continue improving our Web-Site. By working with social media [ Web-Site and Face Book ] NCC will be able to reach out to residents and visitors to promote events, share pictures, stories, and adventures in Newbury. This is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved!

Our website, www.NewburyConservation.org, contains much information including upcoming events.  Please check it often and follow our Facebook page for notes of interest.

For more information about Newbury Conservation Commission and our events contact Michael Thomas 802-757-3960 or mikethom1@charter.net

Submitted by:  Ami Norton, Carol Stoll, Dianne Norton, Chelsea Lynes, Michael Thomas

 

 

 


 

NEWBURY CONSERVATION COMMISSION

2017 TOWN REPORT

www.NewburyConservation.org               Visit Us on Facebook

                                                                                                                                                           

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 both 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.

PROJECT REPORTS FROM 2017 and EVENTS FOR 2018:

New Member:  We are pleased to welcome Chelsea Lynes to the Commission.  In addition to enthusiasm and fresh ideas, she brings many years of experience working with National Parks Service and Conservancy in trails, education, ecosystems, and ecological restoration.

NCC Public Outreach & Education:  During the past year, NCC has had the opportunity to work more closely with some Newbury residents, Select Board, and the Vermont Land Trust in an effort to provide accurate information to all residents regarding the Tucker Mountain parcel of land.  Much time was spent on this effort to educate ourselves and other residents on both the pros and cons surrounding the acquisition of Tucker Mountain as a Town Forest, through meetings, fact sheets, local papers, and more.

We also had the opportunity to educate by sharing materials and articles on our social media sites, provide information to volunteers, meet with hikers, and help provide both fun and education through the events listed below:

Paddle the Border:  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 2017 fall paddle was comprised of 98 kayaks and canoes.  Join us in 2018 to celebrate the event’s 15th year!

  • The May paddle begins from the Woodsville Community Field and goes to Bedell Bridge State Park (2018 date Sunday May 20).
  • The October Paddle goes from the Newbury/Haverhill Crossing boat launch to Bugbee Landing in Bradford (2018 date Sunday October 7).

Trails Day Work Day:  National Trails Day is held every year on the first Saturday in June. 2018 will be the 21st year of this important day. 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 2.

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: This year’s annual ride on the Cross Vermont Trail is also in its 21st year. The ride starts from Kettle Pond in Groton State Park and goes to Blue Mt. School.  We had a great turnout in 2017 and 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. (2018 date Saturday September 29).

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 2018  

  1. NCC will be exploring grant opportunities and obtaining funding to promote and maintain town forest areas as well as other conservation efforts. NCC hopes to develop a Town Conservation Fund to support these projects.
  2. NCC will research and seek venues to increase community interest and involvement in local conservation efforts and environmental concerns, such as invasive plant species and pests.
  3. NCC is actively looking for ways to promote events, provide information, and share stories, pictures, and adventures in and around Newbury. All residents are encouraged to submit items of interest to NCC for posting on our social media sites.
  4. NCC is committed to providing family-friendly outdoor events, and will continue to work with our local schools and the public to host outdoor recreational activities, build and maintain our local trails network, and hosting educational seminars and events.
  5. NCC will be accepting applications for additional members to expand the Commission.

Our website, www.NewburyConservation.org, contains much information including upcoming events.  Please check it often and follow our Facebook page for notes of interest.

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

Submitted by:  Ami Norton, Carol Stoll, Dianne Norton, Chelsea Lynes, John Fogarty, Michael Thomas