Stowe Land Trust has met and exceeded our goal to raise $5.75 million to protect the 750-acre Brownsville Forest and expand SLT's stewardship endowment for the long-term care of this latest conserved property and other protected lands.
The outpouring from the Stowe area community has been so great that the donations received well surpassed the target goal, reaching $6 million. These contributions include a $175,000 grant award from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and a $5 million anonymous donation through the Vermont Community Foundation.
Contributions also include a $75,000 challenge grant that was awarded to the land trust by a group of supporters once the number of donations to the campaign reached 750 last week. Donations from more than 150 Stowe Elementary School students who collected "coins for conservation" during the last two weeks of the school year were counted among the more than 750 contributions received.
“The level of participation in this fundraising effort far exceeded our expectations,” according to Kristen Sharpless, SLT's executive director. “It is a reflection of the high value that all generations of this community place on conservation and a shared accomplishment of which we can be proud.”
Funds raised through the Brownsville Forest campaign will cover: the $5.5 million acquisition cost of the 750-acre Brownsville Forest, associated project costs, and a significant contribution to SLT’s stewardship endowment.
“Protecting land is a long-term commitment to the community,” said Walter Frame, SLT's board chairman. “The success of this campaign helps to ensure the land trust will have the resources required to care for Brownsville Forest and our other conserved lands well into the future.”
“The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board is pleased to support protection of the Brownsville Forest for wildlife habitat, forest management, water quality, and public recreation,” noted VHCB's executive director, Gus Seelig. “We commend the foresight and success of Stowe Land Trust and the community in raising funds for this wonderful project and for their stewardship efforts.”
The scheduled closing date for the Brownsville Forest conservation project is July 30, 2019. Once purchased by Stowe Land Trust, SLT plans to transfer Brownsville Forest to the State of Vermont as an addition to the adjacent C.C. Putnam State Forest. It will be open and available to the public for non-motorized recreation subject to a conservation easement held by the land trust and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and an interim management plan prepared by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.
Thank you so much to everyone who generously supported and participated in this campaign!