Burke Conservation Commission
Annual Report of the Burke Conservation Commission, 2017
Tenth Anniversary: The Burke Conservation Commission (BCC) completed its10th year, since being created by the Selectboard in 1997.
Programs: In cooperation with the Burke Mountain Club, the BCC offerred 3 public programs. In March, Elise Lawson told about her work studying moose in Ontario and New Hampshire. In June, Kurt Valenta presented a talk on owls. In November, Robert Murphy explained the programs of Efficiency Vermont (this program was held at the Community Center).
Town Forest: The Burke Conservation Commisssion received a grant from the Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions to prepare a management plan for a small, nearly forgotten Municipal Forest, located just off the Burke Hollow Road in West Burke.The BCC contracted with the NorthWoods Stewardship Center's Forest Stewardship Institute (FSI) to write the plan. NorthWoods is a non-profit conservation and education organization located in East Charleston, VT. Its FSI program works on land management, forestry research and water resource protection projects. Three Forestry Interns, supervised by NorthWoods Forester, Sam Perron, collected a variety of field data at the site and then developed a plan to manage the Town Forest, with the goals to conserve natural resources and maintain wildlife habitat. Now the BCC will begin work to implement the plan, which calls for several action steps including apple tree release, boundary line marking and wildllife monitoring. The BCC will engage volunteers from the school and the community to implement suggested practices.
Darling Park: The BCC inspected the 20 trees planted at Darling Park in 2016. Eighteen were growing well. Two died and were replaced at no cost.
Nature Trail: The trail at Darling Park is in good shape: brochures are used, some are returned and more have been printed.
Green Up Day: Michelle Green organized and distributed information and bags. Cathie Wheeler and Chris Manges arranged to have some Burke Town School students stencil and paint "Keep Burke Green" signs which will be mounted on sandwich boards to advertise Green Up Day 2018, May 5th.
Scholarship Fund: The Outdoor Club at the Burke Town School postponed their fall canoe/camping trip, but the BCC scholarship fund will be available to support students on a 2018 trip.
Conservation Commission Members: Hank Butler, Joan Harlowe, Elise Lawson, Sue Leskin, Kevin Mack, Chris Manges, Ric Prescott, Ross Stevens and Cathie Wheeler.
The BCC thanks Michelle Green for her service.