Tracy Woods (2018)

With 35 acres of rich woodlands sheltering spring wildflowers, songbirds, and amphibians; 10 acres of open farm fields grazed by sheep and cows; and a network of walking trails, this property is a showcase for stewardship and community access to the land in Vermont. The Tracy family has carefully stewarded the natural resources of their home in South Hero since 1841. In 2016 Hobart Tracy, his wife Naomi King, and his daughter Anne Tracy began working with South Hero Land Trust and Lake Champlain Land Trust to conserve their land and ensure permanent public access on the trails. The forest is a unique and valuable resource with five distinct natural communities: Lakeside Floodplain Forest and Dry Oak-Hickory-Hophornbeam Forest. These natural communities are habitat for an array of animals, such as great blue heron, mink, and four-toed salamander, as well as myriad pollinators. Shagbark hickory, black cherry, hemlock, American elm, and many other tree species grow in the woods. Rich soils are perfect for spring wildflowers, like bloodroot, jack-in-the-pulpit, and trillium. In addition to the woodlands, the Tracy property has over 10 acres of fertile agricultural soils that are currently in pasture and hay land for the family’s small flock of sheep. This project was partially funded by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and is protected with an easement co-held by the Lake Champlain Land Trust and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.

Emily Alger