Morning Networking Mixer - September 2021
Put on your hiking sneakers and join us for a one-of-a-kind morning mixer with coffee and pastries followed by a walk in Otter Creek Gorge Preserve. This beautifully maintained trail has been preserved and made available to us by the Middlebury Area Land Trust and is the perfect start to your day. Join us for a portion or all 1.7 miles of trail that will bring us through fields and forests as well as the Beldon Falls and Otter Creek Gorge overview. We will meet at the parking area on Morgan Horse Farm Road, 0.2 miles north of Hamilton Road.
MALT was incorporated in 1987 as the “Middlebury Land Trust” with the purpose of preserving key open and scenic lands in Middlebury. At that time, Middlebury had a local farmland tax abatement program. When the State re-instituted their tax abatement program, Middlebury residents voted to transfer the money they were paying into the local program into a conservation fund. The land trust was charged with advising the select board on the use of these funds. One-half of the income from the Conservation Fund is provided to the Land Trust for administrative support each year.
They have conserved over 3,500 acres of land, farms, forests, wetlands and recreational areas. Their original 13 members has been increased to 229 members in 2018 and they offer environmental educational and recreational opportunities for all ages through naturalist themed-programs, year-round nature-based youth programs, and support several school projects from elementary to college level by providing outdoor classrooms on our conserved lands.
Otter Creek Gorge Preserve
Previously, this land was the main holding of a separate land trust; whose three trustees, Willard T. Jackson, Linda O. Johnson and Steven Rockefeller; gifted the preserve to MALT. The Preserve is an important natural heritage site that showcases Champlain Valley ecosystems. The three predominant natural communities are: Valley Clayplain Forest, Transition Hardwoods Limestone Forest and Limestone Bluff Cedar Pine Forest. In addition, the open fields and meadows are currently used for agricultural purposes. Protecting the preserve’s ecological integrity is our primary stewardship objective. Guided natural history walks are scheduled annually. Enjoy the diversity of plants and animals living in the preserve.