25th Annual Meeting Unveils New Partnership; Elects Directors

Johannes von Trapp received Conservationist of the Year for 2012.

Heather Furman, Stowe Land Trust’s (SLT) Executive Director, announced at its 25th Annual Meeting last Sunday, the launch of a new chapter in the long-standing relationship between SLT and Trapp Family Lodge.     

Today, Trapp Family Lodge has joined with SLT to establish a legacy that protects the future of the working landscape in the Stowe region. A one-dollar nightly donation to SLT will help ensure that Stowe’s essential beauty is preserved for the future. Contributions from this partnership will enable SLT to continue its important work of conserving and stewarding Stowe’s farmland, trails, waterfalls and scenic vistas.

“The legacy created by this partnership is a natural extension of the von Trapp family’s commitment to conservation and protection of the working landscape,” said Furman after thanking Johannes von Trapp for his opening remarks and for hosting this special event.  

Three generations of von Trapps have set their roots in Stowe, owning and managing Trapp Family Lodge, continuing the tradition of active farming and forestry, and providing unparalleled opportunities for visitors to get out and enjoy the mountains and valleys.  Continuing the family’s true pioneering spirit, Johannes von Trapp helped establish Stowe Land Trust 25 years ago, and through this commitment, the family has permanently conserved over 1,500 acres.

Furman summarized the practical simplicity of the relationship when she said, “the partnership highlights our dual commitment to the working landscape, the recreational opportunities we both cherish and the need to support each other in making our conservation goals viable.”

New Board Members Elected
Three new board members were elected by SLT’s membership at the annual meeting event.  Chess Brownell, Biddle Duke and Walter Frame will join eighteen existing board members responsible for governing the community conservation organization.  Each year SLT has a limited number of openings available in its all volunteer board.  New members are recruited based on an identified need within the organization.  “The newly elected board members have valuable knowledge and skills that will strengthen SLT’s position as a community asset”, said Executive Director, Heather Furman.

Chess Brownell, a long-time community member has been involved with a variety of local non-profit organizations.  Currently she works in freelance marketing and writing, and also owns a letterpress printing business.  Her most rewarding role is that of parent to daughter Josie, now a freshman at Colorado College.  Chess happily spends her free time locally running, hiking, biking and skiing the trails of Stowe in an effort to match the energy and stamina of her two labradors.  Chess has greatly enjoyed the results of SLT’s conservation efforts in every season, and looks forward to ensuring the future success of the organization.  Chess has assisted with land conservation campaigns in the past and SLT will benefit from incorporating her marketing knowledge and creativity into our outreach.

As a young man seeking a life in public service, Biddle Duke went in to journalism, and never left. He met his wife, artist Idoline Scheerer (now Duke), on a beach in Long Island.  The two then began a good, long adventure traveling and working in North and South America. Daughter Ellie was born in 1993 in Santa Fe, N.M. and their son Angie was born in 1995 in Buenos Aires.  In 1998, Biddle took over the Stowe Reporter. The company now operates five regional websites, The Stowe Guide and Magazine, the weekly Waterbury Record and other, smaller publications.  Biddle will be instrumental in strengthening SLT’s communication with the community, its various partners and owners of conserved land. 

Walter Frame is the Executive Vice President of Trapp Family Lodge and Resort working with the von Trapp’s to coordinate all business activities for the resort and the 2,500 acre estate.  Walter is married to Kristina von Trapp and they live in Stowe with their two daughters, Annie and Stella.  Walter spearheaded the creation of the Spruce Peak Arts Center Foundation, a non-profit performing arts center and currently serves as its President.  Walter will bring leadership experience to the governance of SLT’s board and valuable financial experience as SLT plans for the long term sustainability of the organization.

You can learn more about Stowe Land Trust and its conservation work by becoming a member or renewing your membership today.  SLT recently launched its 2013 membership campaign.  Many thanks to all of you who have already sent in your contribution!