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Winter Guided Exploration of Hinesburg’s “New” Town Forest

Please join members of the Hinesburg Trails Committee and the Hinesburg Land Trust in a guided exploration of the LaPlatte Headwaters Town Forest trails in their winter glory on Saturday, February 1.

We will meet at the Upper Gilman Road trailhead parking area (for directions, see http://www.hinesburg.org/documents/laplatte-headwaters-town-forest-area-trails-directions.pdf ) at 1 PM.  Please carpool as parking is limited.  We expect to be out for two hours and hope to see animal tracks and observe the effects of windstorms and timber management on the forest.  Please bring snowshoes, X-C skis, or micro-spikes, as appropriate for the snow/ice conditions and dress in layers.

If the weather is awful (rain or below zero temperatures) we will postpone until Sunday, February 2 at 1 PM.  For questions, to RSVP, and for last minute changes please email Lenore Budd at buddfamily@gmavt.net.

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UVM, Vermont Land Trust to benefit from 225-acre Hinesburg land donation

Burlington Free Press 12/24/13

by Dorothy Pellett, Free Press Correspondent

A tantalizing glimpse of the beaver pond from Baldwin Road.

A tantalizing glimpse of the beaver pond from Baldwin Road.

A December gift of land will benefit the University of Vermont, the Vermont Land Trust and a host of hikers and students of nature.

The family of the late Henry H. Carse of Hinesburg has donated easements on 225 acres to the Vermont Land Trust for permanent conservation and public access, and at the same time donated the property to the university.

Diverse natural attributes make the land, located between Baldwin Road and Silver Street, a valuable site for study, while its views and peaceful surroundings appeal to walkers along Baldwin Road.

“The property’s wetland, calcium-rich ledges and uplands have an impressive mix of uncommon species and forest types, including a red maple/northern white cedar swamp,” said Bob Heiser, Champlain Valley Regional co-director of the land trust.

Along with 121 acres of wetlands, Hinesburg’s largest wetland area, the site comprises 63 acres of woodland with a maple-ash-hickory-oak forest and a transition hardwood limestone forest; 41 acres of agriculturally important soils; rare plant species and habitat for beaver, moose, bobcats, birds and other varied wildlife.

UVM students have used part of the area to observe plant communities on the eastern cliffs of the property. Now they and the rest of the public will have pedestrian access to the donated land. “The area contains natural communities and biodiversity elements not found on other UVM-owned lands,” said Rick Paradis, director of UVM’s Natural Areas Center.

Paradis said he recently has brought classes to the site to study the potential for managing it for conservation purposes and for developing visitor facilities such as trails.

“I am also coordinating a UVM process to determine if the site warrants being added to the UVM Natural Areas System,” Paradis said. “Final approval for this action will need to be made by the Board of Trustees.”

Carse purchased the land in the 1970s. He farmed, served in the Vermont Legislature and as town moderator and school director.

“Our basic interests were clear: to preserve the natural treasures of the land while providing public access and educational programs,” said Carse’s son, Henry Ralph Carse. The land has been owned by the Carse Land Company, LLC. The transfer of easements and land took place last week, Heiser said.

The Vermont Land Trust will be responsible for monitoring the land to ensure that ecologically sensitive areas are not disturbed and that the property is used for educational and research purposes.

Hinesburg Land Trust member Lenore Budd said she frequently walks on Baldwin Road and observes the Carse land, but it was posted as off-limits to the public, and she could have only “a tantalizing glimpse” of the beaver pond.

Budd said the Carse family’s generosity will be felt for many years as visitors enjoy and learn from nature. She added, “It is fitting that this transfer of ownership is happening during this season of giving.”

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Help Protect Hinesburg’s Largest Wetland Today!

The Hinesburg Land Trust is closing in on raising the remaining $5,300 to permanently protected Hinesburg’s largest wetland. The Carse Family is poised to conserve a 225-acre parcel that includes a large beaver pond, extensive wetlands, a remnant cedar forest, and limey outcrops hosting rare and uncommon plants.  When conserved, this beautiful and diverse landscape, situated between Baldwin Road and Silver Street, will offer public pedestrian access and will be managed both to protect its unique resources and make them available for teaching and research.

Once conserved, this peaceful setting will offer exceptional wildlife viewing to Hinesburg residents and UVM students.

Once conserved, this peaceful setting will offer exceptional wildlife viewing to Hinesburg residents and UVM students.

