On July 10, 2024
State News

Hartland seeks donations for conservation land

By Curt Peterson

On July 5 Rob Anderegg, chair of the Hartland Conservation Commission, posted an update regarding the “Pohl Property Conservation Project” on the local listserv.

“We are getting close to the goal,” Anderegg wrote. “Only $17,000 needs to be raised to finish the job.”

The Hartland Conservation Commission added an article to the 2024 Town Meeting warning, asking voters to approve “setting aside” funds for part of possible purchase of approximately 75 acres near the Three Corners village center. Article 10 read: “Shall the Town vote to direct the Select Board to make available up to $100,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund toward the possible purchase and conservation of the Pohl property.”

The commission promised to raise funds independently as well. 

Most (68 acres) of the Three Corners area land, purchased from Timotheus Pohl by the Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) and protected by a conservation easement, will be a four-season public recreation area, including some of the Hartland Trails system, and remain available for continuing agricultural endeavors.

 “UVLT has succeeded in getting a grant of $228,000 from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. An additional $260,000 in private donations has been pledged, much of it from Hartland residents,” Anderegg reported.

Seven acres will be preserved for possible future community housing development.

The Asher Benjamin-designed brick home, studio building, pool and patio will not be included in the proposed purchase. The Fast Trash property across from the Hartland Fire House and Town Garage has an easement allowing public access from Route 12.

The state will actually hold the conservation easement, according to Anderegg.

Since voters approved setting aside the capital reserve fund money in March, Anderegg reported, “UVLT has succeeded in getting a grant of $228,000 from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. An additional $260,000 in private donations has been pledged, much of it from Hartland residents.”

An anonymous donor will match dollar for dollar up to $15,000 in additional pledges. 

Pledge envelopes were handed out at the Conservation Commission booth during Old Home Day on July 4, along with additional information about the property and the project.

“We hope [people] are slipping checks into the envelopes we gave them,” Anderegg wrote. “We need [their] help to get this done.”

Donors may give online at UVLT.org, or pledge envelopes are available at Damon Hall.

“Please be sure to specify the Pohl Conservation Area when making a donation,” Anderegg said. “People who aren’t even born yet will someday walk the trails on this property, and see a doe with a spotted fawn, or hear a bobolink or a black-billed cuckoo, or see a male turkey displaying for a group of hens pretending to be impressed.”

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