Most who know Boyce Hill Town Forest in Fayston consider it a special place. A gift to the town, the parcel features a pond, long views, open terrain, opportunities for apple and berry picking, and historic remnants of its hill farming heritage. It’s been a secret spot for locals for decades. Now a public place, what should its future look like?
That’s the question that the Boyce Hill Town Forest steering committee has for the community. The steering committee will hold four public visioning forums via Zoom to hear what people think about and envision for the property and for people to weigh in on the management plan they’re developing. During these digital forums, steering committee members will share what they’re learning about the property and open the meeting to the public for questions and input.
The first forum, to be held Wednesday, April 28, at 7 p.m. will cover land use and management planning considerations for town forests. Ethan Tapper, Chittenden County town forester and Liza Walker of the Vermont Land Trust will present. The forum will be moderated by Peter Forbes, Fayston resident, professional writer and facilitator and co-owner of the Knoll Farm.
During the second forum on Wednesday, May 19, at 7 p.m., the discussion will center on Boyce Hill’s natural resources. Grace Glynn, a field naturalist with DuBois & King who conducted the natural resources inventory last fall, will present, and the question and comment session will be facilitated by Jenna Koloski of Vermont Council on Rural Development.
The Wednesday, June 9, forum, also at 7 p.m. will focus on recreation. Becca Washburn, director of lands administration and recreation at Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, will present, and Jon Copens of the Vermont Council on Rural Development will facilitate.
A fourth forum, possibly to be held outdoors on the property, is planned to wrap up the public education and input process.
“We’re excited to bring public input into our management planning process,” said Lisa Koitzsch, a member of the steering committee. “Finding balance between the desire to use Boyce Hill for many potential forms of recreation while conserving this amazing resource for future generations of people and wildlife will be our primary challenge. We hope that these forums help inform and engage Boyce Hill stewards.”