About GLT

The Greensboro Land Trust was founded in 1992 by a group of Greensboro residents, permanent and seasonal, who were concerned that development should proceed along lines that would preserve the town’s rural character, protecting farms, forestland and wildlife habitat. GLT is a private nonprofit land conservation organization supported by its membership and governed by a volunteer board of trustees. We are not connected with either local or state government.

Objectives

GLT’s by-laws specify six objectives:

    1. Protect and enhance the natural and human resources of Greensboro in order to promote the well-being of present and future generations.

    2. Preserve and aid in the preservation of all types of natural areas including wetlands, wildlife habitat, and other significant areas;

    3. Conserve and aid in the conservation of productive agricultural and forest lands and encourage their use within the framework of a limited renewable resource necessitating careful stewardship;

    4. Preserve and aid in the preservation of significant historic buildings, structures, and sites in order to maintain the cultural heritage of Vermont;

    5. Protect and preserve the natural beauty of the area;

    6. Acquire and aid in the acquisition of lands suitable for public recreation for the benefit of the general public.

[Click the menu item “By-Laws” at top for the GLT’s complete by-laws.]

Structure

GLT is managed by a board of between 9 and 15 trustees, assisted by an advisory committee numbering between 9 and 15 members. Trustees serve staggered three-year terms, and are limited to two terms. They are elected by the membership at GLT’s annual meeting, normally held in late July, which considers (but is not limited to) a slate presented by a nominating committee. Advisory committee members are appointed by the trustees, and also serve staggered three-year terms, being limited to one term. However they may be elected as trustees during or after their term on the advisory committee. 

GLT’s officers comprise a chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer, elected at the first board meeting following the annual meeting. The board meets normally on the first Saturday morning of each month at a member’s house, although occasionally two months transpire between winter meetings. An executive committee comprising the officers is authorized to act on urgent matters between meetings.

Records

GLT’s records are maintained under lock and key in the the Greensboro Town Office.

Finances

GLT solicits donations from its members and other friends through a May mailing that accompanies the annual Newsletter. Special fund-raising drives are conducted in connection with specific projects. Regular operating costs are minimal, as the organization has no paid staff. 

GLT’s treasurer manages its financial assets, which are kept in two separate accounts, a Stewardship Endowment Fund (SEF) and a General Fund. The SEF may only be drawn on for costs incurred in monitoring and enforcing GLT’s easements. For each new easement acquired, the by-laws obligate the trustees to raise and/or transfer a lump sum, currently $6,000 at a minimum, into the SEF, where it accumulates interest until drawn on for eligible costs.

The General Fund is drawn on to finance purchase of easements, as well as operating costs not related to monitoring and enforcement.

Modus operandi

GLT operates primarily by accepting development rights on real estate, also known as conservation easements, either for its own account or in support of easement purchases by a related organization such as the Vermont Land Trust (VLT). GLT’s policy is to promote conservation other than by acquiring title to land, with all the future burdens that would entail. Easements may be donated or purchased, or acquired through “bargain sales” where the grantor donates a portion of the easement’s appraised value and GLT pays the remaining value. 

Normal terms and conditions of conservation easements are summarized in our page Conserving Your Land. 

Accreditation

In 2006 the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), the umbrella organization serving some 1,500 land trusts nationwide, established an Accreditation Commission. Most U.S. land trusts are expected eventually to apply to the Commission for accreditation to strengthen their adherence to LTA standards and enhance their credentials vis-à-vis easement donors, the Internal Revenue Service and the public at large. The Greensboro Land Trust was selected as one of 38 land trusts in the country to participate in a 2007 pilot program to test procedures instituted by the Commission. In February 2009 the GLT was informed it had been accredited by the Commission, forming one of 53 U.S. land trusts accredited by that time. Only one other accredited land trust was all-volunteer, the GLT being by far the smallest of the 53. 

Accreditation is valid for a 5-year period. “In September 2019 the GLT applied for renewal of its accreditation up to 2024. Renewal was approved in mid-2020.

