Land Stewardship

Land Stewardship

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:

  • 130 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 and more.
  • Walkability with ample sidewalks and trails.

The South Village Stewardship Fund (SVSF)

The South Village Stewardship Fund (SVSF) supports and oversees the agricultural and land conservation programs at South Village and raise funds for their continued support.

SVSF Vision

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.

SVSF History

Established in 2008, the SVCSF 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.

Their collective focus has been on establishing the farm as a community nucleus and implementing land management strategies in the open spaces to eradicate invasive species of plants to allow the natural seedbanks to fill in and flourish, re-establishing the natural habitat. Over $750,000 has been invested in land improvement, equipment, structures, infrastructure to benefit farming and the environment.

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 SVCSF so they may contribute proceeds to their ongoing mission.

SVSF Programming

SVSF supports community programs including:

  • Raised garden beds
  • Laying chickens and egg production
  • Invasive Plant removal, and habitat restoration

SVCSF 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.

SVCSF work with the Farmers Fae Blackmer and Reese Baker, and also Bob Hyams of Habitat Restoration to expand and implement their mission at South Village.

SVSF Operations

Funding for the 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).

The second source of revenue comes from private donations. One resident family generously donated the funds to purchase three Haygrove High Tunnel greenhouses that extend our growing season and protect crops from the ever- changing weather and winds. A donation of a barn, shed, and well have also been valuable additions that are directly responsible for the success at the Farm. We are greatly appreciative of these gifts. 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.

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