As of Thursday, December 23rd, a 45-acre parcel of land located within the Cornish Art Colony is protected by a conservation easement. The Upper Valley Land Trust holds the easement and through it will ensure the preservation of the landâ€™s character and scenic qualities.
Located on Dingleton Hill Road, the parcel, known as â€œFern Hill,â€ is in a priority area for conservation, highlighted both by the Town of Cornish and by the federal government due to its proximity to the Saint Gaudens National Historic Site. It is located within a corridor of largely undeveloped land extending from the Connecticut River east to the Yatsevitch Forest. From the property edge along Dingleton Hill Road, there are scenic views of the UVLT-conserved Fitch Farm, as well as of Mt. Ascutney, and other parts of the Green Mountain State.
Peg Merrens, UVLTâ€™s Vice President Conservation, said at the closing â€œWe are so pleased to add another parcel to this conservation corridor in Cornish.â€
The land was once entirely open farmland, part of the William Westgate farm, one of the original hill farms in Cornish. It was willed to its current owner, Carol Quimby Heath, by her father. Now mostly forested, the parcel still includes more than two acres of open fields around the existing residence. The property is a place where Mrs. Heath and her extended family gather. Some family members choose to enjoy the land by camping out in the fields and along the forest edges.
After signing the conservation easement deed, Mrs. Heath explained her hopes for the land, â€œI am relieved to know that this land will stay just the same in the future.â€