Special attributes of the Carse Wetland Property include:

  • 121 acres of wetlands, including Red Maple-Northern White Cedar Swamp, a state-significant forested wetland community;
  • 63 acres of woodland, including two state-significant forest communities: Mesic Maple-Ash-Hickory-Oak Forest, and Transition Hardwood Limestone Forest;
  • 7 acres of prime agricultural soils and 34 acres of statewide important soils;
  • rare and uncommon plant species, including bog wintergreen, hairy wood-mint wild millet, Minnesota sedge, walking fern, and other species associated with calcium enriched soils;
  • scenic dolomitic outcrops and ledges;
  • habitat for beaver, moose, bobcats, waterfowl, wading birds, songbirds, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.

Click to View the Ortho Map of the Carse wetlands (PDF).

Henry Carse points to a porcupine den in the base of a hollow tree.

Henry Carse points to a porcupine den in the base of a hollow tree.

This wetland complex well illustrates landscape-scale changes brought on by natural processes and native species. Back in the 1940’s beavers invaded what was probably Chittenden County’s premier cedar swamp. Now half-sunken logs and weathered standing dead cedar dot the beaver pond.  But this stage, too, is transitory:  the beaver pond is gradually transforming into a marsh and eventually into a wooded swamp.

By year’s end the Carse Family will donate a permanent conservation and public access easement on this special property to the Vermont Land Trust and then, in turn, will donate the land to the University of Vermont.

VLT Naturalist, Liz Thompson, documents interesting wetland flora.

VLT Naturalist, Liz Thompson, documents interesting wetland flora.

The Hinesburg Land Trust has already secured $7,200 of the $12,500 needed for easement monitoring and enforcement in perpetuity.  With your help we can raise the remaining $5,300 by the end of 2013.

Please send your tax-exempt donation to the Hinesburg Land Trust, PO Box 137, Hinesburg, VT 05461. 

Thank you for supporting this endeavor and successfully launching HLT into its 25th anniversary year.

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2013 Turkey Lane Turkey Trot Race Results

Hinesburg Land Trust’s

16th Annual Louise Roomet

Turkey Lane Turkey Trot

12/01/13

Fastest Man                           Norm Larson                         25:01

Fastest Woman                     Kasie Enman                          25:35

Under 15 Men                       Gregory Goldsmith               41:07

Under 15 Women                 Ashley Turner                       32:07

16 – 29 Men                           Michael Mainer                      27:55

16 – 29 Women                     Jenya Benno                          35:10

30 – 39 Men                           [no runners]                          —

30 – 39 Women                     Kasie Enman                          25:35

40 – 49 Men                           Chris Cover                            28:14

40 – 49 Women                     Joyce Marin                            30:47

50 – 59 Men                           Mark Styduhar                      30:34

50 – 59 Women                     Phyllis Arsenault-Berry        35:00

Over 60 Men                          Charles Windisch                  35:58

Over 60 Women                   Pat Mainer                             55.02

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Join the fun! The Louise Roomet Turkey Lane Turkey Trot – Sunday, December 1, 2013

A fun run and walk to benefit the Hinesburg Land Trust.  Bring the whole family and help preserve land for public use forever!

4.25 mile Fun Run and Walk

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Everyone, runners, walkers, and walkers with dogs are welcome and encouraged to participate.Runners start the race at the Turkey Lane Bridge at 1:00 PM. Walkers start at 12:45 PM. Registration runs from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM. No rain date. Or REGISTER EARLY — download and mail the 2013 Entry Form.

Directions:Going south on VT Route 116 in Hinesburg Village turn right(south) at the curve onto Silver Street. Lewis Creek Road is on the left(east), 2.8 miles south of Lantman’s Market. Continue east for .25 miles for registration, parking, and race start. For directions via Internet or GPS, type in the junction of “Turkey Lane and Lewis Creek Road, Hinesburg, VT 05461.”
Donations to the Hinesburg Land Trust:
$15.00 Individual
$25.00 Couples
$30.00 Families
Prizes for each class! Men and Women Age Groups  are:
?? to 15
16 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 49
50 to 59
60 and up
Fastest Man / Fastest Woman
Fastest Walker(s)
Slowest Walker(s)
Sponsors: Koval’s Coffee, Hinesburg; Hinesburgh Public House, Hinesburg; Brown Dog Books & Gifts, Hinesburg; Fleet Feet Sports, Essex Junction; Sportshoe Center, South Burlington; The Mill Market & Deli, South Burlington .
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