As many of you know, St. Albans Town and RiseVT hired the consultants, Brooke Scatchard and Mariah Keagy of Sinuosity, to develop a Comprehensive Plan for the Town Forest. The new, completed trail plan will allow for a wide variety of activities, from mountain biking to bird watching and wider trails for classroom use. These trails will meet the many interests of the greater St. Albans community. The Forest is an incredible resource, not only for recreation, but also for the wildlife it attracts. It is currently a demonstration and testing site for Migratory Songbird habitat enhancement, through the efforts of County Forester, Nancy Patch.

The Town has committed $2,500 for permitting the project, and another $5,000-10,000 in order to build it. There is an effort underway to put together an Executive Committee, in order to raise the remaining $55,000-60,000, in order to build it. The Franklin County Mountain Bike Club has committed to spearheading the maintenance after construction. At this point, leadership in the fund raising effort is needed to make this project come to fruition in the next year or two.

Currently, there is not a formal committee, but there are interested citizens, who have started to offer some guidance and build a website to start the public outreach efforts. There is also a discussion of organizing some events this spring and summer to promote awareness of the Forest and what it offers the community.

These early efforts to organize and educate are in hopes of finding others to help form a committee and assist in fundraising. This is your chance to be a part of a grassroots effort to improve our community and make a beautiful part of our town more accessible and versatile. At this point, the plan is to attract private donors within the community for funding, and top it off with grant applications for trail building.

If anyone is interested in being a part of this community effort, please contact Nathaniel Neider at satplanner@comcast.net or 802-524-7589 ext. 108.