From the Northeast Kingdom to southern Vermont, rivers run through nearly every town in the state. But just because the river is there doesn’t mean people can get to the river. In many places, private land has locked-up riverfront properties and locked-out people. No fishing, no swimming, no boating.
This is the story in Westford, a small town in the Champlain Valley, where the Browns River flows through the middle of town, but there’s no official public access point where people could dip a toe into the river. A Westford community survey asked residents what they want for the future of their town. One of the top responses? Access to the river.
We’re working with the community to make this happen – not just protecting access to the river, but partnering with community leaders to build affordable housing at the same time.
We’re working to buy a nearly 2-acres of river lands in Westford, VT, with nearly 500 feet of frontage on the Browns River. This stretch of the river showcases a healthy, towering floodplain forest, a series of cascading pools, ledge outcroppings, and swimming holes.
Protecting this land will be an incredible asset to the Westford community, providing opportunities for riverfront walking, river access for swimming and fishing, and open space within walking distance of the historic town green. Importantly, the conserved forested land will help naturally filter and store water, contributing to cleaner water for the 150,000 people who get their drinking water from Lake Champlain.
Make it Happen!
Give today to make sure every Vermont town can access its local river.