News: Become a Volunteer Land Steward Today
Being entrusted to uphold a landowner’s conservation vision for a special property is an honor. Upholding that vision in perpetuity is an obligation.
After land is permanently protected, landowners and the Stowe Land Trust become jointly responsible for caring for, or stewarding, the land in perpetuity. Together, we work to ensure that protected land is cared for according to the terms of the conservation easements and that, when possible, we leave it better than we found it for those who will come after us.
With 32 properties and over 3,500 acres conserved, stewarding the land is a big job. SLT works with current and future landowners to make sure that activities on the land are consistent with the easement. To do this, the land trust monitors properties on a regular basis. That's where the Volunteer Land Stewards come in. Land Stewards adopt one of SLT’s conserved properties where they provide a consistent stewardship presence over at least 2-3 years and often longer. These volunteers act as the eyes, ears, and ambassadors for the SLT and visit their property at least quarterly. They periodically take photographs to document changes, complete written reports, perform minor maintenance, talk to neighbors and visitors, and alert staff of unwanted uses or issues that need attention.
·Have a strong interest in Stowe Land Trust, and its mission and purpose.
·Be willing to make a 2-3 year commitment to monitor a property seasonally.
·Live in the Stowe area or be a regular visitor in all four seasons.
·Be able to attend a required training and informational session offered annually in the spring.
·Be able and willing to travel to property (must have valid driver’s license if driving).
·Be physically able and willing to walk around and inspect properties, possibly off trail.
·Be personable and detail-oriented. Have good communication and recordkeeping skills.
·Be at least 18 years of age.
·Serve as a representative of SLT and a liaison with property visitors, local officials, schools, neighbors, and other SLT members
·Visit and monitor adopted property throughout the year (at least quarterly in most cases).
·Maintain SLT signs, kiosks and other property infrastructure when present.
·Remove trash and debris from property
·Document and report property activity to SLT staff on a quarterly basis
Dependent on volunteer skills and interest, and property features and uses.
·Perform basic trail maintenance such as clearing ditches, trimming trail corridors, and replacing trail markers
·Assist SLT staff with stewardship projects such as tree plantings, wildlife habitat improvement, invasive plant removal, and bird monitoring
·Lead guided walks and/or help coordinate volunteer work days
·Walk property boundaries to identify encroachments and/or maintenance needs once a year (requires advanced map and compass skills in most cases)
For more information, or to sign up, please contact elisabeth@ stowelandtrust.org
Not your cup of tea? We would love to have your help in whatever capacity you can give it.
Check out our other opportunities to volunteer.