Enosburg Falls River Access Park conserved!

Friday, August 17th, 2012

The Vermont River Conservancy (VRC) has successfully insured permanent public access to a key section of the Missisquoi River.  This week the River Conservancy closed on 9.3 acres of land that includes 1,500 feet of riverfront off Duffy Hill Road, and conveyed title of the shoreland to the Village of Enosburg Falls. The land provides access to a stretch of trophy trout habitat, and had been an important access point on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which follows the Missisquoi.

But the property had been in private ownership, and in early 2011 the owner of the land posted it. After meeting with the landowner, VRC began a major campaign to raise the purchase and project costs of $189,250. That goal was reached earlier this summer, with substantial donations from the Town of Enosburgh Conservation Fund, Habitat for Humanity, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), among many others.

Habitat for Humanity will build two affordable housing units on one-acre lots on a section of the land. The house lots are located on a high field, separated by trees from the riverbank and access points.

Prior to 2011, fishing and canoe access had been available off Duffy Hill Road. But when the land was posted, anglers and paddlers could no longer get to the river. One of the people who enjoyed fishing for the big trout in that section of river called Bernie Pientka, a fisheries biologist with the state Department of Fish & Wildlife, and asked if something couldn’t be done to reopen access to the river.  Pientka contacted the Vermont River Conservancy, and the campaign began.

Now that the Village of Enosburg Falls owns the conserved property, the river will permanently remain open for public enjoyment.

“With tremendous support from the community, we have successfully protected access to the ‘Jewel of Enosburg Falls’ – a very special property that is loved by many, and will be accessible for everyone from now on” said Lydia Menendez, Assistant Director at Vermont River Conservancy. “This project is a real asset for the Village, anglers and paddlers, and generations to come.”

Project partners L to R: Jon Elwell (Village of Enosburg Manager), Mike Manahan (angler & Village of Enosburg Trustee), Marcheta Townsend (President of Franklin / Grand Isle Habitat for Humanity), Gary Frisch (Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity), Steve Libby (Vermont River Conservancy Exec. Director), Lydia Menendez (Vermont River Conservancy Assist. Director)

Special thanks to the Trustees of Enosburg and Habitat for Humanity for accepting the donated and conserved land. 

Come help us celebrate the new Enosburg Falls River Access Park:
Saturday, September 22th at 4:00 pm, rain or shine.
Refreshments will be served, on the Bridge of Flowers and Light in Enosburg Falls.
We hope you join us!

The Vermont River Conservancy extends a BIG thank you to all project partners, funders, and supporters whose gifts and community support made this project possible :

Allard, Dorothy
Ben & Jerry’s Community Action Grants
Bruce, Larry & Susan
Cady, Sara
Carpenter, Eloise
Casella Waste Systems, Inc.
Central Vermont Trout Unlimited
Comeau, Stephen and Lise
Community National Bank
Concept2, Inc.
Crangle, Bill
Deen, David
DeSanto, Dan
Downes, Sarah and Wadsworth, Stephan
Eppley, Linda
Everyone who purchased raffle tickets for Jim Foote’s “Fishing Below the Falls” painting
Fields Pond Foundation
Foote, Jim
Ford, Russ
Franklin Telephone Co.
Grand Isle / Franklin Habitat for Humanity
Haines Household
Hannan Household
Hawksworth, Edith
Heindel, Craig
Heneveld, Edward and Cheryl
Hill, Donald and Pixley
Hyams, Robert
Johnson, Robert
Kamman, Neil
Kemp, Christa
Kubie, Dawn and Don
Kuryloski, Kathryn
Lake Champlain Basin Program
Lake Champlain International
Landauer, Deborah
Libby, Steven
Lindala, Roger
Manahan, Mike
Mellen, Lelia
Mercy, A.C.
Mikkelson, Gregory
O’Brien, Tino
Partners In Healing
Patch, Nancy
Powers, Jim
Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC
R.L. Vallee Inc.
Rogosch, Ralph
Rosshandler, Charlotte
Saltus, Nina and Smith, John
Schramm, Paula
Scott, Cynthia
Secor, Kenneth and Mary
Shea, Peter
Shoup, Jayne
Slayton Household
Smith, Martha
Stritzler, Bill and Viola
Strong, Anna
Syz, Jeremy
Syz, Stephan
The Abbey Group
Town of Enosburgh Conservation Fund
Valentine Bonk and Deborah Bonk Lewis
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
VT Fish and Wildlife
VT Transco LLC
Wazny, John
White, Barbara and Jay
Wilson, Michael

Please let us know if we overlooked including anyone who contributed to this project in any way. We want to recognize you!

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