The donation of a 93-acre parcel of land on Boyce Hill Road to the town of Fayston closed this week, permanently conserving the parcel and officially creating the Boyce Hill Town Forest. Christina Castegren donated the land and the town of Fayston conserved it with the Vermont Land Trust.
Rising from the end of Boyce Hill Road, the mostly open land has a summit with views of the Shepard Brook Valley in Fayston as well as the Northfield Range and Green Mountains.
“I think these views should be shared,” said Castegren. “The beauty of this place provides a sense of awe and peace that people seem to need these days. I hope this land will help bring people together.”
The future of the land – known locally as Risley’s Pasture and Newis’ Field – had been uncertain because of a permitted eight-lot subdivision that was in place when Castegren purchased the land in 2011. Concerned that the development of houses would decrease public access and forever alter its character, Castegren offered the land to the town.
“This is a very exciting time for Fayston,” said Jared Cadwell, Fayston Select Board chair. “We have a tremendous opportunity to join together to enjoy and care for this spectacular spot in our town.”
The Vermont Land Trust worked with Castegren and the select board to discuss conservation options and community access, assess the land’s ecology and create a conservation easement that protects the health of the forest and public recreation.
“People can continue to hike, hunt, snowshoe, ski and picnic there, and the community will be part of its stewardship for generations to come,” said Liza Walker of the Vermont Land Trust.
Starting next spring, the Fayston Conservation Commission will engage the community in the creation of a longer-term management plan for the property. The plan will address recreation, stewardship, natural resource protection, trail development, parking and access.