Stewardship endowment

GLT’s current policy is to raise or transfer $6,000 to its Stewardship Endowment Fund for each new easement, in order to cover monitoring and enforcement costs. Easement donors may wish to contribute to this fund in recognition that GLT is assuming a perpetual responsibility to preserve their land.

GLT’s easements

GLT acquired its first easement in 1995, through a donation by Prof. John Edsall and sons David and Nick on their 160-acre vacation property on Cook’s Hill. As of early-2020, GLT held nineteen easements on its own account, and had contributed to purchase of eleven easements by the VLT. The following table lists our portfolio. For photographs as well as details regarding acreages, existing and authorized residences, and brief descriptions of the seventeen properties, please go to our GLT Projects page.

GLT projects as of mid-2021
Easements held exclusively by GLT
 
Acreage
Residences
Current landowner(s)
Existing
home-
stead
Open
Forest
Subtotal open & forest
Total acreage
Exist-
ing
Max.
addit. allowed
Total
allowed
Nancy Buckley a
10
54.7
90
144.7
154.7
1
0
1
David & Nicholas Edsall b
4
31
115
146
150
2
3
5
Thomas & Mary Edsall
0
0
10
10
10
0
1
1
John Downing
0
0
0.37
0.37
0.37
0
0
0
Megan Paterson-Brown
0
1
38
39
39
0
1
1
Scott Mann
2
2
11
13
15
1
0
1
Shaun & Darren Hill c
0
28.8
0
28.8
28.8
2
0
2
Warren and Laura Hill
5
26.2
30
56.2
61.2
1
1
2
Hugh Knox
3
3
25
28
31
1
1
2
Mark & Mary McGrath
5
73.6
240
313.6
318.6
1
2
3
Mark & Mary McGrath
0
22
110
132
132
0
1
1
David & Andrea Perham
0
14
7
21
20.6
0
0
0
Tracy St. Louis
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
Scott Dean ed
0
2
102
104
103.8
0
1
1
Bonnie Cleveland
0
11
8
19
19
0
0
0
Andy and Victoria Kehler fe
0
4
11
15
15
0
1
1
Circus Smirkus
0
19
1
20
20
0
0
0
Highland Lodge (Porter Brook Nature Trail)
Trail easement, approx. 1 mile
Lotspeich Family Properties
1
70
55
125
128.6
1
1
2
Gray Eyrie Trust g
6
8
66
74
80
2
1
3
Total
36
365.3
925.37
1,291
1,329
12
14
26
a Net of 15 acres sold in 2003 to von Hessert.
b Net of 10 acres sold in 2005 to T & M Edsall.
c Hayfield across Hill Road from farm.
ed Conveyed in 2006 by Thomas Sullivan
fe Purchased in 2003 from Buckleys.
g Excluded area contains stable/garage that could be converted to a residence..
VLT easements to which GLT contributed g
Ed and Claudia York (now owned by Todd Hardie)
       
259
1
1
2
Shaun & Darren  Hill h
       
73
2
0
2
Shaun & Darren
Hill
       
207
1
2
3
Jamie Murdock & Virginia Toner
       
150
1
0
1
Lowell Urie i        
145
0
0
0
Black Hills j        
189
0
0
0
Todd Hardie        
154
1
3
4
David & Wilhelmina Smith        
76
0
0
0
Mateo & Andy Kehler k        
51
1
1
2
Michaud    
79.6
2
1
3
Wilson Farm (ex-Hazendale) m  
44
0
0
0
Total
       
1,424.6
5
7
13
VHCB/TNC easement to which GLT contributed
       
Green Mountain Monastery
       
133
3
0
3
GRAND TOTAL, GLT-SUPPORTED EASEMENTS
2,673.6
19
21
40

g In most cases the bulk of the cost was covered by generous grants from the Freeman Foundation. The Hill brothers’ second easement, the Hardie and Kehler easements, and the Smiths’ easement were funded in part by the Greensboro Conservation Fund, approved by the Greensboro Selectboard. The cost of Ecopoesis/Hazendale was largely financed by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board in its first agricultural investment in Greensboro.

