Stowe Land Trust's 31st Annual Meeting & Celebration - Thank You!
On September 22nd, Stowe Land Trust held its 31st annual meeting and celebrated conservation, community, and connections. The event was held at the Moscow Recreation Field in Stowe were community members gathered under a big tent and enjoyed views of the Pinnacle and the Worcester Mountains.
Stowe Land Trust Board Chair, Chess Brownell, opened the annual business meeting by thanking members, hotel partners, committed volunteers, business partners, Lee and Alice Spencer who host the annual golf tournament, Canadian Friends of Stowe Land Trust, and the owners of conserved land. Chess introduced the Land Trust’s Executive Director, Kristen Sharpless, who shared the past year’s accomplishments and announced a new land protection project, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, to protect 2,000 acres of forestland in the Worcesters: Hunger Mountain Headwaters.
Chess recognized and thanked board member Roger Witten who is terming off from the board after nine years of service. Kristen thanked Chess Brownell for her leadership during two years as chair and presented her with artwork by 2nd graders who visited the Mill Trail, framed with wood salvaged from the Kirchner Woods sugarhouse. The 2018 Volunteers of the Year award was presented to Rick and Sally Watts for their 10+ years of dedicated service as volunteer Land Stewards and for Sally’s contributions to the Stewardship Committee. They were presented with a framed drawing of the Mill Trail cabin by a 2nd grader who visited the property this summer with SLT’s Summer Naturalist.
One new board member was elected by SLT’s membership at the annual meeting. Anna Black will join twenty-one existing board members responsible for governing the organization and brings experience in real estate and property law. Each year SLT has a limited number of openings available in its all-volunteer board. New members are recruited based upon an identified need within the organization.
Guest speakers, Hal Ellms and Trey Martin, spoke about connections between Stowe's outdoor and recreation economy to conservation initiatives across the state and region. They commended Stowe Land Trust for embracing a broad definition of community and for embarking upon the $4.3 million Hunger Mountain Headwaters project to protect one of the last undeveloped mountain ranges in Vermont. They thanked the generous individuals and families who are supporting the project and in doing so, helping to preserve our sense of wilderness.
Afterward, everyone enjoyed delicious wood fired pizza by Woodbelly and visiting partners who had set up displays and activities under the tent to explore. Many thanks to the Market Garden School and the Green Mountain Audubon Center for hosting children’s activities during the business meeting, and to the following partners who shared their exhibits with event attendees: Blue Hill Logging, Charlie Lusk, Intervale Conservation Nursey, Long Winter Farm, Rosina Wallace, Vermont Fish & Wildlife, Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program, and Vermont Youth Cycling.
Thanks to Stowe Ice Cream who generously donated ice cream sandwiches and to Cold Hollow Cider Mill for donating cider. Thank you to Rich Levine for capturing the event with these great photos and to all of our amazing volunteers for making this a fun event!
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