Protecting the land and honoring its agricultural heritage is at the heart of what South Village is all about. By clustering the homes into a compact village footprint, South Village has conserved and protected 150 acres of open space.
This responsible, sustainable development strategy provides South Village residents with some wonderful benefits:
- 150 acres of woodlands, wetlands and meadows, home to an abundance of wildlife including hawks, wild turkeys, foxes and deer.
- A 12-acre farm producing organic fruit, vegetables, honey and eggs.
- Walkability with ample sidewalks and trails.
The South Village Stewardship Fund (SVSF)
The South Village Stewardship Fund (SVSF) supports the agricultural and land conservation programs at South Village. It also provides on–‐site environmental education programs that serve and enrich our community.
We envision a world where people of all ages are deeply connected to their food, our preserved lands and our community, and therefore make choices toward sustainable systems in nature and society. Sharing an appreciation for this open land and working landscape brings South Village residents together in new and unexpected ways.
Established in 2008, the SVSF is a private 501(c)(3) foundation that works in conjunction with the South Village Community Association to provide conservation programming to our community. Their role is to support the Land Management Plan, a document that governs the sustainability of the conservation and agricultural lands owned by the Community.
Our collective focus for the past several years has been on establishing the farm as a community nucleus. Over $250,000 has been invested in land improvements, equipment, buildings and community shared agriculture operations.
In addition to helping establish our working farm, Will Raap, one of South Village’s founders, was responsible for the installation of one acre of solar panels that supply renewable energy to the City of South Burlington at discounted rates. Consideration is being given to transfer the ownership of these panels to SVSF so they might supply electricity to our residents.
SVSF supports community programs including:
- Pick your own flowers
- Neighborhood composting
- Raised garden beds
- Laying chickens and egg production
We also support Common Roots activities that connect local youth with nature through education and service programs. Future programs will include ecological activities in the preserved lands and education programs that support the goals of the South Village Community Land Management Plan.
Our farmer, Reese Baker, is contracted as our part‐time program manager. Reese is also an experienced landscape designer/builder with a special focus on edible landscapes and permaculture.
Funding for our foundation comes from primarily two sources. First, and to date, the largest, is from the sale of property in South Village. As specified in the Declarations of South Village, one‐half of 1% of the purchase price of lots and homes is dedicated to our foundation (paid by the seller).
Our second source of revenue comes from private donations. One resident family generously donated the funds to purchase the three Haygrove High Tunnels that extend our growing season and protect crops from the ever- changing weather and winds. We are greatly appreciative of this gift. Other residents have contributed in a variety of ways donating time, money and materials.
We also apply for and have received grants in support of our work. All donations are tax-deductible as we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation. Each year our board of directors meets with our farmer and program manager, and conservation professionals to prepare a budget and develop new programs for the upcoming year. Conservation land management is ongoing.