h GLT share partially funded by generous grant from the Stony Point Foundation.

i Property comprises 603 acres, of which 145 are located in Greensboro and the remaining 458 in Glover.

j Property comprises 1,685 acres, of which 189 are located in Greensboro and the remaining 1,496 in Glover.

k The Kehlers absorbed a portion of the appraised value of this easement. In addition to the GLT, portions of the cost were covered by grants from the Freeman and Lookout Foundations and the Greensboro Conservation Fund.

l The Smiths absorbed approximately 80% of the appraised value of this easement. In addition to the GLT, the Stony Point, Freeman and Vermont Community Foundations and the Greensboro Conservation Fund also contributed.

m Part of the GLT’s contribution to this project was financed out of the Mary Witherbee Fund, created by the Stony Point Foundation.

Substantive committees

GLT conducts part of its activities through substantive committees, which are either exclusively GLT or joint with another body. Existing committees are listed below. Both the Long Pond and Hinman Settler Road Committees eagerly seek new members. Please contact any GLT officer for further information.

Investment

reviews the performance of GLT investments, makes specific investment decisions that adhere to the investment goals set by the Board, communicates its decisions to the Treasurer for implementation, and reports its decisions to the Board at the Board’s next meeting.

Audit

conducts an internal inspection of the financial accounts of the GLT annually, or recommends an outside reviewer.

Stewardship

this committee visits all properties subject to GLT easements at least once a year to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the respective agreements. Other Board members and Advisory Committee members are invited to accompany the coordinators. A brief report is completed annually on each easement. The coordinators contact the landowners concerned and ask them to accompany the committee wherever possible on the visits to their land.

Long Pond

this is a joint stewardship committee with the Vermont Nature Conservancy (VNC), which owns 1,500 feet of shoreline and 767 acres around this pristine 99-acre pond in North Greensboro. The committee, which includes both owners of private land on or near the pond and other permanent and seasonal residents of Greensboro, clears trails from Tamarack Ranch Road to the pond’s north shore and up Paddock Hill, and assists the VNC in marking boundaries of the Long Pond Natural Area.

Hinman Settler Road

the goal of this joint committee with the Greensboro Historical Society is to develop a hiking trail along the route of Greensboro’s second major road, built in 1791-93, which for many years served as the main stagecoach route between Quebec and settlements as far south as New Hampshire and Massachusetts. From the Four Corners the route follows existing town roads to the Perham property on Barr Hill, then traverses private holdings to Town Highway #8, whence it follows Skunk Hollow Road over Freeman property to the Glover town line.

Greensboro Green

this a joint committee with the Greensboro Green Contributors’ Committee, successor to a group of residents who in 1973 bought the 30 acre field behind Lauredon Apartments, the firehouse, etc., to help preserve Greensboro’s rural character. The Green is currently owned by the Vermont Land Trust, which in March 2007 assigned a management role to GLT. We advise the GLT on matters such as arranging for the Green to be hayed. The joint committee is comprised of Nancy Sullivan, long-standing chair of the GGCC, and John Cannon and Linda Romans, also long-time members.

Social Responsibility

this committee recognizes that Vermont is changing rapidly and that GLT, in addition to land conservation, needs to work to retain the culture and sense of community unique to Greensboro by promoting diversified farming, affordable housing on suitable property, and economic development. The committee serves as a catalyst only, providing ideas and suggestions for facilitating these and any other goals relating to the conscientious use of Greensboro land. The committee acts as a catalyst for ideas and facilitator of methods to accomplish these and other goals relating to the conscientious use of Greensboro land. 


For further information contact Clive Gray, chair
at 802-533-2609 (Oct.-May) or 802-533-7723 (June-Sept).
Greensboro Land Trust, Box 135, Greensboro, VT 05841