2X Match! It’s clear that our rivers – and our communities – need us now. Give today for 2x the impact. All gifts will be matched up to $30,000 now through December 31st.
These 50-acres — really two side-by-side projects — protect nearly a mile of of the New Haven River. For generations, the Saunders and Fuller families farmed here, nearly up to the river’s edge. It wasn’t the best farmland around — the land closest to the river was damp, and it was challenging to maneuver around the maze of riverside forest and wetlands. Then Tropical Storm Irene hit in 2011, and farming got even harder. When rainwater rushed down from surrounding mountains, it carried rocks, dirt, sand, and trees onto the Saunders’ and Fuller’s land, burying fields and making it nearly impossible to farm.
Recognizing this land would make a better floodplain than a farm, Vermont River Conservancy worked with both families and the Bristol Conservation Commission to put the land into its highest use — floodplain. Today our river corridor easement makes sure the New Haven River will always have space to ebb and flow over time.
The Saunders Family generously donated the northern 40-acres here to the town of Bristol, and Vermont River Conservancy added an easement. Today, half the area is hayed field and half is riverside forest and sandbars, all open to the public. Visitors can park and walk 1/2-mile to this public access point, where people are welcome to walk the field and forested riverbank, swim, and fish in the New Haven River.
Just downstream, we worked with the Fuller Family to protect the next stretch of the New Haven River, too. Though there’s no direct public access from the road — the Fuller Family still farms here — visitors can enter via the Saunders site and continue south along the river to the Fuller’s area.
This project made possible thanks to the support and partnership of:
From the intersection of Route 17 and 116 in Bristol, VT, drive south on Route 116. You will pass the river access at 0.5 miles, but there is no parking here. Continue another 0.5 miles, turning right onto Sycamore Pk. and park in the travel parking area near the bridge. After parking, walk back .5 miles north to access property.