Public input sought on Tardy parcel draft management plan

The Waitsfield Conservation Commission invites The Valley community to review and provide feedback on a draft management plan for the Tardy parcel, a 6.9-acre property along the Mad River that Waitsfield purchased from Astrid Tardy in 2003. The commission is accepting written comments on the draft plan until Friday, June 9, and will hold a hybrid public forum about it on the evening of Wednesday, May 31,, 2023.

The parcel includes more than 1,200 feet of shoreline along the eastern side of the Mad River, across from Lareau Farm and immediately upstream of the Route 100 bridge at the southern gateway to Irasville and Waitsfield Village. Together with the town-owned Lareau Swimhole, Austin Parcel, and Wu Ledges Town Forest downstream, and neighboring private conservation-oriented lands, the property is part of a valuable corridor of undeveloped Valley floor lands that provide a host of benefits for nature and people, explained Waitsfield Conservation Commission chair Curt Lindberg.

The town is redesignating the property as the Farley Riverside Park in honor of longtime Valley resident and conservation leader Virginia Farley, who died in 2022. The management plan supports this transition and lays out an overarching vision for stewardship and public use of the property in keeping with a number of key guiding documents, Huffman explained. A modest memorial to Farley with a stone bench, plaque, and lupine planting will be established on the site, along with targeted improvements to facilitate public access and enhanced user experience such as entry signage, a small parking area, and a short interpretive trail.  

A significant part of the town’s long-term management and near-term actions on the property will be focused on ecological restoration. This will include management of non-native invasive plant species such as Japanese knotweed and bush honeysuckle, and replanting with native trees and shrubs that would be expected in this type of river corridor location. There will be opportunities for interested citizens to help with this hands-on restoration work in the coming months and years, conservation commission member Phil Huffman said.

The draft Tardy Parcel Management Plan is available on the town’s website at, and hard copies are available on request at the town office. Written comments are being accepted until Friday, June 9, and can be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by hard copy at the town office.

In addition, public input can be provided at the conservation commission’s public forum on the draft plan on Wednesday, May 31, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be hybrid: members of the public who wish to participate can do so either in person at the Waitsfield Town Office or remotely by Zoom at At the outset of the forum, Commission members will present a brief overview of the parcel and key elements of the draft management plan. Members of the public will then have an opportunity to ask questions and provide input on the plan.

“The Conservation Commission is pleased to share this draft plan to guide future management of this important town-owned asset,” said Lindberg. “We look forward to hearing what residents think and to giving the property the attention it deserves with thoughtful stewardship.”