UVLT Celebrates a Gift of Land

On Tuesday June 19th UVLT board and staff along with Norwich community members gathered at Stan Williams home on Tucker Hill Road to celebrate with Peter Areson. Peter and his five siblings own a 231 acre property in a roadless area of Norwich. The property is accessible through a vast network of trails that are well loved by the community for walking, hiking, biking and running. On June 19th, Peter was the first of his siblings to sign the deed conveying that 231 acres to UVLT.

areson mapOriginal 2002 map of the Areson property

The Areson property was originally conserved in 2002 when the six Areson children fulfilled their father’s wishes and executed a conservation easement limiting future uses of the property. The wooded land has over half a mile of frontage on the Appalachian Trail and has several trails, one of which connects the Appalachian Trail with class IV Burton Woods Road. It is one of many conservation easements UVLT holds along the Appalachian Trail. The Areson family has managed the property for habitat and timber; UVLT will take up the forest management plan developed for the family by forester Tii McLane. Timber harvesting will continue to occur with stand improvement treatments intended later this summer.

At the celebration, UVLT Board Chair Chris Nesbitt welcomed the crowd and thanked his long time friend Peter and his wife Cyndy Guy for coming and thanking them for their generous gift. He then turned it over to UVLT President Jeanie McIntyre who briefly spoke about the properties that UVLT owns, and the opportunities those lands provide for people to learn and directly experience land stewardship, as well as simply enjoying the solace of nature. She thanked Peter Areson and his family for their generosity on behalf of all who will appreciate the property in the future.

IMG_8911UVLT Board Chair Chris Nesbitt Speaking at the Reception

Vice President of Conservation Peg Merrens was on hand with the deed and Peter signed it in front of everyone with a smile on his face. He said “This piece of property was a special place for our father, who attended Dartmouth. He took pleasure in walking around it, marking boundaries, and exploring roads leading into it. He always intended it to be preserved and approached the UVLT shortly after its inception. His six children were delighted to formalize his intentions by donating development rights 15 years ago. Our gift of title to the UVLT is the final step in that commitment.”

IMG_8921Peter Areson signing the deed to transfer the property to UVLT

Following the short reception UVLT Land Steward Doug Brown and Board Member Stan Williams lead a hike onto the property that was enjoyed by several community members who are intimately familiar with the area. While the property is without road access there are several ways to enter the property. The official way to access the trail network is from Burton Woods Road off of Bragg Hill.

The Areson Property in the larger context of other UVLT conserved lands in Norwich.