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EPT Improves Parking for Equinox Trails, Meets to Review Invasive Plants

June 2007 - Visitors to the Equinox Preserve and its mountain trails system are finding improved parking access to the Preserve this summer. Seven additional parking spaces have been prepared at the West Union Street Red Gate entrance to the Preserve in Manchester Village.

The parking project was coordinated by the board of directors of the Equinox Preservation Trust (EPT), in concurrence with nearby landowners. It is designed to better accommodate visitor vehicles and safeguard against those vehicles blocking neighboring residential access along West Union Street, which extends west from Prospect Street just south of Burr and Burton, and connects via a walking path to the Equinox Resort hotel property.

President of the EPT board Dr. Rich Heilemann pointed out, “With the growing popularity of the Preserve trail system, parking was becoming problematic. We reviewed several options this winter and determined the new parking area offers the best space utilization along with the least disturbance of the natural surroundings.”

The new parking area will soon be enhanced by an informational kiosk to provide a more user friendly entrance to the Preserve. “In the past, those unfamiliar with the Preserve and its trails could scarcely tell where the entrance was. When this project is completed, it will serve as a helpful guide to the preserve and welcome all visitors to the unspoiled environment that starts just up the hill from the new parking area,” said Heilemann.

Furthermore, the old “red gate” placed at the official entrance to the Preserve will be removed and a new gate will stand just beyond the new parking area to keep unauthorized vehicles from traveling into the Preserve. Board members Joe Charbonneau, Tim Madden and Geoff Woodward coordinated this project for EPT.

Board Welcomes New VINS Manager
The EPT board recently welcomed the new manager of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) Manchester office, Rick LaDue. LaDue will oversee VINS programs in the greater Manchester area as well as overall maintenance of the lands and trails in the Equinox Preserve. He replaces Pete Corradino, who accepted a position at the Everglades Day Safari in Ft. Meyers, Fla. last winter.

EPT Meets With Nature Conservancy, Other Experts to Review Invasive Plants Programs
EPT board members Rich Heilemann and Geoff Woodward met with The Nature Conservancy of Vermont to discuss the spread and management of invasive plants on the Preserve lands. Brad Sale and Rachel Ruppel of VINS, Pieter van Loon of Vermont Land Trust, Jamie Smith of Landvest, Jim Campopiano of Timbervest, John Sease of Green Mountain National Forest, and Bennington County Forester Nate Fice were also in attendance. An outcome of this meeting was a call for an inventory and review of options for eradicating invasive plants from areas in the Equinox Preserve. “We expect ongoing EPT oversight on these important issues as they apply to certain areas of the Preserve,” said EPT’s Rich Heilemann.








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