Tucker Mountain Town Forest 2019
Invites Your Participation
Now entering its second year as your town forest, we want to thank everyone who participated for making the first year a big success! We’ve cleared encroaching trees to reclaim the magnificent view of the White Mountains and reveal the historic stone walls from past years. We’ve created new trails and scouted future trails, explored and marked 80% of the boundaries, removed invasive honeysuckle, hauled away years of garbage and debris, and erected two kiosks.
Eighty volunteers from the community and beyond, including Oxbow, Newbury Elementary, and the R&R Family Foundation have taken part in one or more of 12 volunteer events. Off the mountain, the Newbury Town Forest Management Committee is working hard at drafting grant proposals, developing the management plan, building a website, fund raising, increasing the project’s publicity, and organizing volunteer projects.
We need your continued support in improving access to this beautiful area:
We are planning at least two trailhead parking areas, one on either side of the Town Forest. One of these already has a kiosk in place, the other will need a new one.
In the future we hope to add composting privies at each parking site.
When funds are in place, we plan to fix the erosion on the upper road to the Tucker summit and rebuild that as a single, well-engineered road to prevent future washouts.
Funds are needed to improve Tucker Mountain Road as well.
Please consider making a year-end gift donation today!
How to Donate
Your donation will be deposited to the Tucker Mountain Town Forest fund and cannot be used for any other town expense. Municipal contributions are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt thanking you for your generous support of Tucker Mountain.
Please make checks payable to Town of Newbury with “Tucker Mountain Town Forest” on the memo line. Send to Town of Newbury, Tucker Mountain Fund, P.O. Box 126, Newbury, VT 05051.
Thank you for your generosity, past and present,
for hands-on volunteering and for your financial help!
2019: The First Year in Review
Formed the Tucker Mountain Town Forest Management Committee
Presented the narrated slide show, “A History of Tucker Mountain” for the Newbury Historical Society, and at the Newbury and Bradford Elementary Schools, and at the Bradford Library.
Convened two well-attended public meetings to solicit input from the community in preparation for writing our management plan.
Conducted an on-line survey to prepare for the management plan.
Wrote the Tucker Mountain Town Forest Management Plan
Created an active Facebook page.
Created a Friends of Tucker Mountain email list of 198 subscribers.
Applied for NH Charitable Foundation Grant for $5,000, which unfortunately, was not awarded to us.
Volunteers cleared stone walls for view improvement, removed invasive honeysuckle, cleaned the firepit, removed trash, felled trees for view of Wright’s Mountain, turned one old woods road into a hiking trail, scouted other potential hiking trails, built and installed two kiosks with maps and information, and provided educational awareness signs to help control erosion.
Created a float and marched in West Newbury Parade.
Led Green Mountain Club Ottauquechee Section on a hike up Tucker Mountain and by the vernal pool.
Led Newbury Elementary summer campers to the summit of Tucker for a picnic.
Hosted NES’s fall hike to the summit of Tucker.
Contracted and supervised felling services to improve view east.
Contracted and supervised brush hogging and brush removal services.
Walked and inspected the roads with four excavation contractors in preparation for trailhead parking areas and possible road improvements.
Announced a logo contest (deadline January 31, 2020). Please contact us if you or someone you know is interested in participating.
Started construction of a Tucker Mountain Town Forest website.
Applied for Recreational Trails Program Grant ($20,000, in process).
Applying for 501(c)(3) for a non-profit Friends of Tucker Mountain organization for promotion, recruiting and organizing volunteers, and fundraising.
Met with local representatives and officials of law enforcement, Fish & Game, VAST, a Vermont wetlands ecologist and others to discuss and develop a greater awareness of issues and developments in the new Town Forest.
Engaged County Forester David Paganelli to be the Town Forest forester.
Participated in an educational town forest management program at the oldest town forest in Vermont, the Hinesburg Town Forest.
With your continued support, we can make Tucker Mountain Town Forest a spectacular natural and recreational resource for our community for many generations to come. Thank you!
Newbury Acquires Tucker Mountain as New Town Forest
December 13, 2018 – Last night the Town of Newbury completed the long-sought purchase of a 636-acre parcel that will be the new Tucker Mountain Town Forest. This purchase culminates a two-year effort, spearheaded by local citizens, the Newbury Conservation Commission and the Vermont Land Trust to secure iconic forestland in the Upper Valley area for the Town of Newbury. This purchase occurred more than a year after the townspeople of Newbury voted twice in favor of the purchase.
The Town of Newbury purchased the land from the Vermont Land Trust, who in early September bought it as two parcels: 142 acres from Ted and Deborah Leach; and 494 acres from Ted and his siblings Tina Clark, Suzanne Charity, Lucinda Leach, along with their late sister Robin’s children, Alexia Vondrak and Joshua Moody. The family sold the land to VLT for a total of $384,500, just over half of the appraised value.
“As far back as the 1940s, my parents, Phil and Ginny Leach enjoyed the distant views from atop Tucker Mountain,” said Tina Clark. “In the early ‘70s, much development was taking place in Vermont and Tucker Mountain was up for sale. Phil and Ginny made the decision to purchase the land to protect it as open space. They have both since passed on, leaving Tucker Mountain to their children and grandchildren. We live far and wide, so we turned once again to VLT for guidance in further protecting the mountain we love. Our family members are so very grateful to all those who have embraced the concept Tucker Mountain Town Forest, which is now a reality.”
Read more here: The 636 acre Town Forest …
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Tucker Mountain and the forestland around it has been a popular place for residents of Newbury for a long time. The open meadow top of Tucker Mountain provides long distance views in almost all directions and has been the destination for an annual visit by Newbury Elementary School students and teachers for many years. The two properties’ 635 acres offer recreational opportunities such as hunting, picnicking, hiking, bird-watching, snowshoeing, and back country skiing. Several schools attended by Newbury boys and girls would have an outstanding natural laboratory for learning about plants, wildlife, water resources, and forest management. The land is threaded by headwaters streams and the West Branch of the Halls Brook, with its excellent brook trout habitat. Wetlands, vernal pools with frogs and salamanders, many types of plants and wildlife – all help make the proposed Tucker Mountain-Newbury Town Forest one of Newbury’s most important tracts of land.
- Tucker Mountain has long been a popular recreational destination for residents of and visitors to Newbury. All students from Newbury Elementary School make an annual trip to the top of Tucker Mountain.
- Town ownership, with a supportive Conservation Commission and “Friends” group to help manage the property, would provide permanent public access for diverse recreational and educational activities, and present an opportunity for improved access, management, and stewardship of the properties’ natural resources – while also generating revenue from timber harvesting, firewood, and sugaring.
- Public recreation and scenic views
- Productive timber land and sugar bush
- Water resources and aquatic habitat: West Branch of Halls Brook and tributaries, two vernal pools, and Meadow Brook
- Wetlands and natural communities: beaver pond wetland complex, Red Spruce-Cinnamon Fern Swamp, and Red Maple –Black Ash Seepage Swamp, among others
- Newbury Elementary School trips and special projects?
- Oxbow High School/River Bend Career & Technical Center trips & projects?
Reports & Documents:
Newbury Town Forest Rapid Ecological Assessment Part I_Phillips 2016
Part II Newbury Town Forest Ecological Assessment